Old pickup trucks are cool. Modern technology makes them better. At least that is the message sent out by the Sweet Brothers Restomods. They craftily combined a 1979 Ford F-150 pickup truck and a 2014 Ford Raptor to prove their point. So, in essence, a 1979 Ford Raptor does exist, sort of.
The age-old question
The age-old automotive question is, are classic cars better, or are the newer cars better? That question has sparked debates for what seems like forever. The truth is, however, that they are both good, but for different reasons. Classic car designs spark nostalgia and make people good. Newer vehicles have more technology and improved reliability. This conundrum is what the Sweet Brothers addressed with their newest creation.
The 1979 Ford F-150 pickup truck
Old pickup trucks from the 1970s-1990s have seen a resurgence as of late. Many people are buying them and restoring them, which is driving their values up. For example, a 1979 Ford F-150 is a truck whose value in “Fair” condition has doubled in the last three years, according to the Haggerty valuation tool. But, not everybody wants to restore them. Many people want a newer powerplant and do engine swaps.
The Sweet Brothers Restomods went in a different direction. In a nod of respect to the older design, they took the body off an old 1979 Ford F-150 and transplanted on something newer, something more powerful, something tested and tried. The old body went on over a 2014 Ford Raptor chassis and mechanicals.
It took a lot of gentle persuasion to accomplish the swap. The engine, transmission, and even the interior of the underlying Raptor were retained in the project. But, the cab of the old pickup had to be stretched four inches in order for everything to fit right. It is a stretch that only a trained eye can catch. Yet, the room is noticeable inside, for which taller people are grateful for.
The pickup truck walk around
A walk around the completed pickup truck reveals that much of the modern Ford Raptor still exists. Not only were the heated and cooled leather-covered seats transferred, but so was navigation, back-up camera, satellite radio, cipher lock on the door, and the key lock for the spare tire. Even the front camera from the Raptor was retained for rock crawling duties.
As a treat, the Ford Raptor’s engine is upgraded. The factory 6.2-liter V8 in the pickup now has a Roush Stage Two upgrade. The tweak gives means that the powerplant has 590 horsepower. The engine modification means that the truck is a bit squirrely. It has so much power that it is hard to keep the vehicle planted on the road.
Overall, the execution of the project appears excellent. The incorporation of the newer Ford Raptor mechanicals with the old pickup body seems flawless. The only thing that stands out is that there are some mild fender flared added to the four corners. But, those only lend themselves to the vehicle’s rugged good looks and off-road capabilities.
The Ford Raptor was not around in 1979. However, this modernized 1979 Ford F-150 Raptor does exist. Rest assured that no pickup truck from 1979 will likely ever prove to be as capable as this one with the Raptor DNA. The truck is for sale. No indication is available of how many will be made. Any interested parties will need to reach out to Sweet Brothers Restomods for pricing information.