The ad for today’s Nice Price or No Dice Ranger says it is currently owned by a 98-year old man who’s hanging up his driver’s license. It’s not implied that owning a Ranger is the key to living such a long life, but we’ll still have to determine the truck’s fate, you know, just in case.
The seller of yesterday’s 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer advertised the truck on Craigslist. Perhaps they would have had more luck showing it on Bring A Trailer since most of the photos presented the Jeep sitting on an actual trailer that someone had brought. The Jeep’s $15,500 failed to bring it as well. That ended up earning the trailered truck a 68 percent No Dice loss.
The abode in which I live, the place where I mix my martinis and call home, was constructed in 1928. Most of the homes along my lazy S-shaped street were built around the same time. That feels like a long time ago — pre great recession, World War II, and iPhone. It’s not, however, as old as the 98-year old gentleman who until recently drove this 1997 Ford Ranger XLT stepside. Now that his age has apparently crept up on him, he is likely enjoying the chauffeured lifestyle, and, no longer needing it, is putting the truck up for sale.
According to the ad, which has been placed by one of the owner’s children, the seller bought the truck when it was two years old, and had only 8,900 miles. Now it shows 62,000 miles on the odometer and a reasonably nice appearance pretty much everywhere else. The red paint still pops, even on the fiberglass stepside fenders, and the chrome looks as shiny as you could want. A bed liner keeps things tidy in the back, and the ad notes that the truck’s overall condition is owned to a garaged life.
This is a 4X2 truck with few amenities — i.e. less to go wrong. Under the hood lies Ford’s tried and true 2.3-liter “Pinto” four. By this generation, that engine sported a dual-spark head that, as the name implies, has two spark plugs per cylinder. With the Waste Spark system, the engine makes 112 horsepower and 135 lb-ft of torque. That’s routed through a four-speed automatic operated via a column shifter with the overdrive lockout button on the end of the knob.
Having a column shifter means that the floor is unencumbered and you can more easily fit a second passenger in the middle. A split-bench seat with three belts makes that possible, but the middle seat occupant will have to contend with a cup holder console that only had two spots for drinks. Other than that slight, there’s a lot to like in here. The gray cloth upholstery looks to be in fine shape, as does the dash and door cards, albeit with some staining on the armrests of the latter, probably from years of elbows pushing the doors open. On the outside, the only issue seems to be an annoyingly noticeable dent on the right-front fender.
Other problems noted in the ad include a CEL on the dash that the seller claims is owed to an EGR issue. An ABS failure light accompanies that angry engine on the instrument panel and is said likely to be due to a wheel or axle sensor. Both of these issues could be rectified for under $100 by a modestly competent shade tree mechanic.
Still, the truck is being sold as it sits. And if you’ve taken a gander at the pre-owned small truck market recently you’ll likely know that this Ranger will probably sell without much consideration of the few minor mechanical and aesthetic issues it exhibits. Prices on many small trucks, and Rangers, in particular, are all kinds of crazy.
At $6,500, the price of this clean-title truck isn’t too crazy. With the issues at hand, however, we still need to decide if it’s a deal. What do you say, is this gentleman’s truck worth that $6,500 asking? Or, does that price make this a stepside that’s out of step?
H/T to Christie and Eric Weigand for the hookup!
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