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Turning modern trucks into vintage versions of their older self is a risky endeavor. We all want the impeccable styling of vintage automotive design with the modern reliability and comfort of new vehicles. It’s a nearly universal desire. However, it rarely works. There is something in the natural order of our world that prohibits it. Once in a blue moon, it works, but it takes incredible taste and skill to pull it off. This Ford F-150 Lightning vintage glow-up seems devoid of both of those key ingredients. It looks, somehow, less like a vintage Ford F-150 than it looks like a modern one. 

The Ford F-150 Lightning is driving through a city. Electric pickup trucks have some distinct advantages over ICE trucks.
2023 Ford F-150 Lightning | Ford

What happened to this custom Ford F-150 Lightning? 

While the desire to make a vintage-inspired modern truck is mighty tough to resist, it’s efforts like this that prove why we should. Let me be clear; it’s not that the truck is that bad; the problem is, it’s almost good, but just doesn’t exactly work. 

The Drive reports that a Ford dealership in Wacaunda, Illinois, completely redecorated the exterior of a new Ford F-150 Lightning. The custom work features a vintage Ford F-150 paint job of two-tone red and white. They even matched the interior with red quilted leather. 

The other hard-to-miss custom work they added was a pile of chrome accents that can probably be seen clearly from space. They covered this truck with chrome like it was a blanket; everything from the mirror caps to the door handles, badging, and even Lightning script on the fenders got hit with the shiny stuff. 

Who wants this “vintage” Ford Lightning? 

The Drive wonders aloud about who this might be for. It’s a good question. If the Boomer generation is least likely to buy an EV, according to The Zebra, why would they dress an EV to look like the trucks this demographic grew up with? Maybe they thought it could trick ‘em? 

On some hand, the work was done thoroughly enough to warrant some level of respect. On some other hand, none of it really works. The giant red grille is a complete departure from the vintage attempt. It completely pulls you out of the effort. Not to mention, you can paint a cat with giraffe spots, but that won’t make it look like one. This truck just clearly looks like a Ford F-150 Lightning with an ill-fitting retro paint design. The problem here is some people at Ford worked hard to make that paint design work for the body of the truck it was designed for. The Ford Lightning ain’t that truck. Not one design element is even similar to the vintage Ford F-150s of the ‘60s and ‘70s. 

Just buy an old truck 

Ford F-150 Lightning
2023 Ford F-150 Lightning interior | Ford

As we said earlier, the desire to make a new car look like an older car is in many of us. However, most of us, thankfully, resist this urge to trick car fate. This truck is an excellent example of why it so rarely works; the two body styles are just too different, and our brains scream this at us every time we see it. And, in following The Drive’s lead, I’d prefer to keep the number of times I see this truck again to zero if possible.