Strong and sleek. That's the impression you get from looking at Chip Foose's sketches of concept cars. This Hot Rod Hall-of-Famer has been drawing and designing the automobile's past and future for 22 years, and has been tinkering with cars for longer than that. As principal of Foose Design Wheels and Foose Design in Huntington Beach, California, he designs and builds wheels and custom cars for the aftermarket, designs for automakers, and even dreams up concepts for Hot Wheels.

For his latest project, Foose teamed up with Ford on the '04 F-150 Foose Design Black, building it as a promotional vehicle for both companies. Rather than settle for the usual slam-dunked American sport truck concept, Foose wanted to build a lowered 4x4 that has a Euro-style and an all-wheel-drive look. He achieved that. Call it an immaculate conception in the artistic da Vinci-style. This truck is so clean and classy it must be the sheetmetal progeny of pencil-on-paper fully formed.

The Black's exterior looks like night, trimmed with day. A factory black paintjob drinks in sunlight through the glossy coating. Contrasting with this is the hand-shaped and chromed brass side moldings circling the truck's glossy black body, giving the illusion of a line of light. Foose Design's very own 22x10-inch Speedster wheels gleam like diamonds.

The Speedsters are wrapped with P255/45R22 BFGoodrich rubber, sporting a new tread design. There is no mistaking this is a Ford, which should make the marketing staff at the automaker very happy. The company's characteristic blue shield emblazons the front and rear of the truck, and tailgate badges flash F-150 from the front fenders. Winner Circle Show Detail handled the overall detailing for the truck.

One-off rockers match the panel below the front bumper, which, along with the lifted front bumper and Foose Design's rear bumper, narrowed by 2 inches, lends some taper to the chunky F-150 body. Plus, the front bumper lift eliminates the body gap, smoothing the lines even more. The replated bumpers and grille fill the truck with more chrome.

Foose Design flipped the tailgate handle to the bed side of the truck, cleaning up the gate and emphasizing the truck's sleek look. Mitch Lanzini of Lanzini Auto Body in Huntington Beach, California, repainted the tailgate to match the rest of the vehicle. A tonneau and Ford Accessories bed rug protect the bed. Foose Design wrapped the same black leather from the interior inserts around the aluminum tonneau, and mounted it on '81-'91 Camaro hood hinges.

A 4- and 6-inch front and back suspension drop, made possible with Eibach suspension mods, gives the F-150 a subtle forward lean. Baer brakes with six-piston Alcon race calipers would probably stop Black on the leading edge of a dime. That's nice to know, considering that the 5.4L Triton engine was upgraded with a Whipple supercharger. Outflow is handled by a Borla T-304 stainless steel Cat-Back exhaust system.

The inside of the truck looks great. Black leather inserts from Prestige Products and black floor mats from Ford Accessories contrast against the predominately creamy tan interior. A Ford Accessories overhead console stores a first aid kit and flashlights. Don't forget that this is a four-door, which means that passengers will likely be riding in the back seats, and they will need something better to do on long hauls besides staring at the back of the driver's head. The solution comes from Prestige Products.

The company installed a DVD player and a Nintendo Game Boy system that blasts video carnage through a flip-down, 13-inch monitor that dangles from the ceiling, and two 7-inch versions mounted in the front headrests. Wireless headphones allow passengers to keep the mayhem to themselves.