Throwback Thursday: 1983 Ranger Goes Skydiving

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Watch as a Ford Ranger uses a massive bed-mounted parachute to go skydiving, in today’s “Throwback Thursday.”

Automakers perform all sorts of stunts with vehicles in commercials, in order to catch the attention of TV viewers. This week’s “Throwback Thursday” video features a 1983 Ford Ranger commercial might just have the most outlandish stunt of any truck commercial, ever.

As small trucks go, the Ford Ranger was always an industry leader when it was still offered in the USA. This commercial from mid-1983 explains why the Ranger is better than the competitors, at least at skydiving. With an optional V6, the Ranger had more power than the competitors from Chevrolet, Toyota and Nissan, while also having a wider cab – thus giving it the most passenger space of any truck in the segment.


Now, Ford could have included all of that information in a normal commercial, with the 1983 Ranger performing mundane tasks like taking the kids and their bikes to the park, or tailgating at a football game. But, that isn’t going to grab anyone’s attention!

Instead, Ford put together a fairly incredible stunt. When it reaches the cliff atop the hill, the midsize truck blasts right off of the edge, soaring through the sky with the greatest of ease. Notice that the nose doesn’t drop when the truck jumps off of the cliff, so this Ranger has clearly been weighted to keep the back end down and the front end up. That careful weight balance allows the huge parachute mounted in the bed to open and safely and lower the Ranger to the ground – where it cuts the cords and drives away.


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