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1997 Ford Ranger - The Missing Lincoln

Building What Should’ve Been

Chris “Krisko” Knotts
Jan 13, 2014
Photographers: Jason “Pugz” Walker
Lincoln—a name most everyone is familiar with. It might remind you of a luxury line of automobiles or even our 16th president. I’m quite sure none of us remember much of what we read about Honest Abe in our scholastic years, but he did once say, “Whatever you are, be a good one.”—profound words if ever there were. Such a quote could easily relate to a minitruck if Lincoln (the automaker) ever produced their own version. But if they had ever released pint-sized pickup, it definitely would have been a good one.
Tony Thompson has always been a fan of the Ford Ranger as this is the third one he has owned. A few years had passed between builds but this gearhead was still busy tinkering on stuff. During this time, you could’ve found this guy tearing up the tracks at motocross events, but it wasn’t long before Tony eventually started hanging out with some of his minitrucker friends again and felt the need to start cooking up something custom. He had been building a similar ’99 Ranger before he decided to purchase ol’ Abe, and was very content with the path it was headed. Actually, the Lincoln mini had most of the mods he wanted already completed—he would have a jump on everything he wanted for a damn good price. He also saw that there was so much room to still turn it into something of his own. But as good as this deal sounds, the Ranger he so desperately wanted was located in Michigan—2,400 miles away, but it was something he had to have. The trip alone would be enough to turn someone away, but the big miles weren’t the only obstacle Tony faced. The weekend he chose to make the trek had a forecast calling for stormy weather, but it wasn’t just any ordinary storm. This was the weekend Hurricane Sandy made her debut on the eastern seaboard and across the very highways he had to travel on. Trailer in tow, he braved through the worst of it.
Photo 2/12   |   1997 Ford Ranger Lincoln
Once Tony and his new truck were safe at home, he quickly went to work. He knew exactly what changes needed to be made to dial it in to his exact taste. To accent the narrowed ’64 Galaxie dash that had been previously fitted, a set Cavalier seats were cut down to size and rewrapped luxuriously to match the rest of the cab. The Aviator front end had already been tackled but there was a scoop poking through a hole in the hood. Tony wanted to ensure the truck kept a fairly factory look to it and wanted the hood to close over the V-8 that was dropped in. The intake was modified and the hood was brought back to smooth factory sleekness. To keep the quality of the truck flowing, small details were added. Lincoln badges, the custom bumper, and one-off billet grilles really make this mini what it is. All in all, this is one slick ride with tons of modifications that seem to belong on what should have been Lincoln’s version of a minitruck.
As Mr. Lincoln once said, “every man’s happiness is his own responsibility”, and with such a goal in mind, Tony made the journey, braved the storm and made his dream a reality. This truly is a one-of-a-kind vehicle, we’re sure even ol’ Abe himself would admit that this truck is honestly amazing.
Photo 3/12   |   Custom 1997 Ford Ranger Rear Three Quarter
1997 Ford Ranger
Tony Thompson • Garland, TX • Acrophobia
The Lowdown
Rolling Attire
Wheels: 20x8.5 Raceline Speedster 5 (front) / 22x9 (rear)
Tires: 235/30ZR20 Falken (front) / 245/30ZR22 (rear)
Chassis Modifications
Suspension (front): Slam Specialties RE-7 ’bags, Belltech spindles
Suspension (rear): Slam Specialties RE-7 ’bags, Cantilever six-link
Control Arms: Thorbecke Bros.
Shocks: Toxic
Compressor(s): Dual Viair 380s
Frame Mods: S-10 clip
Misc.: Two, 3-gallon tanks, wheel tubs, ½-inch SMC valves
Performed By: Klockwork Inc.
Body Modifications
Shaved: Cowl, door handles, gas door, taillights, tailgate, third brake light, side mirrors
Bodydrop: 3½ stock floor
Body Mods: ’05 Lincoln Aviator front clip, custom bumper and grilles Suicide Doors: Yep
Bolt-ons: Lincoln emblems
Misc.: Tube core supports, Hagan Hot Rods flush taillight lenses, AVS LEDs with custom aluminum bezels, handmade ebony-stained wood bed floor, AVS oval mirrors
Performed By: Klockwork Inc., Jason Beardon
Brand & Colors: PPG Midnight Metallic
Misc.: House of Kolor Planet Green on motor
Performed By: Klockwork Inc., Jason Beardon
Seats: Trimmed Cavalier seats wrapped in gray vinyl
Dash: ’64 Ford Galaxie dash narrowed 6 inches
Misc.: Billet Specialties billet steering wheel, custom center console
Performed By: Mr. C Upholstery, MT Designs
Head Unit: Alpine
Mids & Highs: 5¼-inch Boston Acoustic
Subwoofers: Three 10-inch JL Audio W1
Amplifiers: JL Audio
Misc.: Fat Mat, bed cut for subs, Kicker and Ixos wiring, two Kinetik 600 cells
Performed By: Klockwork Inc., owner
Engine: 305ci V-8
Header/Exhaust: Heat-wrapped headers, Flowmaster exhaust
Transmission: Turbo 350
Rearend Type: Camaro 373 posi
Detail Work: House of Kolor Planet Green paint
Misc.: 15-gallon RCI aluminum fuel cell, chrome pulleys and accessories, B&M shifter
Performed By: Klockwork Inc., Kenny Krompatic the Engine Master
Special Thanks From Owner
“To my club AcrophobiA worldwide, Michigan Mike at Klockwork Inc. for building Abe, Jeff Zachos at State Line Designs, Line X, my family for all their support, my girlfriend Jennifer for understanding my passion, Marcus with MT Designs for building the center console and Mr. C for wrapping it, Jason Beardon for the paint and bodywork, the guys on DFWminis.net, and Luke Wolak, Avi Flores, Danny Harvey, and Bryan Nakonezny for their help.”



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