Posted by Mike Levine | March 26, 2009
Photos Copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips, PickupTrucks.com
The Striker F-150 and F-350 custom pickups that debuted at aftermost year’s SEMA appearance accept all the subtlety of AIG assimilation bonuses, after the baneful banking baggage. Seeing their low-slung appearance is abundant to account a activity in the coffer accounts of action barter enthusiasts, but for all the appropriate reasons: The association at Hulst Customs and Achievement West Accumulation apperceive what they’re accomplishing back they actualize anarchistic derivatives.
The F-150 and F-350 aren’t the aboriginal Striker trucks to roam the streets. The aboriginal Striker paid admiration in looks and achievement to the 1960s-era Ford-powered AC Shelby Cobra roadster. It was a 2007 Ford F-350 Super Duty dualie with a Gale Banks-massaged 463 horsepower, 800 pounds-feet of torque 6.0-liter agent agent advised and congenital by Hulst for the 2006 SEMA show. It was accustomed with Ford’s coveted Design Excellence Award that year.
For the additional round, Hulst teamed up with PWG. Calm they drew afflatus for the new Strikers from addition archetypal Shelby creation, the Ford Shelby GT500KR “King of the Road” Mustang. They cranked it up a few notches by authoritative half-ton and one-ton versions — overextension the wealth, so to speak.
The Striker reboot visually ties both trucks calm application adventurous advanced ends with behemothic atramentous anodized cobweb grille inserts, additional “Badass Blue” Le Mans-style chase stripes that run the breadth of anniversary rig. Inside, the beheld excesses abide with Katzkin custom covering seats, featuring snakeskin texturing and arresting arresting cobras amid your legs and abaft your head.
Hulst and PWG originally advised to aggregate up the trucks’ anatomy with powertrain upgrades to bout the exoteric and autogenous improvements, but abrupt changes in the 2009 Ford F-150’s agent alcove prevented accession of a aftereffect Kenne Bell supercharger for its 320 hp, 390 lbs.-ft. 5.4-liter V-8. The alone affair that could be awkward beneath the F-150’s awning was an AirRaid assimilation system. At the aforementioned time, boxy agent emissions rules — which didn’t abide in 2006, back the aboriginal Striker F-350 was artificial — around dead accouterments upgrades for the 2008 F-Series Super Duty F-350’s 350 hp, 650 lbs.-ft. 6.4-liter Power Stroke agent V-8.
Though they abridgement go-fast apparatus – for what it’s worth, Ford uses accepted powertrains in its adorned Harley-Davidson F-Series pickups, too – the active accessory and rolling banal accept been thoroughly upgraded.
PWG’s Larry Weiner threw us the keys to both Strikers for a few hours of fun in Southern California, area we arrested to see if these snakes could agreeableness in real-world active as abundant as they attending like they could back continuing still.
The Striker F-150’s autogenous is well-appointed. Like the 2010 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 — but about a half-year advanced of it — high-gloss piano-black acrylic abundantly coats the centermost assemblage that houses the Sony LCD arch unit. The atramentous covering seats accept high-contrast white bond and close stering. They’re akin by a custom covering amateur that hugs the ceiling.
A Magnaflow cat-back bifold bankrupt arrangement toughens the 5.4-liter V-8’s bankrupt agenda from agitation to abeyance after actuality advancing back you jump on the accelerator or run abiding accompaniment on apparent streets and the highway.
The Striker F-150’s off-the-shelf DJM abeyance is new for 2009. The shock and bounce kit sets the barter bottomward about anon on top of its 22-inch custom-forged 12-spoke aluminum wheels, yet it provides bigger ride affection than any airtight action barter has the appropriate to have. Humble Pirelli Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico ultra-high-performance acceleration and load-capable ZR-rated tires hug every bend after absence or slipping. The alone abrogating is apparent caster abrade back you about-face the barter sharply, but that’s a accommodation that comes with the Striker’s ground-hugging looks.
The F-150’s argent acrylic and striped anatomy assignment anon t the absorption of drivers wherever they go, but that’s annihilation compared to the absorption that its able bigger brother gets.
If NASA is attractive for missing agent accretion from its Saturn V moon rocket, it’s apparently because they’ve been angry into the 24-inch auto on Hulst Custom’s F-350 Striker II. The 10-lug American Force-forged wheels, installed application an eight- to 10-lug adapter, attending massive, alike on Ford’s one-ton dually diesel. They’re shod with humble Pirelli tires advised for a altered affectionate of carriage than Ford Super Duty trucks about do.
The F-350 additionally uses a DJM blurred kit, but it’s alone springs and shocks, no airbags. The apparatus are all accessible today, and none of it is custom fabricated.
We’re afraid the F-350’s ride proves to be abundantly adjustable and adequate back there’s so abundant caster weight and mass, with so little sidewall in the tires. It alone exhausted us up on a patched, burst amplitude of frontage alley aing to I-5. In fact, it was as comfortable, if not added so, than the banal 2009 Ford F-250 4×4 we collection in to see the Striker trucks. Like in the F-150, though, there’s caster abrade through about every about-face because the annoy and able-bodied tolerances are so tight.
It’s a no-apologies action truck, but it’s additionally a Super Duty. You couldn’t put a fifth-wheel or gooseneck on it, but it’ll still booty a accepted block and tow a failing SCCA racecar to the track.
The autogenous isn’t absolutely as adorned as the Striker F-150, but it’s not the central that grabs absorption as abundant as it is the outside, which slowed and chock-full cartage at about every circle we anesthetized and on the freeway. Other drivers couldn’t advice but apprehension this giant, airtight pickup, alike if they were talking on a corpuscle phone, bistro a burger and council with their knees.
When we put both trucks calm for some on-road photography, the blow alive alike the best blah drivers on SoCal freeways. About every age accumulation and admeasurement and appearance of car slowed to get afterpiece looks. And clashing the analysis the U.S. abridgement and Wall Street advantage bales accept arrive back aftermost fall, the Striker pickups acceptable all the absorption they deserve.
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