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Ford's Freakiest F-350 Has Been Sold in Chicago. And Now That We Can Track It, We Should Kill It... With Fire!

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On: Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 4:15PM | By: Andrew W Davis


Ford's Freakiest F-350 Has Been Sold in Chicago. And Now That We Can Track It, We Should Kill It... With Fire!

As you might have read in an article a colleague of mine wrote a while ago, the 1994 Dodge Ram displayed at that year’s Detroit Auto Show is blamed/praised as the pickup design that set the tone for every rig that’s followed. And for that, we all—yes, ALL—should kiss the ring of anyone involved in the creation—and implementation—of that truck.

Why? Because within an ugly-stick’s throw of the Dodge display was Ford’s, and they had their own idea of what the truck of the future should look like. Some might say that it was purposely “far-reaching” and the other things folks might say to soften their being (rightly) ashamed of this monumental screw-up, while others—like me—know this thing should’ve been killed at conception, period. [Don't like the big rig look of today's trucks? Just imagine two decades of trucks that look like THIS...]

That it not only still exists, and was actually sold to Joe Random at a recent car auction, is nothing short of miraculous. No, that’s not the right word. What’s it called when the Devil does something amazing? I guess... “this.”

Known then as the “1994 Ford Power Stroke Concept Truck by Ford Special Projects” (and now as things even I can’t get away with saying here), this screaming yellow abomination was created for two reasons: To “introduce Ford’s new direct-injected turbo-diesel 7.3-liter diesel V-8 engine” (perfectly fine) and—wait for it—to “showcase the company’s thinking for future styling ideas.”

And BOOM goes the dynamite!

See, if they could’ve stopped at saying they gave their new engine a wrapper meant to make an otherwise boring engine display exciting, they could be forgiven. Hell, I’d give ‘em a giant “Atta Boy!” for that, as everything they did here—from the squashed, fattened, and stretched bodywork to the searing “Sunfire Pearl Yellow” paint they slathered it with—is perfect for grabbing a-hold of your eyeballs.

Unfortunately, after the initial shock wears off you want to rip those eyeballs out so you don’t have to see any more of this thing, even for a second. [BTW, if you find yourself trapped in a situation where you’re forced to stare at it, make sure it’s from behind. Just stare at that massive Blue Oval and pray for the bad man to stop…]

When sold as Lot F128, a “1994 Ford Custom Pickup”, at Mecum’s Oct. 10-12 Chicago sale, it was described thusly by the poor souls tasked with passing it on to the next unfortunate/blind owner:

“Featured on the cover of American Dream Cars: 60 Years of the Best Concept Vehicles [2002],the 1994 Ford Power Stroke Concept Truck by Ford Special Projects showcased the company’s thinking for future styling ideas while also introducing its new direct-injected turbo-diesel 7.3 liter diesel V-8 engine. The Ford truck's exterior styling and Sunfire Pearl Yellow paint highlight advanced concept tail and loading light designs, a roof-extending sun visor with auxiliary lights, boldly flared running boards, unique prototype tires, upgraded interior trim and turn signals integrated into the outside mirror faces, a concept that proved ahead of its time. The closer one looks, the more obvious it becomes that this Ford experimental was a leading-edge concept vehicle.”

Um… no. And it’s not just 20 years of hindsight saying that. It’s the fact that, until it surfaced on eBay in Oct. 2011 with a $40k starting price and “on a bill of sale only” (neither titled nor street legal), this thing was all but disavowed by its maker.

As soon as this, *erp* “dream car” went overripe—which happened even faster then than it usually does now—all that was seemingly left of this unfortunate creature was its low-res likeness as one of the 30 or so vehicles in the PC/Mac/Xbox/PS2 “Ford Racing 2” game of 2003 (and “Ford Racing 3” a year later).

[Other dream machines available for play—if you want to call it that—include a 1976 Gran Torino (sans “Starsky” slashes), a 1998 F-150 (why?), and a 2002 Explorer Sport Trac!]

But before you expend any energy trying to find either of these stultifying titles, know that you cannot damage any vehicle in play in any way. I mention that because if you could, you’d do what I would and that’s just smash up the “1994 Ford Powerstroke” (as it’s called in the games) in as many ways and for as many times as possible, and, well, some of you have actual lives you should pay attention to instead.

Done laughing? Yeah. OK, so if you want to waste another 2:41 of your life on this horror show you can hit YouTube for an in-period-looking (but posted March 31, 2013) video of what the poster [NOT Ford] calls the “1994 Ford F Series Concept Vehicle”. It’s mostly silent but it does include some driving footage, in case there was any lunch left in your tummy you wanted rocketed out.

But back to the auction. You might have noticed I’ve saved mentioning the sales price until now, and I did that for a very good reason. Before you started thinking about what a former Ford show truck might be worth, seeing as how so few make it out of captivity, I wanted you to look really, really hard at this one so you could reset your mental automotive-value calculator from “Car Show” to “Horror Show”.

It sold for $32,500—yes, in real, American money—and that’s before fees, taxes, etc., were added in. Now, no, that’s not all that much coin to spend on a one-of-one, factory-built, operable, etc. “concept” vehicle, but seeing as how it’s a “show car” you should be too ashamed to show—and a truck you can't even register, let alone haul with—it’s pretty expensive.

It’s even more so when you see that it’s an evolutionary dead-end, or a “future vehicle” that didn’t have one. Heck, $32.5k is just a grand short of where 2015 Ford Super Duty prices start, and that’s for a truck you can actually use AND show.

In the interest of fairness, though, this screaming yellow nightmare does have ONE redeeming feature: When you go to Ford.com and look at their Super Duty page, the first piece of equipment they crow about is the trucks’ “2nd-generation 6.7L Power Stroke” engine.

Sure, every truck since 1994 has sported its own variation on the original “Peterbilt Ram” grille, but when it comes to what truck buyers really want on their rigs, it’s the engine that makes the decision.

[Of course, Ford wasn’t stupid. Once they got wind of public sentiment regarding the Dodge’s looks, they dropped EVERY Powerstroke styling element and made sure they put their great-running engine in a great-looking truck, a combo that will never go out of style...]


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