2008 Ford Ranger - Still Soaring

    A Toyota's Re-Birth As A Ford

    Kevin BlumerPhotographer, Writer

    We're not in the habit of revisiting past feature trucks, but this situation's a little different. Aside from a few feet of framerail, this truck is a whole new build. It's hard to imagine by looking at the most recent photos, but you've seen this truck before. "Stretching for Success, " August 2006, showcased Shawn Giordano's Toyota, which sported Ranger bedsides, a 22R four-cylinder engine, and a wheelbase stretched to 112 inches.

    After that first photo shoot, big changes took hold of the Toy. The 22R was shelved in favor of a 3.4 Toyota V-6. The leaf sprung rear suspension was ditched and a four-link took its place. These upgrades combined with Shawn's driving skill and a little luck took truck and driver to an overall win at an MDR race. It was time to jump up to a bigger league: Best In The Desert.

    Best In The Desert (BITD) is a pro-level series that offers competitors the security of racing exclusively in the United States, entry fees that fall midway between MDR and SCORE, and chasing and pitting rules that create the safest racing conditions we know of. There's a lot to like.

    Shawn's speed in BITD races raised some eyebrows, most notably those of Ford Motor Co. The Blue Oval approached Mr. Giordano and asked him if he'd be interested in campaigning under its banner. Shawn knew a good thing when he saw it, and the two parties inked a deal.

    Since almost everything's been changed, we'll leave the details to the photos and captions. There are times we lose track of feature trucks and their drivers, so it was good to check back in and see that Shawn and his truck are still soaring.

    Vehicle: 2008 Ford Ranger built for BITD's Class 7200
    Owner: Shawn Giordano, San Marcos, CA
    Engine: Ford SOHC 4.0 V-6
    Induction: Stock EFI
    Exhaust: custom headers by Richards Performance, Magnaflow muffler
    Transmission: Turbo 400 built by Culhane Transmissions, TCS torque convertor
    Front suspension: JD Fabrication long-travel kit, Fabtech Dirt Logic shocks and bumpstops,18 inches of travel
    Rear suspension: Owner-built four-link, Fabtech Dirt Logic shocks and bumpstops, 28 inches of travel
    Rear axle: Dirt Tech 9-inch with 3.5 inch axle tubes, full spool, 40-spline shafts, Desert Specialties hubs, Wilwood brakes
    Tires & wheels: 35x12.50R15 BFGoodrich Baja T/As on 15-inch Raceline Monster beadlocks
    Other: KC Hilites, Momo steering wheel, Lowrance GPS, Mastercraft 3G seats, J.E. Reel driveshaft