Ford Special Vehicle Team, or SVT for short, is a name synonymous with top-tier performance vehicles. The SVT skunk works became famous for developing some of Ford's most iconic speed machines, including the Mustang Cobra, F-150 Raptor, and world-class Ford GT supercar. Long before the Raptor, SVT made its first foray into the truck market with the F-150 Lightning. Brent Marks, a 25-year-old yacht captain and Aftermath club member from Coral Springs, Florida, had previously built Ford Rangers, but after taking one look at the second-generation Lightning, he knew it would make an ideal project truck platform. However, unlike most modified Lightnings, Brent had more than just performance in mind for his new truck. This SVT had to be slammed.

Before beginning chassis and suspension modifications, Brent began by popping the Lightning's hood and examining SVT's handiwork. Even in stock form, this truck packs a formidable 360 hp thanks to its 5.4L V-8 and Eaton supercharger, but this simply wasn't enough for Brent. He brought the truck to Mad Mods in Pompano Beach, Florida, where his long journey into modification would start. The factory blower was removed, ported and polished, and reinstalled with a new pulley that upped boost to 14 psi. To help the blower breathe, a short ram intake and Dynatech stainless long-tube headers and exhaust were installed. Showing the potential of the motor, even these relatively minor mods brought power output up to 430 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. In order to put this power to the wheels, the Lightning sports a beefy 4R100 transmission from a Super Duty, and Mad Mods further strengthened the setup by reinforcing it with a custom-built crossmember. Visual improvements were also made by adding billet valve covers and by polishing, relocating, and deleting as many unattractive components as possible.

Satisfied with the engine bay, Brent wanted to differentiate his Lightning with its ride height, so he brought it to the experts at Wicked Customs in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There, a bridge notch was added to the frame, and the rear suspension was replaced with a KP Components cantilevered six-link setup and Slam Specialties RE-7 airbags with ½-inch GC 350 valves. To stabilize the handling, a Dallas Hot Rod Parts Watt's link was installed as well. Up front, DJM upper control arms were mounted in raised Ekstensive brackets, and the factory lower control arms were custom-plated to match. Also, flipped Chevy C10 ball joints were used alongside flipped tie rods. Slam Specialties RE-6 airbags with ½-inch GC 350 valves complete the front drop. After mounting a set of 22x10-inch Boyd Coddington Fury wheels and 265/35R22 Falken tires, this SVT's stance was unlike any other.

Moving the truck back to the Mad Mods shop, Brent needed some extreme bodywork to match the rest of his upgrades. The techs began by adding a few aftermarket touches like a billet grille, suicide door kit, Fibernetics tonneau cover, and one-off Street Scene rear bumper, and then they customized nearly everything else. Virtually every panel was shaved or smoothed, including the hood, doors, roof, tailgate, and even the rear window surround. Other pieces, such as the side steps, bedrails, custom roll pan, and new Street Scene mirrors were molded into the surrounding panels for a seamless look. The new smooth body was stripped and painted by Mad Mods' in-house airbrush artist, Art by Marc. The top half of the Lightning is a vibrant Toyota Spruce Mica, and the bottom half is a more subdued Lexus Desert Sage Metallic, with the two split by detailed chrome and woodgrain stripes.

Finally, the interior and audio system received equally obsessive attention to detail. At Junior's Upholstery in Deerfield Beach, Florida, the dash was smoothed and painted tan with a custom fiberglass gauge pod keeping track of engine temperature and voltage. The door panels were custom molded and wrapped in tan leather alongside tan carpet and a tan suede headliner. Further setting apart the look, tough yet luxurious rawhide saddle leather was applied to the door inserts and custom-made bench seat. The truck's sound system was built by Dwayne Blackwood, also of Deerfield Beach, and consists of a Kenwood KIV 700 head unit wired to a full array of JL Audio components. A JL 300/4v2 amp powers four JL 6½-inch speakers, one in each custom kick panel and one molded into each door. Bass frequencies pass through a JL 500/1v2 amp and into two JL 12w3v3 subwoofers in the custom fiberglass panel behind the seats. To prevent careless drivers from damaging this rolling work of art, Brent also had a Nathan P3 train horn kit installed.

Brent's SVT Lightning is a truck that makes no compromises. Not only does it improve upon the already impressive stock performance, it also features a slammed stance, sleek custom paint, and a refined interior that not many Lightnings can top. This combination of speed and style has not gone unnoticed, handily winning the truck First Place Wild at Slamfest. Although the engineers and designers at SVT may not have envisioned such an extreme transformation, they would certainly appreciate this impressively unconventional Lightning. Brent would like to thank everyone involved in the build, including Bobby and the guys at Mad Mods, Dwayne Blackwood and Seth Greenberg of All Around Customs, Tom at Billet & Acrylic, his best friend Doogie, and his fellow Aftermath members for inspiring him. He also wants to give a huge thank you to his parents for accepting his obsession and allowing him to store parts in their garage.


Inside the Build

Year Make Model: 2000 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning
Owner and City/State: Brent Marks • Coral Springs, Florida

Engine:
Type: 5.4L SVT V-8
Induction: Ported & polished Eaton supercharger at 14 psi
Exhaust: Dynatech
Output: 430 hp, 480 lb-ft of torque

Drivetrain:
Transmission: 4R100 four-speed automatic with custom-fabricated crossmember
Rearend: 3.55 gears

Chassis:
Front suspension: DJM upper control arms with Ekstensive raised brackets, flipped tie rods, flipped Chevy C10 ball joints, Slam Specialties RE-6 airbags with ½-inch GC 350 valves
Rear suspension: Slam Specialties RE-7 airbags with ½-inch GC 350 valves, KP Components six-link with cantilever, Dallas Hotrod Parts Watt's link

Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: Boyd Coddington Fury 22x10
Tires: Falken ZIEX S/TZ-04 265/35R22

  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • View Full Article