Ford has teamed up with automotive demigod Jay Leno to recreate a vintage model in a new skin. The vehicle chosen is owned by Walmart founder, first president, and CEO, Sam Walton. It’s a gorgeous example of a 1979 Ford F-150, which Jay Leno and his team chose as style inspiration for a brand new Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup.
This WalMart Ford F-150 Lightning was unveiled to the public during the 2022 Woodward Dream Cruise to a small crowd, and pairs nicely with the 1979 model, which is the first truck that Sam owned. The truck was actually first shown on the Jay Leno’s Garage YouTube Channel, where it was wearing a period-looking set of dog dish steelies.
The 1979 F-150 is finished in a hot shade of red, perfectly contrasted by a white beltline. The new F-150 Lightning features the same paint scheme and showcases just how far the model has come in the last 40+ years.
With an electric powertrain and an interior that seems like it’s still from 100 years in the future, the Lightning improves the breed in just about every aspect. The original 1979 example is about as advanced as your grandma’s loveseat and doesn’t even have air conditioning.
Perhaps the only leg-up on the new Ford F-150 Lightning that the 1979 model has is the abundance of chrome. If you like chrome. We would argue that a standard Lightning might be slightly down on style compared to the ’79, but at least the two-tone paint job of this example earns it some redemption.
Sadly, just about the only thing that reminds us of the old truck is the paint job. The Lightning isn’t available with a single cab, and the steel wheels and dog dish hub caps have been replaced by standard grey wheels. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see vintage vibes applied to new vehicles, even if only cosmetic.