By on November 2, 2015

2000 Ford SVT Lightning

Eleven years ago, I married a remarkably tolerant woman. She’s not particularly into cars, but she humors me when I prattle on about the merits of whatever awesome car caught my eye that day. Or when I decide I need to take an epic, one day, out-and-back trip to Maryland to buy a race car that’s never turned a wheel under it’s own power in the three years I’ve owned it. But she has her own automotive tastes, and for sake of marital harmony, I do my best to listen.

As a country girl, trucks weigh heavily in her list.

One peculiar truck that caught her eye about fifteen years ago was the Ford SVT Lightning. I think the bit-player role it took in the first “The Fast and the Furious” film (as Harry’s shop truck) may have done it for her. That, or she’s conflating her lust for Vin Diesel’s bulging biceps with the sweet melody of whistling supercharger and burbling V-8.

These seem to hold their value quite well, like other limited hi-po Fords. A clean, standard F-150 would probably bring around $5,000 or so. This 2000 Ford SVT Lightning is right in the middle of the market at $13,995.

I love the blacked-out factory rims against the silver finish — it’s likely reversible, but distinguishes the truck just a little bit. The Lightning looks well cared for, as it was likely rarely used for any sort of hauling duty.

Alas, a two seat pickup truck is a less than ideal family vehicle, and my wife’s dreams were dashed when child one came along. I did have trouble losing the baby weight, but I do have a full head of hair well into my thirties, so score one for the pasty Ohio boy.

Nowadays, you have to shop hard to buy a new truck without 350+ horses under the hood, so the performance of the limited-edition truck isn’t so alluring anymore.

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90 Comments on “Digestible Collectible: 2000 Ford SVT Lightning...”


  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Ghetto-ized pickups say everything about America today. What marvelous metaphorical compaction.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      What’s ghetto-ized about a Lightning? Especially when most of the people buying them were middle-aged suburban white guys who wanted a performance vehicle but couldn’t part with a truck.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I never had any feels for these. RWD only, crap interior, gulps down fuel, from a rather lame (read: circular) time in American auto design. And like you said, quickly outclassed these days by more spacious and practical trucks with more equipment, power, and comfort.

    If you wanted a powerful sporty truck, get something newer with a TRD package or the Ford Sportline or whatever. If you want lots of power and impracticality, there’s always a Mustang or Corvette for you.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Would you have preferred a rectangular time? How about a triangular one?

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      I dunno Corey, they arent for everyone and I wouldnt buy one (of these), but I always get a smile on my face when I see one. It may not be the fastest, or most comfortable or luxurious, but its sorta rare and fun, and if I was looking for a two seater, a regular cab truck would top my list.

      To your other point, it does look somewhat quaint here in 2015, but in 2000 it was right in line with the times.

      I think these type of packages of mainstream vehicles are not a bad thing.

      Somewhat related, I’d love to get my hands on a clean Marauder.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I like the rarity part, just not the rest of it! The Marauder would be nice, they stand out in a good way and aren’t quite such a caricature.

        I do love special editions, thinking now about all the stuff I know about EB Aerostars, Nautica Villagers, Diamond Anniversary TC, Sinatra Imperial, etc.

        Just the Lightning puts me off. For a weird truck that’s rare just find me a Blackwood.

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          Ah the much maligned Blackwood. Still want one of those. Looks like a clean example is the same sweeet spot as the Lightning for a similar year. The interior is only 10-15 years old but looks so dated, but that leather is gorgeous. Be interesting to do a CNG swap on one of these.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I think it’s the same leather that’s found in the Nav, which wasn’t great. Decent one is $10,000, low mileage is apparently $25,000.

            http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lincoln-Blackwood-Luxury-Crew-Cab-Pickup-/262115270364

            Blackwood is considerably more rare than a Lightning though.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            I haven’t seen a Blackwood in ages, but there are quite a few Mark LT running around my neighborhood, and I kinda like them.

            Which might be because they are basically F-150s, which are mainstream and useful.

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            Didn’t the Blackwood also come in the thickest coat of Piano Black FoMoCo could paint? The few I’m finding on Cars.com look stunning in their calendar pics.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        If you lived in America, your clean Marauder would be stolen. In the Detroit area, someone would probably sell you a Marauder just to have his friend(s) steal it back.

