The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe F-150 truck calls it a sleeper. Seeing as it’s a red and raised Lightning that’s kind of a stretch. Let’s see if this custom truck is worth lightening your wallet to the tune of its price.

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On Friday we talked a bit about what it might take to get a cheap as beans 1978 Chevy C-10 VFW flatbed fully roadworthy so as to show off its amazing and patriotic color scheme. The general consensus was that it was a worthy effort (‘Merica, eff-yeah), and it came away with a solid 85% Nice Price win. That’s another victory for our nation’s veterans as well as for the beloved pets that they treat.

The rivalry between Ford and Chevy over who makes the top truck has been decades long and always heated. The two company’s constant attempts to one-up the other has ultimately resulted in the consumer being the big winner in the end. Well, the consumer and Ford, which has held the sales crown now for decades, in fact outselling the Chevy Silverado in 2015 by an astonishing 179,000 units.

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Why does Ford sell more trucks than Chevy? You’ve got me, but I can say that their ubiquity and market savvy has engendered a healthy industry of aftermarket parts and that has resulted in trucks like today’s 1993 F150 Lightning Pre-Runner. We’ll get to just what exactly a pre-runner is in a minute, but first off, let’s kick some impressively large tires. Don’t sprain a toe, m’kay?

The SVT Lightning was a show and go package applied to the ninth generation of Ford’s pickup starting in 1993. The changes included a heavy duty suspension package, alloy wheels, monochromatic paint, an air dam, and a hot 5.8-litre V8 under the hood. At the time Ford described it as a “Mustang GT with a Cargo Bed.” I guess that’s better than a cougar with a California King.

This truck seems to have lost much of the bits that made it a Lightning. The engine is still the 240-horse (probably closer to 260) 5.8 which featured GT40 heads, a more aggressive cam, and breathing updates on both sides of the fight. The tranny backing up that big bruiser is Ford’s E4OD automatic, and the ad notes that this truck’s unit was rebuilt less than 2K ago. The pumpkin in back has been likewise refreshed. Overall, the truck rocks an impressive 237,000 miles.

Everything else under the water line looks to have been replaced over time, and some of those bits now extend through the bed and up into the engine compartment like Kane’s unfortunate birth scene in the movie Alien.

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That’s because the truck has been raised and now rides not only on aftermarket tall-boy mounts but King Racing remote reservoir shocks. These, as well as a spare and Harbor Freight aluminum jack, seriously limit the usability of the bed.

The suspension looks to be some serious work, however the front split axle, which is from a Bronco, is in fact not connected to anything. Yeah, it makes it look like it’s a 4X4, but there are no axles down there, nor is there a transfer case to make them do anything if they were in fact in place. There have been plenty of 4X2 off-road racers over the years—that’s what makes this a “Pre-Runner”—so it’s no big deal, but I didn’t want anyone doing their calculations under the mistaken impression this truck was a 4X4.

Whatever it is, it sure looks to be in nice shape, with an interior that has held up well, two-years old arrest-me red paint, and a new windshield for all your looking-out-of pleasure. Is it a sleeper as the ad avers? Oh hell now. And with its described Magnaflow exhaust even Stevie Wonder should be able to attest to that.

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The more import question, especially for its second-owner seller is whether or not it’s worth the $17,000 he is asking for it. It is a Lightning, which is a pretty cool truck, however much of what made it a Lightning is now left far below where it has been jacked up. It’s also pretty useless as a pick up, although I bet it could tow some insanely tall trailers if that floats your boat.

What do you think, does this pre-runner Lighting seem like it’s worth $17,000 as it sits? Or, do you think the seller is more likely to get struck by lightning than to sell it at that price?

You decide!

Inland Empire CA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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