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2002 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson

     Harley-Davidson motorcycles are about power, style and freedom. So are pickup trucks.
     With that in mind, Ford partnered with Harley-Davidson to create a special edition F-150 pickup that embodies the spirit of the open road. It’s quick, it’s fun, and it’s got lots of chrome — just like anything with the Harley badge should be.
     More than anything else, it’s built for cruising with Steppenwolf cranked up and windows rolled down. It’s not meant for off-road excursions, and it’s definitely not a work truck.
     Instead, it’s all about style and speed.
     Start with 20-inch chrome wheels, which are among the most eye-catching metal on the road. Harley engineers worked for months perfecting their design, and the results are astonishing. Wrapped in low-profile rubber, they’re the flashiest of Harley’s touches that combine to say, “I’m one baaaad truck.”
     Painted flames are an attention-getting tradition on hot rods, but the ones on this F-150 are — dare I say it — tasteful. What starts as a pinstripe near the hood slowly widens and transforms into a dark red series of little flames that emerges near the tailgate. It’s not as flamboyant as the enormous wheels, but it’s a nice touch nonetheless. A big Harley-Davidson logo looks like an award plaque plastered on side panels, and chrome tailpipes and running boards complete the tough-guy look outside.
     Inside, it’s all variations on the leather-and-chrome theme. Comfortable, deep bucket seats are covered in — what else — black leather, and motorcycle influence is seen virtually everywhere. Front and rear center consoles have embossed lids with flames and the ever-present H-D logo, while switches and buttons have a terrific, driver-friendly layout. Little Harley emblems adorn the headrests, as if you couldn¹t notice them elsewhere in the truck.
     Chrome accents are peppered throughout the cabin in places like door handles, a column-mounted shifter and rings around the gauge faces. Overall, it’s a nice cabin that isn’t too showy.
     Just like Harley motorcycles, this Ford offers impressive performance with its good looks. A tire-smoking 340 horsepower comes courtesy of a supercharged 5.4-liter V8, a monster powerplant that replaces last year’s 260-horsepower engine with the same displacement. It’s more power than anybody needs, but it sure is fun.
     Point the Ford down a straight stretch of highway and stomp on the accelerator. You wait for a split second without much response, but then — POW! — the supercharger spools up and plants you in the back of your seat like an amusement park ride. The exhaust note is enchanting as it mimics the “potato-potato” burble of a Harley.
     The suspension is tuned more for performance than hauling ability, and it feels more taut and controllable than other versions of the F-150. It also slightly lowers the whole truck to give it a more aggressive stance.
     All this performance and style costs around $35,000, making it the most expensive of Ford’s F-150 trucks. But, if you like Harley style and jaw-dropping performance in a truck, it’s worth every penny. No other truck was born to be this wild.

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