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We’re living in a golden age of trucks now with the new Ford F-150 Raptor R and the Ram TRX pushing 700 (or more) horsepower and doing Ferrari-fast 0-60 launches. Ford launched the supertruck trend in 2009 when it brought out the first-generation Raptor truck with a trick Baja 1000-ready suspension and a big V8. It was an immediate hit and raised the bar for other truck makers to make their last, best gas-powered super trucks. But just because it’s special, does that mean a Raptor is a good investment?

What makes a car or truck collectible?

A red Ford Big Raptor truck.
Ford F-150 Raptor | Ford Media Center

Lots of folks will tell you the Raptor is the last, great, big, fast, gas-powered truck. Sure, it probably is. But there are several factors that go into making a truck investment worthy. How old is it? How rare is it? How unique is it? How beautiful or cool is it?

The Raptor, well, they’re not classic trucks yet, they’re not rare or unique, and considering they’re simply a tarted-up F-150 at their core, it’s hard to say they’re special. Ford has made the truck since 2009, so it’s not a limited edition. However, this truck was designed at the beginning to tackle the Baja 1000 race, and it did, taking a class win in its first time out. It started at trend that others are just now, 13 years later, finally catching on to.

Is a Ford Raptor rare?

2019 Ford F-150 Raptors with Fox Live Vale electronic shocks
2019 Ford F-150 Raptors with Fox Live Vale electronic shocks | Fox

One of the hallmarks of an investment car is its rarity. F-150 Raptor trucks are rarer than other trucks, but not particularly rare. While production numbers are hard to come by, Ford did sell about 13,000 Raptors in 2012 according to TFL Truck, and sales have increased every year. For comparison, Infiniti sold that many QX80 SUVs in 2021, and we don’t consider those SUVs particularly rare or collectible.

So, while it may be low volume, it’s not really rare. Also, one glance at AutoTrader and you’ll see dozens of Raptors for sale across the country right now. Of course most of these are 12-year old trucks. If you’re planning on keeping a Raptor under wraps for 50 years and pulling it out for the 2060 Pebble Beach show, it  will likely be the only one there. But, that’s a long time to sit on a truck.

The V8 version could be the most collectible

When the Raptor came out in 2009, it came with a thirsty, but potent, 5.4-liter V8, or a thirstier and more potent 6.2-liter V8. In 2017 Ford dropped the V8 in the Raptor and instead fitted the more powerful and less thirsty EcoBoost V6. The V8s came as either a 5.4-liter with 310-horsepower or a 6.2-liter that made 411 horsepower and if any Raptor is a classic Raptor, it’s the V8 version. For the kind of driving that most do with a Raptor, ie. desert blasts, the no-lag high power nature of the V8 makes it feel more responsive than the EcoBoost version. It also sounds a lot better.

Of course, one look at used listings, and you’ll see that even these monsters don’t necessarily hold their value well. It’s not hard to find a well-kept first-generation V8 Raptor for about $20,000. Considering these were $60,000 trucks just a few years ago, that stings a wallet. But there aren’t many trucks that can hold their value like that on the used market. Sure, that’s more than a regular F-150, but it’s hard to imagine most of these trucks someday going into the Peterson Museum.

The Raptor may not be investment-worthy, but they’re a hoot to drive

2019 Ford F-150 Raptor with Fox Live Valve electronic shocks
2019 Ford F-150 Raptor with Fox Live Valve electronic shocks | Fox

Sure, it may be cool, but it’s also a pain to own a Raptor. The Raptor is huge, and at 96 inches wide, it’s one of the most difficult vehicles to park. It’s thirsty, with the early V8 versions getting 14 mpg in town. But overall, they don’t lose their value as much as other trucks.

But they’re a hoot to drive, especially in the environment they were meant for, long stretches of desert. That long-travel suspension, in either a first-generation or second-generation version, soaks up even highway potholes with ease. The big motors pull like nobody’s business. Even the interiors are top notch (if a bit dated) on the Raptor. There’s an old saying for collector cars: “Drive ‘em, don’t hide ‘em” and in the Raptor’s case, it couldn’t be truer.


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