Ford F-150 NASCAR Edition

Car of the Day #136: 1998 Ford F-150 NASCAR Edition – Peak Ford truck?

Ford F-150 NASCAR Edition
Ford F-150 NASCAR Edition • via Ford

My friend Shane used to have a "jellybean" Ford F-150, and I’ve spent plenty of time in one. To me, it’s one of the most attractive generations of Ford’s ubiquitous truck.

Years ago, probably 15 of them, I was saying to Shane that my favourite look for a truck would be a modern engine in a regular cab, short box, jellybean F-150…lowered, of course, on black steel wheels. (C'mon, as much as we all fantasize about flinging a Gordini around Col de Turini, I'm sure we all hold secret crushes on more mundane vehicles…)

“Someone should just make a truck that looks like a NASCAR race truck,” I said.

“Ford did it. The NASCAR Edition F-150,” he replied.

“What do you mean, 'NASCAR Edition’?!”

“Black, lowered, steel wheels…1997 or 1998, I think…?”

And he's right. How did it slip past my radar? Was the 1998-only F-150 special edition overshadowed by its more powerful and better-handling big brother, the Lightning? Well, not likely—it was made in only a few thousand units, came sandard with a silly decal package, and was sold mostly in southern U.S. states. Back in 1998, this was built to commemorate both Ford's role as the official truck of that stock car series, as well as the NASCAR series' 50th anniversary. 

But it's pretty great look, right? Right?!