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1996 Ford Ranger Supercab 2WD - The Ranger Formula

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Kevin Blumer | Writer
Posted June 1, 2010

And Now For Something Streetable...

We showcase a lot of supertrucks in our pages. You know the ones: able to leap multiple whoops in a single bound, more powerful than the Space Shuttle on steroids...

The dirty little secret behind most of those supertrucks is that they're rarely, if ever, driven on the street. Why? Competition-style rollcages make ingress and egress an exercise in body contortion, not to mention the way they amplify noise into the cab. Add competition-style five-point harnesses to the picture and you can see why supertrucks aren't practical or fun for everyday use.

If your envisioned supertruck needs a dash of Clark Kent in the mixture, we'd suggest following the Ranger formula on these pages. Tim Giles of Whittier, California, needed just such a mixture in his '96 Ford Ranger.

Tim originally started working on a '92 Ranger, but slammed into a proverbial brick wall mid-way through his build. Burned out and frustrated, but not wanting to give up completely, he decided a different truck and a different approach were in order. He scanned the classified ads for an unmolested stock truck and happened upon a clean '96 Supercab Ranger with the 4.0 pushrod-style V-6. The truck hadn't been modified or abused. It was a perfect blank canvas.

To paint that blank canvas, Tim turned to Tom McKenzie of S.I. Motorsports. Tom has built several supertrucks, but developed a formula for building dual-purpose Rangers along the way. What is the formula? It's a bolt-on bed cage with an integrated spare tire carrier, a bolt-on engine cage, long-travel front I-beams, and long-travel rear leaf springs. To keep this truck streetable, a full rollcage wasn't part of the equation. Comparing Tom's work to art on a canvas isn't a stretch. Tom's a perfectionist and does things either a hundred percent or not at all.

We love looking at and riding in supertrucks, but we still know there's a definite place for Clark Kent. That place may be in your driveway.

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