FLASHBACK A Classic 1983 Ford Ranger Video Review

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Let’s break out the time machine and set a course for 1983! Aside from being the year I was born, it was also the first year that Ford introduced the Ranger mid-sized pickup truck.

Released in 1982 as a 1983 model, the Ranger was a response to the Japanese’s assault on American trucks by building smaller, more fuel efficient units.

The Ranger started at just $6,400, and the folks at MotorWeek reviewed one that had an as tested price of $8,200. Trucks are nowhere near that price now!

Even then, the Ranger had some innovative features to set it apart. If you were carrying a big piece of plywood, you could install braces to create a loading surface above the wheel arches.

At the time, the Ranger also looked a lot like the F-Series pickup, meaning that you could still get a big truck look without having as big of a truck. Noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) was kept well in check. For a truck of that time frame, the Ranger handled decently and could stop from 55 mph in 127 ft.

More surprisingly, the EPA rated the truck at 27 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. Those numbers are basically useless, since the EPA has revised their testing procedure immensely since then to provide more accurate numbers, but MotorWeek did get 25 mpg in the truck. That’s a decent number even by today’s pickup truck standards, all things considered!


Be sure to give the video a watch and tell us what you think on the forums. Ford knew then how good the Ranger was going to be, maybe this is another reason to bring it back?

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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