        When I worked in claims for an auto insurance company, Marauders, Magnums, Chargers, B-bodies, and GM full size 2 door SUVs were often stolen multiple times. I had to drop a guy who’s 2 door Yukon was stolen and recovered, without it’s 22s, 4 or 5 times.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Someone in the other building of my office park has a grey one he DDs. I don’t think they are the theft targets they once were, well outside of the D.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mercury-Marauder-Base-Sedan-4-Door-/331690424871

          I’ve changed my mind. Do not want. The outside looks okay but the interior trimmings are simply not acceptable for the price.

          Rather have C4 Corvette or nice Miata as play car. Or even older TC.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            You don’t one now. Instead, what you really want is a Crown Vic with P71 or Maruder upgrades, Mustang wheels, and engine upgrades. Cheaper and better than a Marauder.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Corey, that one has 15k miles. When they are actually driven, they can be had for 8-10k CAD. And the interior is a 2003 vintage, what do you want? Me, all I’d do would be to find a double DIN head unit that has BT and I’d be set.

            bball, I want a Marauder. It just looks right. The exhaust, the god head rims, the tint job on the lights, it just has presence. Don’t want to monkey around with a P71. Really, the Marauder is the only Panther I’ve ever actually wanted.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh I was just using it for pics reference. I know you wouldn’t go after a pristine and low miles one like that.

            Still, the interior is NOT ok!

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Ach, Corey you and your high falutin standards.

            Honestly, what do you expect? Its a 2003 Panther.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Lol, I just have a hard time with 2000’s Ford interior quality, okay? It’s my burden to bear.

            Luckily they made very very few things in the 00’s which were interesting/good from a desirability standpoint.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Corey,

            Y U no like 2003 Lincoln Aviator interior? Is it the sea of silver plastic, the fake wood, or the steering wheel that is shaped like an inflated pita pocket with buttons?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I almost forgot the Aviator!

            I think the Avi and Navi interiors LOOK okay, as long as you didn’t touch anything or try and wipe them down, which would cause the silver finish to come off almost instantly. It’s rare to find one of those these days without all the buttons scratched off, unfortunately.

            Hey, even the LS got interior (and kinda exterior) Navi treatment there at the end.

            I will not forget pita pocket reference, cannot unsee.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Aviator could have been great. Love for FoMoCo to put something that size, of that styling, and give it real 4×4. I’ve had it up to here with this AWD crap it is not really that luxurious, just more of a PITA than anything.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I’m looking at a picture of the Aviator interior. All the stuff in the middle that looks vaguely like brushed aluminum–is that plastic?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            My friend had an Aviator. When the writing on the buttons wore off, he used a sharpie to fill in the blanks.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            @ Dr.

            YEP, it is. You figure that out once it wears to white from your keys touching it, or a ring or watch scrapes along.

            They touted the “laser etched backlit” buttons at the time for additional clarity, but didn’t mention “its laser etched cheap plastic.”

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          This may come as a shock, but the overwhelming majority of the United States is not Detroit. Thank God.

          I could leave a Marauder with the keys in the ignition in my driveway for years on end, and the most that would happen is one of my neighbors might put the keys inside the house on the kitchen counter. Because the house isn’t locked either.

          As for the Lightening, one of the guys in my autocross club has one. It is the very definition of the old saying that you can’t make a racehorse out of a pig, but you can make a mighty fast pig. Stupid and pointless, yet really kind of fun in it’s own silly way.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I know that Detroit is not the norm for America. However, in some urban areas the Marauder will be a hot item. It was more of a joke than anything.

            I was in Portland, Maine last weekend btw. I enjoyed it.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Detroit is not the norm, it is the future.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    When will we be done with blacked out rims? In five to ten years we will look on these with the same disdain we do for late 80’s to early 90’s neon and mid to late 90’s pastel colors.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      But they’re effing perfect for some cars like Bozi’s lapus blue WRX.

      With that color, bright alloys look like tinsel.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        Depends on the car and the body color. The Enkei PF-01 wheels that I bought for my FR-S were black originally. It looked OK on the white body, but I hated how any amount of dirt really dulled the look. After scratching them with the lug wrench, I had my local body shop paint them Subaru BBS gold. I LOVE them in the BBS gold on the white body. The glossy finish on the wheel just shines.

