Ask TFL: Stick With The Ford F-350 6.7L Diesel Workhorse, Or Go For The Powerhouse Shelby Raptor Baja? (Ask TFL)

So, work or fun?

Here’s a conflict we’ve all faced before. At one point or another, we need a good, reliable work truck to haul our important cargo around. Then, one day, we see a badass, desert-destroying truck like a Ford F-150 Raptor and think, “Hmm…what if I had that instead?”.

TFLtruck viewer Eric faces that same dilemma, as he recently has been looking at a 2018 F-150 Shelby Raptor Baja:

“I am a subscriber to your YouTube channel and both thoroughly enjoy and trust the content shared with your viewers.  Not to mention a little bit jealous of what you all get to do as a profession.  That aside, I need some advice.  

I currently own a 2017 Ford F-350 Lariat 6.7L Diesel short bed Crew Cab.  Everything is stock in the chrome package for that trim level, with zero aftermarket modifications.  I bought the truck because I was towing a Haulmark car hauler with a 1965 ‘Replica’ AC Shelby Cobra, and I was needing to tow the trailer and car from Houston TX to Seattle WA.  

After owning it a year and towing very little since that trip, I have questioned the necessity of it.  I have had it in the back of my mind that the diesel would allow me to put almost unlimited miles on it for the life of the truck.  

But, the struggle comes as a result of my eyes peering upon a 2018 Ford Raptor Shelby Baja Edition with the 802A trim package when I had to get the oil changed on the F-350.  Test drove it and man was I in love.  
I get it that one is more of a “lifestyle” truck vs. a “workhorse” but nonetheless I wanted a perspective of others.

The Shelby Raptor Baja takes a standard F-150 Raptor and gives it even more attitude. [Photo: Shelby]

Which one to buy?

The big question here comes down to budget. How much was the Shelby Raptor Baja in question? Brand new, those trucks retail for well over $115,000 from participating Ford dealers. Alternatively, you can take your F-150 Raptor to Shelby for a conversion, for about $50,000 on top of the truck itself.

It’s not all work and no play in the Super Duty if you have the FX4 package.

On the other hand, the F-350 Lariat with a 6.7-liter PowerStroke Diesel and the chrome package rings in around $65,000. These are meant to be workhorses, so it would be a sensible option if you did tow often. However, the day-to-day compromises of having a workhorse and not using it to tow may outweigh the benefit of keeping the F-350, unless you just like driving a Super Duty.

To my mind, this boils down to a question of having a truck for fun versus a truck for work. While the Shelby Baja Raptor is a hell of a lot of fun, it’s also pricey. But how about buying a normal 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor? It does only have 450 horsepower (to the Shelby’s 525) and 510 lb-ft of torque (to the Shelby’s 610 lb-ft). However, you do have the option to convert it later, should you choose. There are also other Raptor conversion options, like the V8 PaxPower Raptor. The standard Raptor with the 802A package also costs around $65,000. If you want a truck for fun we’d say, “Hell yes, take a look at the F-150 Raptor!”

What would you recommend? Let us and Eric know in the comments below! Of course, you could always go berserk with your Super Duty too: