Most enthusiasts contemplating a Ford Lightning purchase do so with the intent that it will give them lots of performance and driving pleasure. However, being an enthusiast also dictates originality, and although the Lightning is impressive in itself, Bob Gabeline of Morning Sun, Iowa, managed to perform some radical modifications to his ’99 model. The most obvious is the chopped top, from which Bob removed 37/8 inches. The door and roof were also sectioned to give the truck the proper proportions. In doing so, the windshield and door glass also had to be shortened. The factory rear window also had to be replaced with a single-piece glass, and lots of work went into remolding the third brake light back into the top of the cab. Once this was completed, Bob managed to prep and paint the body back to its original black finish.

Aside from the chopped top, Bob also lowered the truck by removing the factory springs and adding a set of airbags both front and rear. This allowed him to raise and lower the truck at will, giving it an extremely low stance. The factory SVT aluminum wheels were also upgraded to a set of Colorado Custom 18x9½ billet wheels that are mounted with a set of Goodyear Eagle 295/45R18 tires.

To improve upon the appearance even further, Bob also added purple “lightning” graphics that also set the truck apart from the rest of its brethren. A set of Street Scene sport mirrors replaced the large factory side mirrors, and a set of Trenz billet grille inserts was installed on both the grille and bumper openings. A set of V-Tech headlight covers is the final touch to making this Lightning look extremely unique.

The rear of the truck remains relatively stock with the exception of a color-matched tonneau cover from Gaylords. The factory supercharged 5.4L V-8 was left alone since it provides plenty of horsepower to motivate the truck to low, 13-second quarter-mile times. Fanatic Lightning fans may be wondering why someone would chop a perfectly good truck, but in Bob’s defense, we’ll say the lure of having a custom truck may often be more overwhelming than living by horsepower alone. If you think about it, not only does Bob own one of the fastest production trucks ever made, he also owns a unique one.