• Truck Rewind: Ford Super Chief Concept – A Modern Luxury Super Duty from a Decade Ago


    2006 ford super chief
    2006 Ford Super Chief

    The Ford Super Chief concept truck was introduced at the 2006 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, MI. Designed by Brad Clifton, the Ford Super Chief concept drew inspiration from the Super Chief streamline locomotives of the 1950s.

    The luxurious and futuristic interior design pointed to the idea that the Ford Super Chief concept was more of a luxury truck than a work vehicle. This is a theme that resonates today considering vehicles like the newest 2018 Ford Super Duty Limited.

    Underneath the bed, three hydrogen fuel tanks reside. They alone can provide up to 150 miles of range

    It had an (up to) 550 horsepower “tri-flex fueling” supercharged V10 engine that could run on hydrogen, gasoline, or E85. While the powertrain was interesting, but never produced, the overall design of the Super Chief has a lot of similarities to the brand new Ford F-250 Limited trucks that recently debuted in Texas at the 2017 Texas State Fair.

    These new trucks tip the financial scale nearing the $100,000 territory. In many ways, these vehicles, like the Ford Super Chief concept, represent a capable platform that’s crammed with more luxury than many contemporary luxury sedans. If you squint your eyes, you can see some of the design elements that the Ford Super Chief displayed many years back.

    Sometimes, a good design and a far-fetched idea can inspire current-day design.

    Nathan Adlen
    Nathan Adlen
    Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.

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    37 thoughts on “Truck Rewind: Ford Super Chief Concept – A Modern Luxury Super Duty from a Decade Ago

    1. Oh man, I’ve been starting to forget that i-beam framed HD Ford we had to suffer through for 20 years with all of its terrible engines.

      Just let it die. The trucks themselves have.

      1. Ummm actually it was c channel and worked quire well, especially if you were installing flatbeds or other alternatives. Did Ford go without a major update for too long? Potentially, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it

        1. I see an awful lot of suffering people using their I beam super duties. I sold my stock take off tires to a guy with a 6.0 F250 with 350,000 miles on it. Original motor minus 2 injectors with the usual smog delete. Poor guy only got 350k out of it. I hope I can suffer that long.

      2. Being that I’m 60 years old, I remember well the F100s of those years gone by. The one thing that stands out in my memory is that the farmers of the delta land took their wives out on the town with any of the other brands of trucks but when it came to going to work, they sat behind the steering wheel of the Ford. Those I beams that people learned to hate after the bushings were worn out and allowed harsh steering happened to be the only ones that put up with pulling loaded cotton trailers across the rough terrain of the fields without causing front ends being out of line! You would have to run over a tree stump to do much damage to them. As a mechanic, I know this is a fact. Those were when trucks were work vehicles and not hwy toys that teenagers and the women liked to simply run up and down the hwys. Today is a different time and to compete with the other brands, Ford started redesigning front ends with the A shaped control arms. This evened the playing field of trucks. Well, until the Eco-boost engines pushed the Ford power plants ahead and in a smaller package. Real technicians ( no longer called mechanics) will tell you that all brands have good and bad wrapped in a truck package. The world we live in.

      3. The C-channel eventually became a boxed frame from the front bumper to the firewall, and then a C-channel to the rear bumper. Howie Long definitely showed the truck was more flexible if you used mechanical ramps to put it into some crazy position nobody would (GM likes creating TV commercials showing things that would never happen) but for 99.9% of owners, the 1999-2016 Super Duty performed very well. 20 years of terrible engines? Not sure what you mean by that.

      1. You know whats weird? I work on and see more 2011+ Duramax’s, than Powerstrokes in the shop. And yes everyone knows the the navistar built 6.0 & 6.4 engines were crap. But the 03-06 Duramax engines literally eat injectors, think i do abour one set a week.

        1. Actually the 6.0L and 6.4L were not crap. Given a choice between the two, I’d take the earlier 6.0L. Both engines had serious flaws that International designed into them, but both could be corrected and made into very good engines. In fact, many stock, unmodified 6.0L engines ran without issues for a long time. Both engines, when operating properly, produced very good power and torque compared to the competition at the time.

          The LB7 (first) Duramax had injector failures and yes, they were hard to get at (valve covers had to be removed). Nevertheless, no Duramax engine has been considered as unreliable as the Ford / IH 6.0L and subsequent 6.4L.

