We never knew the world neededfastback-bodied pick-ups but Michigan Vehicle Solutions thinks it does!

Did you ever look at the existing pickup bed caps and bemoan the fact that they don’t make trucks more aerodynamic? Michigan Vehicle Solutions thought it’s time for something new on the market of bed caps, so they’ve looked at the louvered rear windows of ’60s and ’70s Mustangs and came up with the Aero X fiberglass cap that makes the Ford F-150 attract more eyes than ever before.

Your first reaction may be, ’Why?’, followed by a typical, ’Who are these people?’ Well, this company, based in Southgate, Michigan, "works and performs testing & services in conjunction with the OEMs in the testing & custom vehicle build arena," according to its own website. You’ll get why they thought sticking a sloping 260-pound cap in the back of Ford’s F-150 is a good idea when you’ll see the crazy renders of a Dodge Charger Daytona-esque body kit for the Dodge Challenger on the About Us page. This, then, looks mundane in comparison.

Coupe SUVs are Obsolete, bring in Coupe Pickups

This Fastback Ford F-150 by Aero-X is as Ridiculous as it is Awesome
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Ok, so remember how the mid-engined Lamborghini Miura featured a louvered engine lid meant to help the transversally-mounted V-12 cool down? The Gandini-designed masterpiece took the world by storm in 1966 and, sure enough, other manufacturers saw fit to add louvers to the back windows of some of their products although the benefit wasn’t immediately noticeable.

One such example is Ford’s Mustang Mach 1 from 1969. It had this collection of slats, known as ’SportSlats,’ bolted to the rear window although, obviously, the V-8 engine sat in the front. They were seen as a cool thing to have back when muscle car popularity was at its peak and, somehow, they survived as a popular aftermarket add-on for the generations of Mustangs that came after the original Mach 1.

While a sensible person would argue that adding stacked louvers to the back window of your car does little else than make your car look silly - even Lamborghini has moved away from louvered engine lids although the engines still sit in the middle - and impair your rear visibility, Michigan Vehicle Solutions, or MVS, thinks it’s the next big thing for... pick-up trucks!

This Fastback Ford F-150 by Aero-X is as Ridiculous as it is Awesome
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"We looked around and saw the lack of innovation out there," said Rich Oliver, CEO of MVS, quoted by The Drive. "It’s time for a different thing from our grandfathers’ bed caps. The flat tonneau, the shoebox, all that has run its course," he added triumphantly. They can currently be put on the F-150, including the 450 horsepower and +434 pound-foot of torque Raptor.

The sloping Aero X bed cap is advertised by MVS as "the most revolutionary truck bed cap ever offered," and the company goes on to point out that the design was awarded numerous patents and that those louvers over the back window are "modern."

We beg to differ when it comes to both claims in between quote marks.

First off, as The Drive also pointed out, this isn’t the first aerodynamic bed cap although previous ’aero caps’ were mostly DIY creations pieced together by folks that wanted to double the mpg their truck got. Some look better than others but the Aero X seems to be the first professional stab at the idea, and the finished product looks to be well-built although fit and finish aren’t 100% there yet.

This Fastback Ford F-150 by Aero-X is as Ridiculous as it is Awesome
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As expected, the aerodynamic Aero X lid will help you save some fuel, but MVS hasn’t come up with numbers just yet for either the 66 or the 78-inch bed versions. Oliver said that "It’s been an ’if you build it, they will come’ kind of process," and that only a few renderings were made before they got to work on what you see in the pictures.

The Aero X was first shown on an F-150 at last year's SEMA Show and, according to Oliver, potential customers inquire about the product on a daily basis.

However, MVS can only build about 10 Aero X caps over the course of a day which is not enough if demand skyrockets. You may think this could never happen but let’s not forget that the F-Series is a business worth $41 billion and that Ford sold over 30 million units since the F-Series was first introduced. Last year alone, 909,330 trucks were sold, and 61,992 have already left the factory gates since January 1st. It’s the best-selling family of trucks in the U.S., and the F-150 is a big chunk of that and, as such, it spawns a huge variety of aftermarket options. With so many owners out there of the +2015 models, it’s bound that many would be happy to fit an Aero X cap on top of their beds.