        Black:
        http://www.ft86club.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=99250&d=1419866234

        Gold:
        http://www.ft86club.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=107185&d=1429133853

        *Never use the stock lugnuts with those wheels. It is too sloppy and it rubs the inside of the lug hole taking off the paint. This is no longer an issue with aftermarket lug nuts.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Blue WRX + gold wheels = always win.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I think the new black wheel option on the M235i looks great if you have a black interior. But I went for off-white, so I got the gray wheels. Very color dependent though, black wheels with blue looks great, not so sure about white or red or silver. And definitely NOT on a black car.

        I agree that blue with gold wheels looks good, but can only be done on a Subaru. :-)

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Personally, blacked out rims need to have some bright work to look good. Totally black like pictured above looks like crap to my eye. But when the contours of a blacked out rim show some aluminum or chrome, thats when it really works.

    • 0 avatar
      NotFast

      Blacked out rims are very effective at hiding brake pad dust…

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        And for showing off rock chips and curb damage.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Which the brake dust will quickly hide, at least on my car with it’s insanely dusty Motorsports brakes.

          I’m not sure the difference in pedal feel between the brakes on the M235i and those on the 328! are worth the 90000% increase in dust production. Hopefully by the time I have to do a DIY replacement Akebono will have suitable pads for it. Not like I am going to track the thing more than exceedingly occasionally.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      Choice is good. As long as noone is forcing you to buy it (ala the Mustang GT Performance Pack shod with those Herman Monster-esque wheels), I see no problem.

      Some want black wheels, some want gun metal, some want silver. I’m sure there’s even a few takers for fuchsia, aquamarine, or sangria.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        There’s definitely some takers for Cheeto Orange, Highlighter Yellow, and Glow-Stick Green in my experience…

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Was in traffic today next to a primer gray Volvo 245 with fluorescent orange wheels. Eek. Like something out of Mad Max.

        Nice thing about wheels – it’s cheap and easy to change the color. I got gunmetal MSW Type 86s for winter for my new ride, may end up having them powder coated. I’m not sure I like the all but completely flat finish, though I do like the color. They look like someone forgot to clear coat them.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I agree! My best friend (who lives 3,000 miles away) sent me a picture of his Five Hundred with plasti-dipped black wheels. I replied “congrats, it now looks like a 1970s hoopty who’s chrome(ish) wheel covers fell off!”

  • avatar
    70Cougar

    This generation of F-150 still looks great to me.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I agree, it looks good, it just doesnt crash well. They fixed that with the following generation. That, and the 4.2L terrible V-6 were the two sore spots for that gen.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I found the stats online:
    2000 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning: 0-60 mph 5.4 | Quarter mile 13.8

    That would have been pretty hot – in 2000. Still pretty good but any number of base can almost meet, or even exceed this.

    Thinking the BMW 228i which is nowhere near the top of the BMW performance pile.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    These are not factory rims. They are custom rims. It makes me wonder what else has been done to this truck.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      Pretty sure that they are OEM wheels that were originally chrome….looks like they were just refinished/powdercoated in gloss black.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I thought that at first, but the listing says custom rims. There are plenty of aftermarket places that make reproductions of those rims. If they are just refinished OEM rims, I don’t like that either.

  • avatar
    turf3

    Funny, the country people I know who use trucks in their actual work (for example, my uncle in Kansas who made his whole living his entire life as a cattleman; my father-in-law in Texas who first made a living as a farmer and then after retirement as a small scale cattle raiser; my tenant in Texas who currently makes his entire living as a cattle raiser) seem to buy a more or less base model pickup with the options they need (AC, 4WD, but not raised, no weird trim options, no fancy rims, etc.) Maybe it’s because they use them as tools rather than as posing accessories. Most of the people I know who use trucks as tools would rather pay for more GVW and retain cloth seats and steel wheels rather than a 1/2 ton truck with all the fancy nonsense.

    Same reason working cowboys don’t wear $200 Stetsons, they wear $12.99 straw hats from Tractor Supply.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      As a hat enthusiast (though not cowboy hats), I have to take issue with the last statement.