    2. Yes they did have C channel frame,in addition ford had horrible automatic transmissions up until 2011 or so,that’s besides bad 6.0,6.4 and first 2 years of 6.7..The duramax did have injector issues most due to bad maintenance.Over all duramax/ Allison combo by far more reliable than ford powertrains over the years.International 7.3 still most reliable diesel engine ford has ever had under the hood.As far as the super chief concept,that interior should of been in the current superduties.The new f-series are still very cheap looking inside with weak materials.Gm and Ram are still ahead.Imo

      1. Are you kiddimg me? The GM imteriors are cheap, generic and rattle traps. The Rams are very nice inside with the exception of the seats. To me they feel like your sitting on a board.
        Ford’s pre 11 automatic transmissions were not all bad. The 4r100 was a damn good transmission and the 5r110 torqshift has held up as well as Allisons. Have replaced a few 1/2 ton trannies but not any more than GM failed ones and not nearly as many as Dodges.
        With the ford 6.7 2011 is the year you probably want to stay away from but ive seen quite a few of those with over 200k on them. The only reason the 7.3 has a better rep than the 6.7 is it had more years umder the hood and had no emissions crap. As far as your statement about poor maintenance, a lot of the issues (not all) with the 6.0l were due to poor maintenance. And no the injector issues eith the duramax engines were not because of maintenance. Crappy maintenance doesnt help but you couldn’t pay me to drive a 2001-2006 Duramax, had to fix too many between mostly injectors, water pumps, and the occasional turbo, and replaced two complete engines along the way. Seen 3 2011+ that needed complete fuel system replacement due to hpfp shelling out.
        Now where am i going with this? I think the newer 07+ Duramax is a good engine but its not any better or more reliable than Ford’s 6.7. Personally i think they are both much better than the Ram offering. Fie the most part the Cummins engine is a good powerplant but the transmissions the Ram puts behind them are crap (minus the Aisin or G56) bit those are the vast majority. And Ram seems to have a LOT of electrical and programming issues that would drive me batshit crazy.

        1. Brewhaha, I agree with you. Ford doesn’t have transmission problems through those years. The 4R100 was fine, I’d say the 5R110 was even better, and now the 6R140 has proven itself. Even the half-ton trucks starting in 2009 had great transmissions (6R80 which is a ZFHP26 clone).

          Not all 6.0L’s were bad. The 6.7L is a great engine.

      2. AM
        October 7, 2017 at 9:12 am
        Yes they did have C channel frame,in addition ford had horrible automatic transmissions up until 2011

        Now we know you don’t know anything about trucks. As said above the old 4R100 was a solid and reliable transmission. Then when Ford built the 5R110W it was a complete home run. They were Uber reliable and they just never died. I have seen an to many city transit busses with the 6.0L and the 5R110W go well over 300K miles in strictly city driving with no real issues.

        1. JJ ,I’ve seen many ford transmissions puke under 50 k,pre 2011,don’t cry.Your too much of a ford fan too admit crap.Gm has built there share of bad powertrains,as well as dodge.No one can comment on here without you getting butt hurt. I think your problem is, as many have stated you think your always right,guess again were all human ..take a hit of weed and i will send you flowers.Lol,your dead wrong on this I’ve seen many especially the ones on 7.3,6.0 and 6.4 .. Guys that had these automatics wished they had Allison or a manual transmission.You might of seen them over 300k dont mean they were original powertrains. Relax man go take another hit before you jump off the edge..🚬

          1. You lie like zombiera AM. I have seen enough of your post to not believe a single word you write. Just trolling. I will say your comment about guys wishing they had allison was amusing. Those transmissions are just capable of the factory power of the duramax. You bump power just a little and they cook. Go to an allison dealer some time. You will see transmissions from wall to wall there. They are a goodirect trans but they are definitely not gods gift of transmissions you make them out to be.

            1. JJ ,you have a bad habit ,trolling and commenting worse yet crying like a little girl when you here peoples experiences,that you dont agree with and hurt your feelings..Gm had the balls to get an Allison when there inhouse transmissions couldn’t handle there duramax. What transmission do you see in f650 and f750 from a few years back? Yep an Allison end of story ,ford automatic. Transmission couldn’t handle durability,now they can with there current 6 speeds.Took them a while but they have a good one presently.You man need to respect others views and comments,and stop whining,you dont call someone a liar if you cant say it to there face,get a life

            2. More of your idiotic lie AM? The F650 and F750 came with certain versions of Allison because the diesel choices were from International, CAT and Cummins. The transmissions are already built to bolt up to those engines and Ford would have to design a new case for each of those engine choices. The TCM was also programmed to work with those engines. But then fact is the F650 did in fact have the 5R110W in it with a certain engine choice. The F53 chassis had the 5R110W trans in it and it was rated for 30,000 GCVW. And that was since 2005.

