By Kevin “Crash” Corrigan
One is nothing short of an American Icon. It’s a product which comes from a company with over one hundred years of manufacturing history behind it. Their logo is often portrayed to the world as a symbol of all things American. Over the years, it has become a byword for toughness and their loyal customers have often been heard to say that once you buy one, you’ll never own anything else.
The other one is … well it’s Harley-Davidson isn’t it? So the above description is perfectly appropriate for them as well. Maybe, that’s why this vehicle, in so many ways, makes so much sense. In other ways, it doesn’t. It is certainly not a work vehicle; it’s far too luxurious for that. It can hardly be described as a sports car even with its 5.4 L V8 and the 22 inch rims. No, what we have here is simply a celebration of two of America’s finest motoring achievements.
The legendary Ford F150 pickup is, without a doubt, one of the most successful products ever to carry the Ford badge. It has been the best selling full-size pickup in N. America for 40 years now. The other, Harley-Davidson, can equally be proud of their achievements. They have become the undeniable pinnacle of the motorcycle industry. It also should be said that they can boast of a branding division that is the envy of corporations worldwide.
That alone says a great deal about this partnership. Nowadays you can find the Harley-Davidson logo on a number of products and it is often rumored that H-D earns more from this than they do from the motorcycles which they produce. They are, however, fiercely protective of their reputation and do not venture into partnership deals such as this without thinking it through. The 2006 Ford Harley-Davidson F150 is the eighth model to come from this alliance since it was forged in 1999 and in my opinion, quite possibly the best to date.
Its impressive Moonstone Black paintwork, the custom looking chrome Billet styled grille and the 22 inch polished aluminum wheels combine to make this truck stand out in a crowd. Add to it, the Harley-Davidson badges and the bold H-D striping, and this vehicle starts to take on all the coolness of a decked out FatBoy. (Before you start sending me letters about male weight problems and my total insensitivity, I’m talking about Harley’s famous FatBoy motorcycle model, Ok?)
Upon opening the clam-style doors on the vehicle you really do get a sense of the biker influence. Ford describes the armchair looking seats as being covered in “Airline leather”. To me, it looks more like the coverings which you would see on motorcycle seats or even saddlebags. Whichever way you look at them, they are tough looking, extremely comfortable and that heavy duty leather should easily last through the lifetime of the vehicle. The little H-D emblems on the seatbacks have been thoughtfully applied and succeed in completing the look.
The Dashboard also carries the H-D logo tastefully throughout and the gauges have a very distinctive look to them. There is a special plate which carries the full VIN number of the vehicle and also the specific build number as this is, of course, a Limited Edition model. The interior is finished off with a leather bound steering wheel/gearshift and the stereo has one of the best speaker systems that I’ve ever encountered.
Every F150 drives well but it must be said that there is a certain price to pay for those good looking 22” rims. The vehicle does like to follow the truck ruts on the highway and you can almost feel a dime on the roadway. This is not un-livable and to be honest, it’s a small price to pay for the stunning looks of the vehicle.
Performance from the 5.4L EFI V8 is plentiful and the O/D transmission is well suited. The exhaust note has a nice growl to it and certainly adds to the Bad-Boy image.
After a week spent in the vehicle, I have to say that my wallet appeared a little lighter after a visit to each gas station. Then again, V8 pickups and even Harley-Davidson motorcycles have never been aimed at the “tight-wallet brigade”. These modes of transport are all about the total image that they portray and how they make you feel inside.
With that said, I doubt Ford will have any trouble whatsoever moving this year’s output of these Limited Editions. The truck certainly looks the part. I can vouch that it turns heads and even though I’m not truly a pickup kind of guy, I enjoyed my week in the Ford F150 Harley-Davidson Edition immensely.
"This truck builds on the legacy of toughness that’s been the hallmark of the Ford brand,"
says Ford President Cisco Codina. "Now, we’re giving customers more of everything they love with the boldest Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 ever – with all-wheel-drive capability, 22-inch polished forged-aluminum wheels and an interior that will take your breath away."
The 2007 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 Super Crew is the ninth model to emerge from the alliance that was first forged in 1999. The successful collaboration between these two icons of the open road has produced six F-150 models, as well as Super Duty F-250 and F-350 offerings.
