The Little Truck That Could, 1995 Ford Ranger
A plain Jane little short bed two wheel drive Ford Ranger bought in April, 1995, in El Paso, Texas from Shamaley Ford. It was a replacement for a beautiful 1985 Ford T-Bird that was ruined by a mechanic whose reach exceeded his grasp. We will have more on about this tragic chain of events later.
The Ranger’s engine was the 2.3-liter four banger. It had a five speed transmission, power brakes standard, no power steering, no radio, no power windows, no power door locks, and standard 15 inch wheels. But it did have an air conditioner. The cab had the standard three place bench seat. I had installed a very nice after market radio as well as a top of the line camper top. To add some spice to the little go getter some blue pin strips were added along the entire length from the right behind the headlight to the tail light.
For 11 years and 117,000 miles it did everything ever asked of it. The little 2.3 liter engine was no rocket but it had a lot of torque. It pulled a 1,700 lb pop-up trailer on many trips to Cloudcroft and Ruidoso, N.M. as well as to Springerville, AZ without a trace of strain. Every month it made trips to the landfill towing a utility trailer full of every imaginable bit of yard and household refuse.
It was dependable, comfortable, roomy, economical, got 17mpg city and 23 highway. Everything fit together, no bits and pieces fell off, no matter how bumpy the road. It turned and stopped as expected. In 2001 when we moved to Phoenix that little truck provided endless dependable transportation and hauling. The tuck was used to tow two motorcycles to Phoenix on a utility trailer, one a 750 pound Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe. It hauled endless amounts of household items from El Paso to Phoenix and made many weekend trips to and from El Paso. It never complained, never stopped, was always there when you needed it. It was easy to drive and maintain. I super enjoyed driving this little beast with its four banger and five speed transmission.
At 102,000 miles the timing chain broke requiring a $500 repair job. Other than that there were never any major maintenance issues. In 2005 it fell victim to the “why do we own four cars” question. It was a true friend during some dark and hard times. I truly regret having sold this wonderful truck. I only hope that it got a good home. I’d hate to think otherwise.