              Man you need to catch up and stop trolling. If you would stick to the facts you would not look so stupid. But you will not AM (Always a Moron) because you can’t let go of your fanboism and trolling.

            3. @AM:
              JJ is correct on his comments about the Allison / Cummins combination is the previous generation F-650/750. But let’s be clear…the Allison transmission used in the big Fords was either the 2000 or 2400…not the 1000 used in the GM HD pickup trucks. A 650/750 is a whole different class of truck than even a Ford F-550. The rims are 22.5″ same as an 18-wheeler. Quite frankly, the load capabilities required a more durable transmission at max GVW than anything Ford offered at the time. Allison makes great transmissions and the 2/400 trans was already behind the Cummins ISB in many other applications.

              The current generation of Ford F-650/750 trucks use either the venerable Ford V10 gas or Ford 6.7L Powerstroke engine, and both are backed by the 6R140 Ford transmission. I think this speaks volumes as to the capability of the 6R140 transmission; the 6.7L with its increased cab and chassis torque ratings is also perfectly suited for this role.

            4. Thanks Troverman. You added what I forgot. The 5R was only rated up to a vehicle that was 30,000 total pounds. Once you go heavier like the F750 and even some 650 I presume. You need a bigger rated transmission like the Allison 2000 series. Maybe even up to a 3000 series.

    3. Man O man where we could be now if it were not for the oil pigs hiding in the shadows that slow technology down. We are truly driving around old dinosaurs. Just ridiculous to see where we could be had we not bailed out these old bums with their same tool and dies from the 80’s

    4. I like the interior too. Reminds me of a big Atlas. Speaking of Atlas is Ford ever going to build that concept truck, that was one Ford I really liked.. V10 with a SC I like it..

    5. Show me a stock Alison with 617 hp atthe wheel with 272000 miles on it and I’ll show you a lier got 6.4 with that 5r110 is better more reliable than Allison 900 or 1000

    6. This concept looks great. New super duty is horrible, not even remotely close to this concept and ford would need to pay me a lot of money to drive one.
      Ford super duty is uglyest truck ever build and this concept was not inspiration for that design failure.

      1. Have to disagree, Z…Silverado HD with its massive square chrome bumper is pretty bad. GMC version has a much better front end. I actually like the styling of all 3 big trucks. Although I prefer Ford, I’d be proud to have a RAM and a GMC parked in my yard right now.

        1. I wouldn’t mind to have this ford concept in my garage with Cummins and Multilink suspension in it, but new Super Duty has nothing in common with this concept from 11 years ago, which is a sham.

    7. After reading all of these comments, I am sure of one thing and one thing only… the majority of you are all uneducated idiots. All of you can’t spell simple words that you should have learned in elementary school. Use of incorrect grammar when trying to insult another commenter or defend yourself just makes you look plain stupid.
      Grow up and learn how to write before posting your ignorant thoughts on social websites or forums. And, know this… ALL VEHICLES HAVE ISSUES! Name One auto manufacturer that has never had any issues. Nope. You can’t. So, in closing… STFU!

      1. Will Nelson why did you use a capital “O” in one when you wrote “Name One auto manufacturer that has……”. After insulting people for grammar? Is this not a grammatical error. STFU and go hide under the rock you crawled out of. There is no Turkey here for you. Sew sht th fck upp nd hve a drinc🤣

      2. @Will H,

        Using “STFU” makes you sound a bit uneducated. Profanity is just a weak mind trying to find a way to express itself. Otherwise, I generally agree there are too many comments wasted on just being rude and insulting to someone else.

    8. Now know one talked about the v-10 that was in this proto type. This probably one of the best of 3 Triton engines. I’ve seen and guys go over 500,000 miles with out a whole lot of problems. There is some dsls that struggle to get to that with out a lot of major work. I had a v-10 that went 350,000. 2/3 of them miles with a trl (of some sort) on it’s back. I knew guys that had 6.0 dsls that was constantly in the shop getting something fixed the same time I had my v-10. I currently own a v-10 it will be hard for me to give it up. This 6.2 I was not impressed with it be for aluminum truck. Ford understand that the 6.2 is not a replacement for the v-10 in the 450 on up. It is a rock solid engine.

      The manual transmission in the Ford pretty strong. I know I had 1 bolted to that v-10 with 350,000 miles on it no shop repairs.

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