Arguably no vehicle that graced the earth in the 1980s had a bigger impact on people young and old than the world-famous Bigfoot monster truck. For years, Bob Chandler’s creation made its rounds on the show circuit, dominating the competition and endearing itself to everyone who lay eyes upon it. Thus, the next logical step was for FoMoCo to create the Ford Bigfoot Cruiser, a tribute of sorts that fans could buy from their local dealership.
The Ford Bigfoot Cruiser came along in 1987, but the conversion wasn’t done in-house. Instead, Ford outsourced that job to Scherer Truck Equipment. The package was available on the Ford Ranger, Ford F-150, and Ford F-250, and featured a host of upgrades that helped it pay homage to the legendary rig it was based on.
That started with a graphics package for the exterior, which featured “Bigfoot Cruiser” lettering on the doors, covering dark blue paint accented by lighter blue and gold decals. Both the F-150 and F-250 Ford Bigfoot Cruiser trucks came with a lifted suspension and 33-inch tires, while the Ranger was fitted with more modest 15-inch aluminum wheels and regular-sized rubber.
The trio of Bigfoot Cruisers did share the same bed-mounted Westin double roll bar, KC off-road lights, Monroe shocks, and a power up-and-down rear window. The F-250 Bigfoot Cruiser models came equipped with a Warn Enforcer front bumper with an integrated winch, while both the F-150 and F-250 were fitted with a tonneau cover.
Unfortunately, some of these components were what ultimately led to the demise of the Bigfoot Cruiser after a very short period of time on the market. The 33-inch tires on the F-150 and F-250 rubbed against the brake lines and fenders up front, which led to a recall, and the lug nuts on the aftermarket wheels tended to come loose over time.
Making matters worse, the Bigfoot Cruiser never underwent crash testing with all of this equipment installed, which led to a variety of NHTSA complaints. Ford wound up buying back many of the trucks delivered to the east coast and stripped them of the aftermarket equipment, then sold them at auction in an attempt to avoid future litigation.
Today, no one really knows how many Bigfoot Cruisers still exist. Ford’s recall noted that there were 360 F-150 and F-250 pickups and 200 Rangers fitted with the package, but collectors believe that only 300 were purchased by customers in total. Ford has also stated that 660 trucks were modified prior to the recall.
Regardless of how many were actually produced, the Ford Bigfoot Cruiser is a rare and unique piece of Blue Oval history. Unfortunately, it was also seemingly doomed from the start.
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