When it comes to a father and son project, neither party can fathom the other not being there for the completion. These builds pair an overly optimistic and energetic kid with a well educated and resourceful father. Sure, as we grow older our parents begin the aging process, but vice versa is a tragedy that no one can easily process. Unfortunately this tragedy became a reality for Benjamin Foster. A freak accident in the middle of 2021 claimed the life of his 21 year old son, Luke.
He was my best friend and we worked on cars his whole life. When he passed I was shook. He was only 21 and it was just a freak accident.” Benjamin Foster
Luke had a passion for Ford trucks. He had owned a lifted Ford truck and enjoyed the off-road spectrum. However, after seeing a particular Ford Lightning online, he decided he wanted to replicate it. He stumbled across a styleside single-cab tenth generation F-150 in early 2021. This truck was equipped with a 4.6L V8 paired to a manual transmission. It was the perfect combo for a kid who loved burnouts and shifting gears. He enthusiastically asked his dad, “Can we make it look like this,” showing his father the Ford Lightning image. Luke’s father, a Wyoming Tech graduate with a strong knowledge of body work, quickly replied, “sure, but it’s going to take time and money.”
“Luke loved loud trucks, so after acquiring the truck we spiced up the exhaust note with a true dual exhaust. We deleted the catalytic converters and installed Flowmaster Super 40 mufflers with side exit exhaust tips,” said Foster. “The truck was body lifted, something that Luke would have loved if it wasn’t for the Lightning, so we removed the body lift and installed lowering shackles.” Shortly after this stage was completed, the news broke that Luke had passed.
Foster knew his son’s intention with the truck and wanted to continue to pursue that direction. He named the truck Luke’s Dream. A fitting name for a truck that Luke never got to see come to fruition. After a memorial that included flowers being placed on the truck, followed up by mourners doing a burnout out of respect for his son’s passing, Foster and his 19 year old daughter, Haylii, began to resume the labor of love. The first step for Luke’s Dream was to purchase a Cobra R hood, Lightning replica front bumper and a honeycomb grille that was hand selected by Haylii.
The second generation Lightning was a stepside bed, but the rising price of a non-rusted truck bed in the south began to climb to extremely high prices. Instead Foster’s resourcefulness led him to an $800 stepside truck with a blown engine. The beds were swapped and the truck resold for $500. After the stepside bed was installed, Foster added a roll pan and removed all the factory badges, aside from the blue oval. Luke was still in love with the off-road scene before his passing, so an off-road set of wheels were used. Keeping the Lightning’s aesthetics in place is a set of low profile 275/45-20 tires.
Once the bed was back in place, the body was completely primed and sanded by the dad and daughter duo. The truck then went in for paint. Foster’s friend donated booth time for him to come spray the truck. “Pacific Green was Luke’s favorite color,” said Foster. “while there are variances in the paint, this color really pops.”
“This completed our first stage of Luke’s Dream, but we still want to do Lightning side skirts, custom interior with subwoofer center console, lights, and eventually a supercharger,” said Foster. “After all, it’s just time and money.”
All photos taken by Haylii Bills-Foster