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Ford's SVT Lightning Basic Facts - Yes it Did Get Into Guinness Book Of World Records
In July of 2003 Ford, by way of their SVT Program (Special Vehicles Team), managed to set a Guinness Book Of World Records run with a factory stock Pick-up truck. The truck they used was a F-150, but not just any F-150, it was a limited production Ford SVT F-150 Lightning. The speed they recorded on that day was 147.54mph and they held it until Feb 2, 2004 when it was taken from them by one of the other big Three manufactures, but we will not mention any names at this point.
The Lightning made its first debut in 1993 and was Ford's performance truck answer to GM's Chevy 454 SS and the GMC Syclone. It was based on the F-150 platform with a number of performance upgrades. They took a set of "GT40" heads and a set of hypereutectic pistons and fitted them to a standard 351 CID Windsor and managed to produce roughly 240 hp with 340 ft-lb of torque. Not only did the truck have decent power, but it could also handle the turns amazingly well for a truck, pulling 0.88 g's lateral acceleration.
There were two separate generations of SVT Lightnings. The first one is described above and lasted only three years, 1993-1995. Ford took a little pause and spent a few years redesigning and debuted the second generation SVT Lightnings in 1999 and continued to build these trucks through 2004. The total number of Lightning truck built in for the first generation is 11,563, with the rarest of the three years being 1995. They only build 2280 for the final year of the first generation.
The second generation Ford SVT Lightning saw many changes, including, but not limited to body restyling and a whole new power plant. They did away with the old 351 and installed a modular 5.4 L Triton SOHC (single over head cam) with 24-valves. This new monster was pared up with a Eaton Supercharger and was producing 360 hp and 440 ft-lb of torque. The 01-04 models were altered a bit more to create 380 hp and 450 ft-lb.
The SVT Lightnings brought about several "firsts" for F- Series trucks, including bucket seats, 17 inch wheels and various other changes. The first generation truck were manufactured in Wayne, MI at Ford's Michigan Truck Facility and the second generation trucks were manufactured in Oakville, Ontario Canada, at Ford's Ontario Truck Facility. The total number of second generation Lightnings built were 28,124, once again, the rarest being the last year, when only 3781 were manufactured.
The only mistake Ford made was, these truck were all controlled by the antiquated speed density system. If you wish to make any performance upgrades at all, you really need to convert to Mass Air Flow, but that is a story of its own.