Hot-Rod Inspired Custom Looks
For 2007, the Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 Super Crew visually communicates power, dressed in all black, oozing chrome and sporting distinctive Harley-Davidson visual cues. The Black Monotone exterior is accented with a hot-rod inspired custom scalloped stripe running along the beltline. The custom stripe adds to the overall performance feel of the vehicle, creating a sense of motion and speed. "Harley-Davidson" script is featured along the bed side in three dimensional chrome letters. The new model also features a unique color option, Dark Amethyst, with a complimentary stripe color.
The custom appearance begins with the bold front-end design, featuring a unique chrome billet grille and blacked-out headlamps. Based on a Super Crew configuration with a 5-1/2-foot Styleside box, the new 2007 Ford Harley-Davidson™ F-150 cuts a menacing profile. Beefy 22-inch polished forged-aluminum rims – unique for F-150 – sport a split five-spoke design, exposed lug nuts and the distinctive Bar & Shield logo on the center cap. The massive wheels give this ride undeniable attitude.
Between the wheel wells, chrome-accented ground effects help create an integrated appearance and enhance the truck’s powerful stance. The ground effects and the unique lower front valence, or chin spoiler, help create a lowered look. Heavyweight genuine zinc die-cast badges on the fenders celebrate the Ford Harley-Davidson alliance. Dark tinted smoked-out tail lamps and headlamps, a blacked-out bumper and the "Harley-Davidson F-150" badge distinguish the rear. Chrome tie-down hooks and a slash-cut chrome exhaust tip add even more street-rod appeal.
Rugged and Refined
Harley-Davidson heritage resonates throughout this new vehicle. Inside, the 2007 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 makes a strong statement of custom-inspired refinement, with an underlying tone of authenticity and genuineness that has been the hallmark for all Ford Harley-Davidson trucks.
"We’ve designed a cockpit that’s a tribute to the open road," says Ford F-Series Chief Designer Gordon Platto. "We’ve introduced high-gloss Piano Black cues along the instrument panel, center stack and console to bring in a feeling of visual motion. Combine that with the rich leather and bright chrome that’s been such an essential part of all our Harley trucks, and you’re surrounded with styling that salutes motorcycle culture."
Rugged and supple black aniline leather seating surfaces create a distinctive, inviting interior. The captain’s chairs are unique, sporting a die-cast HARLEY-DAVIDSON Bar & Shield logo embedded in the leather. Elegant high-gloss Piano Black surfaces on the center stack and door panels are flanked by a Bar & Shield logo-patterned graphic treatment. The striking instrument panel – and the overall vehicle interior – features a stunning display of chrome, including unique chrome-ringed instruments, chrome handles, vent rings, floor shifter and door pulls. Adding to the overall custom feel of the interior is a serialized nickel plate showing the vehicle’s production date and number.
Built for Performance
Enthusiast events such as South Dakota’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Daytona Bike Week in Florida, along with everyday customer feedback, helped shape the performance story for the new 2007 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150. Customers said they wanted bigger wheels and all-wheel-drive capability. Besides boasting 22-inch wheels, this truck includes a performance sport handling suspension that’s tuned to deliver a more precise driving feel.
Customers now also have the choice between 4x2 and all-wheel drive, with the capability to handle more challenging driving conditions and road surfaces – ranging from dry pavement to winter weather. The new AWD system continuously monitors the wheel speeds and throttle position to determine the appropriate amount of power to send to the front of the truck to help prevent slip. Customers also can choose to override AWD by simply selecting the locked mode.
Lurking under the hood of the 2007 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 is a 5.4-liter, three-valve Triton V-8 featuring a specially tuned exhaust system that delivers a more powerful, throatier rumble. It turns out 300 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 365 foot-pound of torque at 3,750 rpm.
Ford will build the 2007 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 Super Crew limited-edition trucks for sale throughout North America beginning September 2006. The vehicle will be produced in Michigan at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant.
In addition to the 2007 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 Super Crew and other vehicles in the Ford Harley-Davidson truck lineup, the companies’ alliance has produced other products such as co-branded clothing and vehicle accessories.