Rare Rides: A 1991 Ford F-150, Pace Truck and PPG

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

In what is assuredly the most Nineties looking Rare Ride to date, today’s Ford F-150 wears its decade loud and proud. Let’s find out more about this one-off pace car.

This series has ventured into pace cars before, with an Oldsmobile Bravada and Cadillac Allante, both of which served at the Indianapolis 500. The pace vehicle we have here did its job at the PPG IndyCar World Series.

The truck started off as an eighth generation F-150, the one produced for model years 1987 to 1991. The front end wears cues from a ninth-gen model, which went on sale around the time the pace truck was first used. Understandably, the special pace car was built to look more like the new F-150 than the one on its death bed.

In charge of the special build were Jack Roush and McLaren Performance Technologies. They called this truck the Boss Sport, and went all-out with their customization. First to go was the standard engine, replaced by a 500-horsepower Roush-tuned 5.0. The single exhaust was reworked into a dual system, with some special mufflers to turn up the volume. Shifting all those horses was a race-prepped four-speed automatic. Part of the performance improvement included brakes: four water-cooled discs to be more specific. Wheels were custom, and provided by AZE. Unique to the singular pace truck were the side body panels, bumpers, headlamps, grille, and the hood. At the back a tonneau cover had cutouts for the two jump seats added to the bed, BRAT style.

The truck is also a four-door, as the bed has doors either side for the rear passengers which contain integrated steps. It looks as though closing the rear side doors is a two-person affair. Between the cabin and bed is an integrated, arching roll bar to protect the scalps of those rear passengers in a rollover event. Other niceties include some strobe lights, a roof light bar, and a fire suppression system for track usage. The rear license plate flips down, should the truck’s plate need shown to police.

The inside is decidedly more luxurious than the F-150 in those days, with nicely bolstered leather buckets borrowed from a Taurus SHO. Door panels were also recovered, and a poorly finished center console added. Purple and blue trim match the exterior, and remind those up front they’re not in a regular work truck.

PPG debuted the pace truck for races in 1991, when it was actually painted white, red, and purple. After 1992, they ran the truck for the ’93 and ’94 seasons with the current purple, yellow, and green scheme before it was retired.

The estimated build cost circa 1991 was $250,000, which makes the pace truck’s current ask of $31,995 seem like a complete bargain.

[Images: seller]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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  • Blueice Patient 28, sorry, but it is Oktoberfest. Bring a kegof Kraut beer and we will 50% you.
  • Bd2 Probably Toyota, Hyundai is killing them these days.
  • Bd2 Japan is evil, stop buying their vehicles. I hope TTAC has a holiday for PEARL HARBOR.
  • Wolfwagen If Isuzu could update this truck and keep the cost between $25K - $30K they would sell like ice pops on dollar day in a heat wave.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic I'm at that the inflection point of do I continue to putting money in a 12 yr old SUV entering a heavy maintenance cycle or start shopping.I have noticed comparable new SUVs with $2.5k knocked off the sticker price, but still with the shenanigans of $300 for nitrogen in the tires. However, I have noticed the same 2 yr old SUV which are only $4.5K less than the original sticker price. Usually the used cars price should be 35% to 40% less. This tells me there's a stronger market for used as opposed to new. Part of this is to handle the monthly note. Considering installments of 72 months, you'll never pay the beast off. Just wait till the end of the model year which is just two months away, and I think the comparable new SUV will come with larger markdowns. May not be the color you want, but there are deals to be made. 🚗🚗🚗
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