Just when we thought we'd seen every pickup truck trim package known to mankind, along comes a custom offering from one of the biggest Ford dealerships in the country, Galpin Auto Sports of Van Nuys, Calif. At a time when we've never seen more trim package options for new-truck buyers, some still want more. And for those crime-fighting enthusiasts (who probably could talk for hours about comic book heroes), this might be the perfect trim package. It's made especially for those who want to kick some bad-guy butt.
The vehicle was the brainchild of Barris Kustom Industries but built by the custom truck experts at Galpin Auto Sports. It echoes many of the styling cues from the 1966 George Barris-created Batmobile for the '60s "Batman" TV show. Think of it like a new F-150 XLT dressed up for Halloween in a Batman costume.
The most prominent feature on the pickup are the two 18-gauge steel sculpted wings that act like side rails. The bed is covered by a BAKFlip tonneau cover that allows for opening and folding from the front or back of the pickup.
The face of the Crime Fighter has an aluminum mesh grille with a milled billet bar insert in a wedge design to give it a menacing look when coming up from behind. This wild beast rides on 24-inch KMC rims and 305/35R24 Nitto tires, with a MagnaFlow dual exhaust system. If the truck looks like it rides a little lower than normal it's because of the Ground Force lowering kit and Street Scene front, side, and rear air dam and fascia.
The special Tuxedo Black paint is accented from tip to tail with Ferrari Red pin-striping. Inside, the red-and-black theme is continued with a Katzkin leather interior with heated and cooled seats accented with red piping. Bright red inserts are used throughout the dash and console, and in the front and rear doors as well.
This package, although a special and unique project between the two custom truck builders, can be ordered. The sticker price for the 2012 F-150 in the accompanying photos totals just less than $34,000 but expect the rest of the modifications (done to your own specifications, of course) to add another $30,000 to the final price tag.
We did get a chance to drive the truck around Southern California, where many drivers are quite jaded about seeing interesting and expensive cars and trucks, but that didn't matter wherever we drove. As you might imagine, this truck gets attention. We lost count of how many boys and young guys gave us a honk and a thumbs up during an hour or so of tooling around the San Fernando Valley. Without any significant engine modifications to the 5.0-liter V-8 (although Galpin will install a supercharger if you'd like), there isn't much to be said about performance. We did like the wider, grippier and lower-profile tires, which practically force you to take corners about 20 mph faster than you normally would - with comfort and control. However, everything you gain in tight handling is lost in ride quality. With so little sidewall - and a lowered and stiffer suspension feel - the everyday ride will take some getting used to. No doubt this could be improved with better shocks or even an airbag suspension.
At the time of our drive the truck was for sale, so we were pretty restricted on what we could do and how far we could go, which was just as well because the last thing we wanted to do was get caught doing something illegal with the Crime Fighter F-150. That could have made for a very awkward conversation with a police officer.