      When it comes to felt hats, a cheap wool felt will do just as well as a three-figure fur felt in most respects (it won’t look as nice, and it’s usually not as waterproof). But most of the price premium between cheap straw and expensive straw hats lies in their weaving, which is the deciding factor in a hat’s longevity. Most Stetsons are bought as status symbols, yes, but when properly cared for, they’ll last much longer than anything you get at Tractor Supply.

      Anecdotal evidence time: My nice summer hat is a $120 Panama (on the cheap end of the spectrum), and it’s lasted me 3 summers so far with no noticeable wear. My work summer hat is a Dorfman Pacific Mesh Trekker, a cotton hat that usually lasts 2-3 summers and only costs $21.99. Once, on a whim, I bought a $10 rough-cut straw hat from Bomgaar’s. It lasted all of 2 months before it fell apart in a light rain.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        I keep trying to be a hat fan but can’t get past how they soak up sweat and scalp stink.

        But I *do* have some serendipitously awesome bball caps from the ever fascinating interplay of bleach and commercial dyes!

        Maybe hats are just for the less delicate.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          The trick is to wear certain hats when you know you’re gonna be sweating. Felt hats don’t get broken out until October, and get put away in April. The Mesh Trekker is reversible (you can wear it backwards and no one will notice), so you don’t get all the sweat in one half.

          I have nothing against baseball or trucker caps, except that they provide no shade to the ears or neck. I get enough of a tan from indirect sunlight, thank you very much. My father doesn’t mind (he wears half-mesh or enclosed caps every day of the year, except when it’s really cold), but he’s had 45+ years of constant exposure and I don’t think it affects him anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            I’m a firm believer in caps and hats as umbrellas. Don’t need no sissy, frail umbrella that the first good gust rips lose from its ribs or breaks same. I’ve sought out and bought the most sturdily built ones and they all suffer the same damage.

            And winter simply demands thick, layered bomber hats for all but the pathologically macho. And I know a few of those.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I won’t deny the merits of a bomber cap, but it just makes everyone who wears it look like a hosehead. It seems like whoever invented the bomber was trying to emulate the ushanka (which is a much more dignified hat in my book, suitable for wearing with a suit and overcoat).

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            There’s a certain kind of guy, often highly successful jocks in youth, who reach their 50s and 60s with still-thick manes of hair.

            They often sport perfectly coiffed hair helmets and disdain any and all head cover on even the most bitterly cold days.

            You’re not one of those come winter, are you? My best work buddy is.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I need to go to a hatter and find a hat that doesn’t make me look like a douche. My shaved head gets cold in the winter.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Baseball cap works every time.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I wear a baseball cap often. I will get sunburned on the top of my head in the summer if I don’t wear a hat. I can’t really wear a baseball cap to work though.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            When both the hair and the hat are worn properly, the one will not mess up the other. But on the bitterest of cold days, I’d gladly suffer hat hair to a knit beanie if it meant not losing my ears to frostbite.

            I’d like to be the guy with thick hair, but it’s been thinning for the past 5 years, which is mildly embarrassing at my age (especially since baldness comes from your mother’s side, which means my father has slightly thicker hair than I do). I wear the top a little longer (2″ or so) and the sides clipped to #2 to make it less apparent, but it’s still noticeable if I stand directly underneath a bright light.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            I like my high & tight. #0 up to the mid-temple blended up to about an 1″ on top. Hats don’t much mess with that.

            When I start having to part it, time for a haircut.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            To each his own. My favorite part (NPI) of the day is when I get to part my hair–it makes me feel much neater and I think it makes people take me more seriously. At my age and height, I would look like a high schooler if I didn’t make an effort to upgrade my appearance.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I really enjoy still being carded to drink, lol.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            OK, OK… now that we’ve gotten to know one another lets talk nail polish!

            I bought some pearly white stuff the other day to paint the important buttons on my remotes so I could more easily spot them in a darkened living room.

            I was all prepared to immediately explain myself to whomever smirked at me but, creepiest thing, nobody batted an eye.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Corey

            I was mistaken for 40 in New Orleans and mistaken for 24 in Las Vegas. Which place do I like more?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            @28

            Never been much for Louisiana anyway! It’s just sinking.

            @RH

            I gotta tell you a story. From when I worked at Kroger, about 15 years old – cashier.

