A year after transforming the frunk of his Mustang Mach-E into an intimidating Halloween candy dispensary, Product Design Director Ryan McManus is stepping things up this year with his new F-150 Lightning.
McManus is making full use of Pro Power Onboard, as well as all of the available outlets in the pickup’s Mega Power Frunk, for a new spooktacular Halloween creation. While he repurposed the teeth he made last year, McManus is also powering a TV that shows an “otherworldly” video loop of swirling mist and a red lightning storm. Smoke, enhanced by a strobe light, pours out of the frunk while eight-foot-long inflatable tentacles are sprawling out of the side and rear windows. McManus has even added lighting effects to the underbody of the truck that will flicker along to the music he plays inside the truck.
“The thing I loved about it was that (the truck) basically became a canvas for creativity,” McManus said. “I knew I could do a lot of different things I wouldn’t be able to do if I just opened the trunk (of another vehicle). It’s the platform of the truck that just allows that ability.”
His Second Rodeo
Like last year’s creation, McManus wanted to transform the face of the F-150 Lightning into a mouth, but he wanted his latest iteration to look more like a creature. That will help set his truck apart from the more traditional decorations he sees in his Halloween-crazed neighborhood.
The Trick: Putting the Monster in the Truck
“I wanted to do something a little bit like science fiction and otherworldly, especially with the amount of power I can get from the front and the back of the truck,” McManus said. “I’m using the F-150 Lightning and special effects in this way to make it feel very living and not static – it’s a monster truck.”
The creation made its debut at a trunk-or-treat event at the Massachusetts school where McManus’ wife teaches. He plans to use a slightly modified version in his Halloween-crazed neighborhood Oct. 31. Halloween gatherings also offer McManus a chance to discuss Ford products with friends and neighbors.
The Treat: Being Ford Proud
“I love getting to show off Ford stuff,” he said. “It’s part of the joy of the job. Besides the fun of a trunk or treat, I’ll be getting to talk to the parents about the truck. A lot of parents have not seen an electric truck before, and some people may not recognize it when they see it on the street. This will definitely open up a lot of conversations. I’ll get to talk about what we’re doing at Ford and why we’re so excited about these things.”
Last year was McManus’ first time participating at a trunk-or-treat event, and the frunk on his Mach-E was a conversation starter. He expects his new display will get others thinking about the myriad of ways they could utilize an F-150 Lightning. And to make it all even more authentic, he even created a fake patent application for his concept.
“(It) was definitely a highlight last year because people hadn’t really seen it yet and it kicked off some discussion with the parents,” he said, noting that much of the public conversation about EVs relates to charging and is less focused on their added capabilities. “This should get people excited about the possibilities of what the truck can do.”
Typically, McManus and his family utilize the frunk to carry their kids’ sports equipment and for groceries. The truck’s Zone Lighting also comes in handy when soccer fields need a little extra light to continue practice after sunset. He also makes use of Pro Power Onboard to power lawn-care equipment and to charge his son’s go-kart. The USB ports in the frunk also lend themselves to emergency phone charging.
“There’s all these little features that we designed and built into it,” said McManus, who has had the truck, his first pickup, since July. “We’re still just scratching the surface.”