1951 Ford F1 Ranger Marmon-Herrington Is Straight up Truck Porn

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I know what you’re thinking. “That’s not a Ranger!” Well, yes, yes it is. In fact, it’s the very first Ford Ranger ever produced. And although Ford covered the rear like an SUV, it’s as tough as a truck can get.

This charmer from Scotts Valley, California is one of the very few remaining of its kind. If you’re wondering about what exactly “this” is, you’re not alone. These beauties are rare finds stock, and even rarer in Marmon-Herrington form. The gorgeous blue machine pictured here is a 1951 Ford F1 Ranger Marmon-Herrington 4×4.


If you know your vintage Fords, then you know that they didn’t actually build any 4×4 models. In fact, Ford didn’t build any 4×4 or 4-wheel drive vehicles until about 1960 or so, when the first Ford F-100 rolled off the assembly line with a factory 4×4 drivetrain.


So how did this F1 Ranger get its 4×4? Glad you asked, because it’s actually a really cool story, and even cooler for me as an Indianapolis resident. A factory by the name of Marmon-Herrington was Ford’s go-to company for special projects, and 4×4 drivetrains and other suspension jobs were all considered specialty work back then, so various vehicles were sent down to Indianapolis from Detroit to be outfitted by Marmon-Herrington.

Consumers back then had to go through a whole lot of trouble to outfit their vehicles compared to nowadays. Even so, the current owner shipped this beauty to J&L Fabricating in Puyallup, Washington, along with what I imagine was a blank check. Vehicles like this aren’t “cheap” to restore, ya know?


After more than 400 man hours and a boat load of money, the master mechanics restored the original 239 ci flathead V8 with 85 horsepower to its original 4-speed manual transmission. Even specialty painters were involved to fine tune the Ford Sheridan Blue paint!

Judges and experts have showered this Marmon-Herrington Ranger with awards and left and right, and how could they not? This is truly a special vehicle. Don’t you think?

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

Story via: [Classic Car Labs]

Photos via: [Canepa]

Jerry Perez is a contributor to Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum, and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

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