Throwback Thursday: 1986 Ranger GT – The original Sports Truck

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The Ranger GT was designed to offer sports-car performance with the functionality of a small pickup truck. But did it succeed?

In the modern era of the American pickup truck, performance packages are typically designed for off-road fun, rather than on-road handling. But back in 1986, Ford launched a new package for their sporty little Ranger pickup, which focused on-road performance.

The Ranger GT featured a fuel injected V6, a close ratio 5-speed manual transmission, aluminum wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle GT radials, a sport suspension system, a 3.73 rear gear (with short the bed), and black exterior trim with painted (instead of chrome) mirrors and bumpers. All of these characteristics bolstered the simple-yet-sporty exterior design.

Really, the 2.9-liter Cologne V6 with 140 horsepower fell a bit short of other GT-badged Ford products, but compared to the other engine options of the at the time, the Ranger GT V6 was a quick little pickup!

ranger

To show off its performance capabilities, the Motor Company put together a commercial with the sporty pickup doing a big burnout, before racing towards a row of tightly packed cones. Thanks to its tuned suspension, the Ranger GT is able to weave comfortably through the cones with minimal body roll and plenty of poise.

Further into the video, the little pickup accelerates hard before kicking the back-end around, and finishing the video with a dramatic spin to a stop. As the video ends, the narrator proclaims that the 1986 Ranger GT is the first sports car with a bed.

Would you agree?

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

Video via: [Beta MAX]

Patrick Rall is a regular contributor to LS1Tech and JK Forum, among other auto sites.

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