Base MSRP Range: $ Not Available
Base Invoice Range: $ Not Available
MSRP As Tested: Not Available
Versions: 2x4, 4x4
Vehicle Category: Full-size Pickup
Engine Location: Front Engine
Drive Wheels: Rear-Wheel Drive
Transmission: Four-speed automatic
Fuel Economy (city/hwy): Not Available
Competition: Cadillac Escalade EXT, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Dodge Ram 1500, Nissan Titan.
What do you do when you want everybody to know your company makes the biggest, baddest truck on the road? Paint flames on the side.
That's exactly what Ford did with its 2005 Harley-Davidson Super Duty, a working man's truck that exudes the bad-to-the-bone style of a custom motorcycle both inside and out.
The custom appearance starts up front, with a unique black-and-chrome, billet-like grille and blacked-out headlamps. Chrome tow hooks and fog lamps add pinpoints of light, particularly evident on black trucks, and Harley logos are everywhere. Huge, brightly polished 20-inch wheels complete the custom look.
But those flames stand out the most.
The distinctive custom flames -- either red on black, or a more subtle two-tone blue -- use Ford's patented new wet-on-wet paint process to produce factory-painted graphics that are as smooth and seamless as those applied in a custom motorcycle shop.
In the wet-on-wet paint process, a special primer allows a second coat of paint to be applied while the first layer is still wet. In the case of the black flamed truck, the red layer is painted first, across the lower half of the truck.
An ultra-thin mask in the shape of the flame pattern is applied over this red paint, and the black topcoat is sprayed immediately. The thin mask is then pulled off, a clear topcoat is sprayed on, and chemical bonding between the layers produces a smooth, durable, seamless finish, Ford says.
The result is a truck that absolutely screams for attention, and not in a polite, sophisticated, European sort of way. Everything about it, from the wild paint job to the black leather seats, seems to say, "Don't mess with me, buddy. I could rip your head off."
Is this truck tasteful? Not at all. Do I love it anyway? Absolutely.
It's probably the worst commuter vehicle I've ever driven, not that it was designed for commuting. The raucous diesel engine in my test truck sounded like it should be in a big furniture van, and the heavy-duty suspension seemed to bounce all over the road.
It's obviously designed for driving to oil rigs in the middle of nowhere and towing massive, earth-crushing trailers through the Rocky Mountains. During my week behind the wheel, though, the toughest place I could find in the Dallas suburbs was the Home Depot, so I didn't have much fun trying to maneuver the gigantic truck through construction zones, traffic jams and itty-bitty parking spaces.
But it didn't matter. Despite how illogical it was in the city, I still loved the Harley truck.
Part of the reason was its big diesel engine, which was so loud it made ordering food at drive-thru windows nearly impossible. It shook and it roared and it rumbled -- doing all the things little boys imagine when they make "vroom vroom" noises and dream of driving a big truck - while making 325 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque. It felt like it could tow a mountain.
Better yet, for a truck with such outstanding credentials for getting work done, it was actually relatively comfortable inside. The leather seats were nice and comfortable, all the controls were easy to use, and it even came with a lot of amenities you wouldn't expect to find in a heavy-duty work truck -- things like cruise control, a tilt steering wheel and power-adjustable pedals.
What I liked best about the truck, though was how un-politically correct it was. It's one big, huge contradiction on wheels.
On the one hand, it's all about style, with carefully applied paint and gorgeous chrome trim. It's a truck you'd never want to get scratched up.
On the other hand, it's obviously a work truck made for hauling stuff and doing tough jobs. The idea that such a tough truck could be so finely polished is preposterous, but in a good way. It's a special kind of truck for a special kind of driver.
I'd never buy a truck like this -- but it makes me wish I was the type of person who would.
Pros: This truck is all about personal style. If you like the Harley-Davidson look of shiny chrome, dark paint and black leather, you'll love it.
Cons: It's definitely designed to do tough jobs, but I'd be reluctant to tackle any task that might scratch the terrific paint job. Also, the number of Harley-Davidson logos can get annoying. We know what your logo looks like. We get the point.
- Style: 10
- Performance: 10
- Price: 4
- Handling: 3
- Ride: 2
- Comfort: 6
- Quality: 8
- Overall: 9
Where Built: Ontario, Canada
Major Options: Heated, power driver and passenger seats, Memory driver seat, Moonroof, All-Wheel Drive, Reverse sensing system, Overhead rail system, Power slider backlight.
Number of Rows: 2
Length in Inches: 229.8
Warranties: Not Available .
Weight in Pounds: 5426 lbs.- 5693 lbs.
Cargo Capacity in Pounds: 1570 lbs.- 1460 lbs.
Gross Maximum Vehicle Weight in Pounds: 14,500 lbs.
Towing Capacity in Pounds: 8800 lbs.- 8600 lbs..
Gas Tank Capacity in Gallons: 35.7
Destination Charge: Not Available