Earl Moorehead loved the look of the Ford F-150 and set out to his local Ford dealership in search of a Blue Oval. After buying a bone-stock F-150, Earl was disappointed with the performance, so back to the dealer he went. This time Earl spotted what he was looking for-a black SVT Ford Lightning with a supercharged Triton V-8 beneath the hood. At the time, Earl was unaware that testdrives of the Lightning were not readily available to the average Joe. The salesman at the dealership could smell a sale, though, and gave the thumbs-up, allowing Earl to take the Lightning around the block for a testdrive. It only took getting sideways in First gear to convince Earl of the Lightning's might. After some negotiations, Earl was the proud owner of one of Ford's factory performance vehicles.

As the owner of Earl's Automotive, in San Fernando, California, it was natural to install some performance upgrades into the virgin pickup. First on the list was a Bassani after-cat system, which sounded cool but still didn't have the neck-breaking torque that Earl was looking for. Can you spell NOS? Earl can, and he can install it, too. With a PN 5115 Dry kit and a Super Chips Flip Chip, the SVT supercharger was soon cranking out 8 pounds of boost. After a trip to the dyno, the Ford was hitting an impressive 633 hp. With the factory performance package tweaked to perfection, Earl turned his attention to the cosmetic portion of the build. The factory black paint looked great but just didn't have the curb appeal that Earl was looking for. Vince, of Doug's Custom Paint, was responsible for the eye-catching silver and blue flames that quickly adorned the front of this SVT. After the paint was dry and buffed to a mirror finish, Earl said he was getting more thumbs of approval from pedestrians and fellow gearheads alike, every time he cruised the boulevard.

Earl has been a Ford fan for as long as he can remember. He told us that he enjoyed building small-block Fords because huge amounts of horsepower can be generated with some expert machine work and performance parts. After Earl did almost everything he wanted to do mechanically and cosmetically to the Lightning, he knew it was time to sell it. Actually, he saw the new Ford Cobra and had to have it. The Lightning was sold, and an empty spot in the garage was soon to be filled. As it has been said, "He who dies with the most toys wins," and Earl is fast on his way.

The 411

Owner/hometown: Earl Moorehead / San Fernando, California

Year/make/model: '01 Ford F-150 Lightning

Engine/drivetrain: 5.4L Triton V-8 / automatic tranny / NOS dry nitrous-oxide kit / Bassani exhaust / Superchips Flip Chip

Wheels/ tires: Factory 18x9.5-inch Lightning brand / Goodyear 275/50R18

Suspension: (Front) stock with Koni shocks / Metco traction flipbar to prevent wheelhop under acceleration

Fabricator: Earl Moorehead

Paintwork: Custom Silver and Blue flames done by Doug's Custom Paint

Audio/video: Alpine head unit with 5-inch flip-down monitor / two-channel JL Audio 1,000-watt amp / five-channel 500-watt JL amp / two 12-inch W-6 JL Audio subs and four Focal midrange/tweeter combos

Installer: Earl Moorehead