Ford Raptor takes flight with one-off creation

Unique customization auctioned off for $300,000 to benefit Young Eagles

Published: July 31, 2017, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 3:09 PM

Ford F-22 F-150 Raptor with fighter jet

Every year, Ford creates a one-off Air Force inspired custom vehicle for auction to benefit the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) Young Eagles program. The year, its an F-150 Raptor inspired by the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jet.

Ford has raised more than $3 million at the annual EAA’s AirVenture gathering in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This year, the Ford F-22 F-150 Raptor fetched $300,000 for the EAA Gathering of Eagles – an event committed to aviation and encouraging youth involvement in flight. The winning bid was submitted by Gary Ackerman (from Gaudin Ford in Las Vegas), who happens to serve as Honourer Commander/Ambassador for the F-22 Squadron at Nell is Airforce Base in Nevada.

“Our long-standing commitment to Young Eagles encourages new talent to enter the world of flight, while highlighting the freedom, power, speed and agility shared by the Ford F-150 Raptor and the F-22 Raptor fighter jet,” said Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager.

Built by DeBerti Design, the pickup borrows some design details from the jet, including the red and green position lights, on the truck’s mirror caps. Other design cues include gloss and matte exterior cues and carbon-fibre fender flares, hood and fender vents.

Other custom items include retractable side steps, a jet style nose on the grille bar, sprayed bedliner, stainless steel cat-back exhaust system with carbon fibre tips,

Cockpit tweaks include jet cues, a 1500-watt sound system.

Functional modifications include the front suspension and rear springs, shocks with adjustable damping, larger wheels, upgraded brakes, a modular roof-mounted light bar for off-roading, and a Whipple-intercooled version of the high-output 3.5-litre twin-turbo V-6, which boosts horsepower to 545 and torque to 660 lb-ft (up from 450 and 510, respectively).

“Few things are as streamlined, as gloriously intimidating as the shape, metallic color and sinister speed a fighter jet represents,” concluded Ford design manager Melvin Betancourt. “The simple, extreme functionality of the cockpit alone proved inspiring, prompting the team to create matte finishes, purposeful gauges, controls for ready proximity and dramatic LED lighting for the instrument panel.”