            Guy comes through my line, tall scary looking guy who had a sleeveless jean jacket and tattoos, wearing a trucker hat, in his 50’s. Guy looked like a scary Harley rider – he had to be 6’5″, smelled strongly of cigs. His groceries were normal, and he happened to be paying in cash.

            Hands me whatever stack of bills, and I notice his purple glittery fingernail polish.

            Never figured that one out.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Corey

            The duality of man.

            youtube.com/watch?v=KMEViYvojtY

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            @Corey

            Holy crap. That reminds me of some photos I saw several years ago when Fallujah was being battled over. Can’t remember where on the internet and haven’t since been able to relocate them.

            But there was a bunch of intimate candid shots of all these jihadi guys lounging about during a lull in outdoor cafes and similar places all loaded up with their AKs and RPGs and erythang… holding hands, wearing eye makeup and sporting the prettiest colored women’s shoes.

            I’m just putting it down to an one-off internet connection to some parallel universe.

      • 0 avatar
        turf3

        Working cowboys wear hats when working with cattle, to keep the sun off. Longevity of an expensive hat is not a concern when you are pouring with sweat, or when it falls off into some “stuff” – and when you work around cattle, there’s always plenty of “stuff” if you know what I mean. I think you would prefer not to have cow s**t all over your $120 Panama hat.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          If you’d care to read it again, you’ll notice that nowhere did I imply my Panama was for when I’m doing manual labor. My work hat is this:

          http://www.villagehatshop.com/photos/product/standard/4511390S54889/boys/mesh-crown-aussie-hat-child.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      So, if you own a pickup and don’t approach the GVWR at least 5x a week, you are a poser?

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        We have 2 pickups. One exceeds its ratings on at least a weekly basis, while the other has never met them and usually hauls the family around with a bed full of suitcases, if even that much. What does that make us?

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          To me? It makes you people who bought a vehicle they like and use it the way they see fit, regardless of what “real truck owners” say you should be doing with it.

          I know this is an old argument on TTAC, but I get sick of reading people telling people what they should use their vehicles for.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Agreed 100% dave. If one can afford a $50k Platinum that hauls only air and ass, and that is what they want, why should anyone have a problem with it?

            Do these same people rant against those buying AMGs and M cars because they arent doing 150 mph everywhere and sliding around corners like they are auditioning to be the next Stig?

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @Drzhivago138

          Someone with wet and dirty suitcases?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Dave you might not believe this, but it used to say that on the window sticker.

        http://r33i.imgup.net/Chevysticke1af.JPG

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Thats funny, because the loggers I know will buy a fully loaded truck and not think twice about bailing off into a mud hole or blazing a trail through thick under brush. My uncle (may he rest in peace) made himself a millionaire with his logging operation. He usually had GMC trucks, mostly Z-71 models. His last one he bought was an 03 GMC, the only option it didnt have was leather. He preffered leather usually because its easier to clean.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    I remember these trucks. Perfect for the guy who likes to leave a single line of rubber down the road.

  • avatar
    itsgotahemi

    Nowadays, you have to shop hard to buy a new truck without 350+ horses under the hood, so the performance of the limited-edition truck isn’t so alluring anymore.

    Here is 395 horsepower Brand New for $23 K
    http://www.chieflandchryslerdodgejeep.com/new/Ram/2016-Ram-1500-chiefland-gainesville-85c7b2f40a0e0adf6d5aa30cea1bea8f.htm

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The beauty of these goes way beyond the raw hp numbers. Power comes on instantly with that unmistakable compressor whine. Worth if for that alone. Plus the sports suspension.

      Far from a dressed up basic pickup and a V8.

      It’s a collectible, fun classic, if you’re into that kind of stuff.

      Except these are easily tuned 500+ lbs/ft of torque, at the wheels! Pulley/tune/CAI. All forged internal btw.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Chris, FWIW, I test drove one of these new, when I was considering ordering the H/D version, just to get a feel for the powertrain.

    That part of the truck was astounding. Numbers do not do the torque feel justice.

    But the road noise was crazy. Just crazy.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    my personal theory is that the cars with the worst switch wear are driven by dirty smokers who never clean their cars.

    nicotinic acid left on hands and fingers of people that never wipe the switchgear off, because i guess car washes wont do that- they just spray your tires with armor-all and swab windows down?

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