Rare Diesel Ford Ranger Pops up in FTE Forums

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Diesel Ford Ranger

You don’t see too many diesel first-gen Ranger pickups these days. And even fewer are as nice as this one!

The idea of a modern, diesel-powered Ford Ranger isn’t that far-fetched. Even if we aren’t getting one in America (at least not yet). After all, Ford sells a ton of them in places like Australia. But what a lot of people don’t also know is that Ford offered a diesel-powered Ranger way back when the (then) compact pickup debuted in 1983. Then, buyers could opt for a Mazda/Perkins-built four-cylinder producing  a whopping 59 hp and 90 lb-ft of torque.

The reason not many folks even know these early diesel Rangers exist, even today, is because they’re pretty rare. Fuel economy was a big selling point when these trucks first came out, but most folks opted for gas-powered Rangers. Regardless, Ford continued to sell them through the 1987 model year. Though they did switch to a Mitsubishi-built 2.3-liter turbo diesel in 1985, which produced a more acceptable 86 hp and 134 lb-ft.

Diesel Ford Ranger

You hardly ever see diesel Ranger examples these days, which makes Ford Truck Enthusiasts member joecooz‘s ’83 something truly special to behold. The new-to-him pickup appears to be in pretty excellent shape, with a solid body and surprisingly clean interior. It also looks completely original, save for add-ons like the cap and front visor. But that stuff is obviously easy to remove.

Diesel Ford Ranger

It’s an even nicer find considering the OP found this pickup in the Midwest, where most old trucks tend to rot away to nothing. Obviously, whoever owned this diesel Ranger before took good care of it and kept it away from the elements.

Diesel Ford Ranger

Now that it’s in the hands of a proper enthusiast, we’re betting that royal treatment will continue. Which is important in our opinion, because these interesting pieces of history are certainly worth saving!

Join the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forums now!

Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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