By Dave Turner
“Consider the Ante Upped” – F150 2004-2008
Photographs and illustrations of some of the models discussed can be found at the end of the article.
This was the eleventh generation of F150, and as such it was moving a little closer in appearance to its big brother the ‘Super Duty’ F250/350 and this was with the intention of giving the F150 a bit more of a rugged character. The nose was a little more ‘thrusting’, the box a couple of inches deeper and the cabs 6” longer. The previous generation of F150 (1997-2003) was covered in MAR 231/2/3 in 2009.
Completely re-engineered the 2004 F150 was 50% stiffer than before with uprated suspension and brakes while more effort was put into rust resistance in the materials and protection. It was voted Truck of the Year by Motor Trend magazine.
As with most US vehicles in this period there was such a vast choice of models, layouts and fittings that hardly any two F150s could be identical, despite them being the best selling vehicle in the US for many years. For example there were three types of cab – the Regular, the Supercab and the Supercrew. All had four doors but the Supercrew rear doors had their own exterior handle and could be opened independently of the front doors. There were three lengths of box 5’6”, 6’6” and 8’ and these came as Styleside or Flareside while there were no less than four wheelbase choices – 126”, 132” 144” and 163”. For 2004 all the engines were V8s – a 4.6 litre and an optional 5.4.
Five models lined up for ’04, starting with the XL then the STX – identified by its colour coded bumpers and featuring more sophisticated in-car entertainment. Next was the XLT with yet more luxurious features, including the option of the Supercrew cab, not available on XL or STX. The FX4 Off Road version came equipped to deal with rough use complete with skid plates to protect the underside. Top of the tree for ’04 was the Lariat with full leather trim and imitation wood panelling.
For 2005 a 4.2 litre in-line six was added to the engine choices while an even more up-market offering came in the form of the King Ranch complete with Castano leather trim and the Triton 5.4 300hp V8 as standard. Total ’05 F Series production was 939,000, a record year for the series.
A further special edition came for the 2006 year, the Harley Davidson, with 22” wheels and a ‘tuned exhaust’ – no doubt to satisfy the motor cycle senses, while 2007 saw the arrival of the FX2 Sports Special Equipment package.
For 2008, the 60th Anniversary of the Ford F series, a special 60th Anniversary Edition was produced while the XL and STX were finally available with the Supercrew cab. The Harley Davidson version became the 105th Anniversary model while yet another lavishly equipped truck came as the Limited – just 5,000 of which were produced.
As is often the case, the vast majority of the models depict the first year of the series, no doubt all produced during the real vehicles production. This was approaching the end of a period during which some superb 1:18 models were affordable, more recently their detail has been cut back in order to make them viable. However a close look at the Beanstalk ’04 FX4 illustrates the point, everything opens neatly, interior detail is stunning while beneath the hood and the underside lacks very little. If the FX4 skid plates had been included all the running gear detail would have been obscured.
There are of course several smaller F150s at the budget end of the spectrum such as the 1:31 FX4 from Showcast and the 1:24 ’04 Supercab from Superior/Sunnyside. Maisto did a 1:18 ’06 Lariat plus a smaller 1:24 FX4, both in Supercab form while for the kids to play with they also did a 1:48 XL with regular cab, the pull-back motor on the rear axle forcing the box floor to be very high. The base is marked 1:50.
Smaller toys came from Ertl, Matchbox and the inevitable unidentified item from China. The latter is a quite acceptable Styleside Supercab with the usual whizzwheels, possibly derived from the Ertl while the Matchbox depicts a concept SVT Lightning with Flareside box, at least the real thing did exist.
Model Listing – Ford F150 2004-2008.
|Beanstalk||China||10027||2004||FX4 Supercab Flareside 6’6” box||321mm||1:18||diecast|
|Maisto||China||31248||2004||FX4 Supercab Flareside||1:31||diecast|
|Maisto||China||2004||XL Regular cab Styleside 6”6”box||113mm||1:47||diecast|
|Maisto||China||36128||2006||Lariat Supercab Styleside||1:18||diecast|
|Matchbox||China||663||2004||SVT Lightning concept regular cab Flareside 6’6”||75mm||1:72||diecast|
|Showcast||34248||2004||FX4 Supercab Flareside||188mm||1:31||diecast|
|Unknown||China||L9844||2004||Supercab Styleside 5’6”box||74mm||1:73||diecast|
Illustrations: Ford F150 2004-2008.
Beanstalk 1:18 diecast from China: 10027, 2004 FX4 Supercab with Flareside box.
Maisto 1:31 diecast from China: 31248, 2004 FX4 Supercab with Flareside box.
Maisto 1:18 diecast from China: 36128, 2006 Lariat Supercab with Styleside box.
Matchbox 1:72 diecast from China: 663, 2004 SVT Lightning concept Regular cab and Flareside box.
Superior 1:14 diecast: 9607D, 2004 Supercab with Flareside box.
Unknown 1:73 diecast from China: L9844: 2004 Supercab with Styleside box.
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