This Fastback Ford F-150 by Aero-X is as Ridiculous as it is Awesome
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We don’t yet know how much these will sell for as MVS is still testing the product. The company also plans to build fastback covers for every pick-up truck available for sale Stateside. This might sound bold, and that’s because you could say it’s an impractical choice, but let’s think about this: with your average flat cover, you can only load up stuff that’s as tall as the walls of the bed. However, with the Aero X cap in place, you can fit taller stuff in the back where the roof is at its highest point meaning you can carry bigger stuff without fearing they’ll get wet or whatever.

Now, if you're not willing to wait before the fastback pick-up revolution takes America by storm, you have a few options.

The first one that pops to mind would be to check the classifieds for some genuine "coupe" pick-ups: the Chevy El Camino and the Ford Ranchero. Granted, these don’t tick two boxes: First, they aren’t a Mustang or Mustang-inspired, and they aren’t genuinely coupes. However, you can have one OR the other. Let me explain.

Shortly after the Mustang was born, way back in 1964, a Beverly Hills Ford dealership sensed there’s a market for a Ranchero-esque Mustang. Remember, the Ranchero itself had already been in production for seven years when Blue Oval’s pony car wowed the world. Somehow, this dealer got Ford’s blessing to build the ’Mustero’. It’s exactly what the name suggests, a pick-up ’Stang. Granted, it’s not based off the ’69 Mach 1 so you don’t get the slats, but it’s a legitimate pick-up truck that started life as a Mustang.

This Fastback Ford F-150 by Aero-X is as Ridiculous as it is Awesome
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Only 50 units were ever converted to this specification, so that’s why you might’ve never heard of it.

The dealer started off by moving the roof forward quite a bit to make room for the bed where there once was the car's trunk.

Somehow, the people behind this managed not to ruin the line of the Mustang, but it came at a price: $6,500 in 1966 over the price of a standard Mustang. That’s about $50,400 in today’s money. A lot when you consider the unmodified (unmolested, some may say) Mustang Hardtop set you back about $19,618 in today’s money. The total price made the ’Mustero’ more expensive than a Lincoln Continental Convertible which cost $200 less than the conversion alone in ’66. To put things into perspective, you could get a second-hand Ferrari 250 GT SWB at the time for about $7,500 or about $59,250 today.

Now, as I said before, you can have a genuine coupe pick-up truck by which I mean a standard coupe with the trunk swapped for a tiny bed. It’s not something manufactured yesterday, but it also isn’t a huge Ford F-150 trying to pose as a sleek fastback sports car. It’s the 1936 Chevrolet Coupe Pick-Up. According to Oldchevytrucks.com, "this small new bed included wood planks, metal strips, sides, and tailgate much like larger ½ ton pickups. It extended out of the trunk about the distance of the rear bumper. To keep out dust and rain water, a custom made canvas snapped in place between the small bed sides and the coupe trunk edges."

This Fastback Ford F-150 by Aero-X is as Ridiculous as it is Awesome
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Why is this car relevant?

Well, it's an actual coupe pick-up, and it's even more unusual than whatever MVS can come up with.

It’s also interesting because, as a product put out during the recession years, it was meant to be as practical as possible. The bed in the back was removable and, once out, you could put in the hole that resulted a painted coupe deck lid that basically returned the car to the look of any other mid-’30s Chevrolet Coupe. Sadly, you’ll be hardpressed to find any original Chevy Coupe Pick-Up (or Pick-Up Express as it was also known) despite the fact that it was kept in production for six years.

The reason is simple: after the war, people converted the Coupe Pick-Ups back to standard coupe specification and got rid of the tiny bed. Oldchevytrucks.com points out that the car’s other weakness other than the small hauling capacity was the canvas cover that connected to the car to keep the bed dry. That canvas was prone to excessive wear quite quickly if you kept the car outside and, as such, most beds rusted away over time. Still, the point stands, in the ’30s and early ’40s you could buy a coupe pick-up automobile in the truest form of the phrase.

Further reading

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor.

2018 Ford F-150 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.

The New Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson is a Fat Boy on Four Wheels
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The New Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson is a Fat Boy on Four Wheels

Source: Michigan Vehicle Solutions

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