Jay Leno Recreates Classic 1979 Ford Pickup Made for Walmart Founder Sam Walton: PHOTOS

by Megan Molseed

Tonight Show icon Jay Leno is well-known for his love of unique, collectible, and antique vehicles. Now, the former late-night TV talk show host is recreating one legendary antique Ford pickup truck. Only this time, Leno is adding a modern twist to the vehicle.

Jay Leno Turns Modern Ford F-150 Into A Legendary Old-School Remake

Ford’s latest pickup model, the Ford F-150 Lightning is going old-school as famous vehicle collector Jay Leno recreates the 1979 Ford F-150 pickup designed for Walmart founder Sam Walton. The original Sam Walton truck is currently featured in the Bentonville, Arkansas Walmart museum. This museum, incidentally, is located within the original Walton’s Five and Dime store. Jay Leno’s recreation of the classic truck is the result of a collaboration project between Leno, Ford, and Walmart.

Jay Leno unveils the recreation of the original 1979 Ford F-150 pickup truck owned by Walmart founder Sam Walton. However, this model merges the classic pickup with a modern F-150 model giving the vehicle an updated twist.

Sam Walton purchased this original 1979 classic Ford F-150 pickup truck to use as his personal vehicle. It was primarily used for work and hunting over the years. Walton purchased this legendary classic pickup truck the same year his company hit its first billion dollars in sales.

Leno’s Recreation Of Sam Walton’s Classic 1979 F-150 Has Some Modern Twists

Sam Walton purchased the 1979 Ford F-150 pickup truck for his own private use. This original model is an entry-level 4×4 which came equipped with an inline-six-cylinder engine and four-speed manual transmission. Making this original model very different from the inner workings of Leno’s Ford F-150 Lightning recreation.

“I really think these [kinds] of electric vehicles will help us keep our internal combustion engines,” Jay Leno says of the Ford F-150 Lightning.

“Because you’ll use your electric vehicle maybe to commute, go to work and do things like that,” the former Tonight Show host relates.

“Then you use your Mustang, your Camaro, whatever it might be on the weekends to go out and have fun,” he adds. 

Jay Leno’s recreation of the Sam Walton pickup is largely cosmetic. Primarily, the newest version does feature a unique two-tone white and red paint job that is unique to the original 1979 vehicle. This color combination is not available off the factory floor.

Jay Leno’s recreated model of Walmart founder Sam Walton’s pickup truck tributes the original 1979 model with its unique two-toned red and white paint job.

The Ford F-150 Lightning is a much more modern pickup, offering an electric option. Because of this, the external features on this recreation are really where the similarities to the original 1979 version of Walton’s truck end. Well, except for one other feature. The XLT-trim style pickup does share a functional feature with the original: a dog box installed in the truck’s bed.