- Chip Foose, star of TV’s “Overhaulin’”, designs first factory product – the 2008 Ford F-150 Foose Edition that interprets his hot-rod style through America’s favorite pickup.
- The Hot Rod Hall of Fame’s youngest inductee and Hollywood regular, on TV and as a custom vehicle builder for hit movies such as Gone in 60 Seconds.
- Foose’s design visually lowers the truck in the boulevard-cruiser spirit while maintaining the Ford F-150’s Built Ford Tough pedigree.
- The 2008 Ford F-150 Foose Edition is the most powerful half-ton truck on the market with a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 delivering 450 hp and 500 lbs.-ft. of torque.
The Ford truck team sat down with hot rod celebrity Chip Foose last year at the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) convention in Las Vegas – the heart of the red-hot $34 billion auto aftermarket industry – and issued a daunting challenge:
“We asked Chip Foose to design a tough, muscular street rod based on the Ford F-150 FX2 Sport pickup that will knock the socks off even the most hard-core boulevard cruiser fan,” says Ben Poore, Ford Truck group marketing manager. “And let’s make it available in less than a year before the 2007 SEMA show.”
Less than five months later, Ford and Foose are revealing the low-slung, production-intent Ford F-150 Foose Edition show truck, a precursor to the truck that will bow in the fall of 2007 as the most powerful and fastest half-ton production truck on the planet.
But right at that table, the seven-time winner of “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster Award” waved his wand – in his case a No. 2 pencil – and sketched out a conceptual offshoot of America’s favorite pick-up that looked like a true boulevard cruiser with design elements that visually lower the truck.
Hot rod magic
It started where the Ford F-150 Foose Edition meets the road, the big 22-inch original wheels that fill the wheel wells with larger flares, causing the pickup to look lower. Foose also designed and fabricated a custom rocker panel that enhances the lowered look even though the truck was only slightly lowered.
“How the vehicle sits and how the wheels are proportioned to the body is the first essence to give it the illusion of something lower than it is,” says Foose.
Wide, bold racing stripes further accentuate the planted stance. They start at the leading edge of the hood, helping to flatten it out. The striping thins out, stretches down over the front fenders, and runs the length of the vehicle above the door handles and across the tailgate for a streamlined look from the side. Then it widens again at the tailgate for an exclamation mark.
Foose also has replaced the Ford F-150 FX2 Sport’s dark billet grille and bumper opening with a new grille design with horizontal bars that makes the frame look shorter. Then, he has surrounded the design with lower rocker moldings that seemingly further drop the pickup.
The process was easier than it sounds, Foose says, because he had a great canvas – the Ford F-150 – to work with. It was also a labor of love. Chip Foose’s personal primary ride is a souped-up 2005 Ford F-150 Lariat.
Ford engineers then took over by first creating computer renderings of Foose’s sketches. “Chip sketches on paper; he doesn’t like to use computers,” says Karen Gietzen-Stewart, business strategy manager, Ford Advanced Product Creation.
The Ford truck team analyzed these renderings to ensure the Ford F-150’s tough images was maintained. A concept truck was built and then, in early 2007, Foose flew to Detroit where he made final finishing adjustments to the design.
Foose touches are carried into the interior, with Chip Foose signature headrests and floor mats. A unique, leather-wrapped center console features a Foose-designed serialization plate with vehicle identification number (VIN) and build-sequence numbers mounted on the ashtray door.
To match its muscular look, the Ford F-150 Foose Edition is the most powerful and fastest half-ton truck on the market. The intercooled, supercharged Triton® V-8 pumps out 450 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 500 pounds-foot of torque at 4,000 rpm.
“The Ford F-150 Foose Edition is the fastest truck period,” says Matt O’Leary, Ford F-150 chief engineer. “And it’s the only performance vehicle to offer the flexibility of the pickup bed.”