Ford’s Power Stroke Concept Truck Is the Epitome of ’90s Americana

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Ford’s rounded 1995 Explorer was still nearly a year away from launch in 1994, but the Blue Oval’s Power Stroke concept pickup gave clues to the company’s styling directive for the cars, trucks, and SUVs it planned to sell to consumers throughout the latter half of the 1990s. Besides showcasing the brand’s forthcoming design language, the Power Stroke housed Ford’s upcoming turbo-diesel 7.3-liter V-8 engine, which would soon make its way to production bearing the—wait for it—Power Stroke moniker.

Despite its show-car status, the Power Stroke concept was surprisingly road-ready. Riding on a modified heavy-duty truck frame and featuring an interior cribbed from an F-Series pickup of the era, the truck’s only true conceptual elements lived on its yellow-painted body. Items such as the truck’s wraparound windshield and hidden A-pillars, as well as its integrated rear fender flares (to cover the dual rear wheels), might seem common today, but this was state-of-the-art stuff in 1994.

Being the early 1990s, Ford saw fit to equip the Power Stroke with a number of tacky add-ons that were common at the time. This includes the visor that extends from the roof over the front windshield, diamond-plated running boards, and pseudo buttresses located aft of the cab and replete with integrated auxiliary lights. 

Thanks to its production-spec interior, the Power Stroke’s insides are filled with all the “tech” consumers sought in their pickups in 1994. Items such as an integrated center console, cruise control, and a cassette player are all accounted for. That’s right, the Power Stroke’s turbo-diesel engine and cassette deck meant it could tow huge loads while simultaneously blasting the latest taped tunes. 

While the Power Stroke’s influence on the styling of the later redesigned F-Series pickups (both full-size and Super Duty models) proved minimal, its ability to fully encompass 1990s’ Americana makes this truck one of the great concept cars of its time.

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