1973 Ford Ranger Aftershave: Cool Truck Stuff
We don’t condone testing Ford Ranger beauty products on animals, automotive journalists included.
If you take a stroll through just about any antique store in America, you’re bound to find a few glass cars and trucks sitting on the dusty shelves. You’ll frequently find bottles shaped like sports cars, brass-era antiques, and the occasional Volkswagen Beetle. These aftershave decanters were once popular gifts sold through Avon.
Avon is and was a popular multi-level marketing corporation known for recruiting housewives looking to own their own business or cultivate a second income. Sales are typically made by hosting parties or allowing friends, family, and co-workers to order out of a catalog.
The business model is set up to allow you to further profit from friends and family by recruiting them to work on your team as part of your downline. When they sell items, you see part of the profits, and they’re further encouraged to recruit folks to work on their team.
But how good are these products, anyway? We at Ford Truck Enthusiasts decided to go ahead and test this bad boy.
On a recent trip to an antique store, I was surprised to find one of these ubiquitous aftershave decanters in the shape of a classic Ford truck – a 1973 Ford F-100 Ranger, to be exact. The cab of the truck was a glass bottle, while the bed was a giant plastic cap. Unscrewing this cap lead to a second surprise – it was still full of decades-old aftershave.
The main shape of the truck was molded in, but most of the smaller details – including the cool ’70s blue gradient stripes – were stickers. The original owner did a good job of applying the stickers, which originally came on a sheet from Avon. The grille was peeling slightly, but after almost 45 years, you’d expect a bit of patina on a work truck.
When I got home, I was proud to show my prize off to my girlfriend. “That’s gross,” she said. “You probably shouldn’t put that on your face.”
Always defiant, I decided to not heed her warnings and take this little Ranger for a test drive. I waited a few weeks for a night that I knew she was coming home from work late. I decided to surprise her and take her out for a nice dinner of draft beer and forty-cent chicken wings.
After shaving off my carefully cultivated stubble and making myself look about twelve years old, I was ready for the moment of truth – would this coagulated bottle of nearly half-century-old chemicals leave me looking like the Toxic Avenger? I gave the little truck a healthy shake and dabbed a few drops on either side of my neck.
I’m pleased to report no nastiness or irritation, and it didn’t make me look any uglier than normal. The smell – dubbed “Wild Country” by Avon – was pleasant, but like most men, it lost its rugged edge after four decades.
Whatever the original scent was, it had degraded into the still-pleasant but distinctly un-masculine scent of the gypsophila flower – baby’s breath.
When my girlfriend got home, I greeted her with a hug. She pulled away sharply and wrinkled her nose. “Are you wearing that truck cologne?” I nodded excitedly. “It smells like it’s twenty years old.” Beaming ear to ear, I responded, “No, it smells like it’s FORTY years old! Let’s go get some hot wings!”
At least the bottle looks cool on the sink in the basement bathroom.