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Remember the pickup truck in The Fast and the Furious? I’m talking about the OG movie, with the red shop truck that was driven into a gigantic Los Angeles curb by Brian Earl Spilner, played by Paul Walker (RIP), outside The Racer’s Edge. That’s right, the F-150 Lightning, the object of many muscle truck fans’ desire in the early aughts, and hell, it still is. I’d certainly own and mob one! We tried to resurrect it with a cute tweet a few weeks ago, but Hoonigan is actually building a real shop truck tribute that’s pretty sweet.

You know, this one:

Hoonigan’s Ford Lightning Project Tributes Two Fast and Furious Cars in One Build
Image: The Fast And The Furious screenshot

The good people over at YouTube channel/lifestyle brand Hoonigan have teamed up with Cody Walker to create one of the most badass movie tribute cars, ever: a 2JZ-swapped Ford F-150.

In 2021, “Ford Lightning” refers to the blue oval’s electric-powered pickup. But in 1999, this was a rear-drive V8-powered street truck with clear taillights and a cool zap on the fender emblem.

If the header image there doesn’t give it away, Hoonigan’s truck is actually not a real Lightning. Just a single cab, short bed, step-side 150, with what looks like a modular V8 under the hood? Maybe? Anyway, they gave it one last hurrah by letting Cody Walker kill the rear tires up against a wall before starting the transformation.

The Hoonigan crew then wasted no time; in one video they discuss the plan, do hijinks, pull the old motor, get a 2JZ engine ready, prepare to add Lightning body kit stuff, put the powerhouse Toyota motor in it to figure out how to mount it, and start building engine mounts. They’ve got a whole mess of aftermarket parts to ensure the 2J runs reliably and cool, too.

I’m not going to lie, I’m the most excited about this project since Brian Scotto (co-founder of Hoonigan) Cummins R2.8-swapped his Disco 1. By the way, whatever happened to that one?

For those of you who are true dorks, or just happen to have seen the original F&F recently, you’ll remember that the 2JZ engine is also a minor character in the movie. When Walker’s character rolls up to Toretto’s garage with a wrecked Supra that would become the hero car, he’s proud of the fact that it has a “2JZ, no shit” under the hood. That engine (and car), of course, were and remain huge players in tuner culture.

This truck is an especially cool project; in my opinion, it’s one of the best possible tributes to the original Fast film. What better way to play out some car nerdery, while also doing the film’s legacy proud, by putting a hero engine in an unsung, but actually pretty-unknown hero. If I worked on that film back in the day, I would’ve given the Lightning more screen time for sure.

Check out the next video where they go more in-depth with getting the 2J all setup in the pickup’s engine bay!

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