1995 Ford Ranger - Endangered Ranger
An Existence Outside The Garage
It isn't unusual for a custom truck build to extend past the decade mark but something must be said concerning ten-year-old modifications that remain relevant and are downright impressive based on today's standards and trends. Jason Lazarus, from Atlantic Beach, Florida, has personally witnessed how the hands of time have gently massaged the quality of his best-of-show quality '95 Ford Ranger. Ever since the tail end of the 90's, this tailor-made mini has been patiently waiting in various garages across the Midwest and finally made its way to the East Coast for its final stages of preparation and a well deserved life of leisure in the Sunshine State.
The road to glory was, without a doubt, littered with gaping potholes and distracting detours, but it also offered the Ranger exposure to many sets of eyes that shared Jason's vision. During the truck's extended stay in an unnamed Indiana auto shop while it awaited a budget body drop in early '99, Shawn Krist of Krist Kustoms happened to catch a glimpse of the lone Ranger and made his interest in creating a completely one-off cockpit known. Jason admits that having the tan colored leather and suede interior work completed before the vast majority of the rest of the build was a logistical mistake. Could you imagine worrying about keeping the posh confines of the cab clean for ten years? Considering sitting though the paint and prep process and the countless days of sitting idle in a dusty garage, the seats, dash, panels, and the Mercedes Benz carpet look amazingly well preserved. The classic, elegant styling is a testament to timeless design and part selection. The Dakota Digital gauges and Billet Specialties steering wheel definitely make for classically fancy dash adornments. The center located window and bag switches, which have been tucked inside a slide compartment, and the door panel mounted 8-inch Hertz Audio woofers and Denon head unit round out the highlights of a truly clean interior that has clearly defied time.
After a few more flips of the calendar page, Jason's mini rig was Florida bound, headed to Mad Mods fabrication shop, which is located in Ft. Lauderdale and headed by Mohawk-clad, Robert Bauman. It was in Robert's shop that the majority of the Ranger's unique style was created. Everything that could be shaved off the factory Ford body was - the door handles, taillights, antenna, rain gutters were all sent to the trash bin. An '05 Explorer frontend was swapped onto the Ranger and Ford Ranger Edge fenders were substituted in place of the original metal. You might not recognize it, but an OEM Edge hood has been raised a few inches to accommodate the altered engine location due to the body drop.
The rear features a smoothed out roll pan and tailgate combo complete with a molded in HiTech single LED strip. Having problems locating it? Well, don't expect to find it without having someone step on the brake pedal because it has been stealthily stashed behind the DuPont Tangerine Metallic paint.
With a peek into the bed, one will quickly realize that it isn't really a bed at all but rather an elaborate display housing for a custom four-link setup and lots of custom painted and chromed goodness. Mad Mods can be held accountable for orchestrating the suspension symphony, which also includes musical notes provided by the inflation and deflation of Slam Specialties 'bags. A set of 20x8-inch Boyd Impact wheels and Nitto NT555 225/35R20 rubber tuck snugly into the fender space to create an impressive presentation as the Ranger's body collapses down around the rolling combination.
When all has been said and done, the long years Jason spent relocating his truck to and from shops across state lines was prelude to its recent grand unveiling and welcomed reception. The judges at SlamFest '08, the Ranger's first ever public viewing, awarded the truck with the Best of Show award in the mini-truck category. Not bad for a show scene rookie. Apparently its ten-year garage sentence seasoned the truck just right.