BF EXCLUSIVE: $450 1985 Ford Ranger

Some of you may have fond memories of the early Ford Ranger, as it really was a distinctive truck — one size smaller than the full-size trucks of the time, one size larger than the imported mini-pickups. This one doesn’t look like much now, but at an asking price of $450 obo, does it have to? Contact Van B. using the form at the end of this post if you are interested in a drive to Orange Park, Florida to bring it home.

In 1985, the Ranger was still being refined from it’s 1983 introduction. As you can see from this brochure picture, the truck was available in all kinds of upscale trim levels. We don’t know for sure what model the one for sale is, though, although it does have the larger V6 engine that was available.

Much of the truck’s styling was shared with its full-size brethren.There’s a very detailed buyers guide as well as a bunch more information on these trucks at therangerstation.com. Unfortunately, the one picture of the truck advertised is the only one the seller sent to us, but Van’s story is as follows: It has been sitting a long time. It does have a rebuilt V6 with about 2500 miles or less on the rebuild. A friend got a D.W.I., lost his license and then he passed away. I do believe that I can get all the receipts for the rebuild. I’ve since pickled the engine with Marvel Mystery Oil to keep it good rather than see it sit and rust away. If somebody needs a little pickup I can even deliver it anywhere in the Southeast due to that is what I do for work: haul automobiles.

So, if you’re interested in a little old work truck, contact Van through the form below!

Location:  Orange Park, Florida

Asking Price: $450 obo

Mileage: 88,000

Title: Clear

Contact The Seller

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Comments

  1. Kevin Lee

    Dual exhaust, AND a bed full of buckets? Deal!!!

  2. JW

    Rangers were good little pickups, why Ford did away with them is beyond me and they must have seen the mistake as the new ones will be out this fall. Not quite as small as before though.

    • FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972 Member

      JW, it’s my understanding the Rangers MPGs were no better than the full-size F-150s so sales fell off. When buyers realized the larger Fords fuel milage was just as good as the Rangers, many passed on the smaller truck. Just what I heard.

      This red Ranger looks like a base trim level Custom as evidenced by the lack of side trim, plain wheels and basic painted bumper. Probably a no-frills cab with vinyl seats, no carpet and no power accessories. Might not even have power streering. I had an ’88 Ford Ranger Custom that I bought brand new that was a basic, stripped, no-frills, four cylinder, 5-speed pickup. The only extra it had was an AM radio. It was cheap and I used it as basic work transportation and odd jobs. A dependable little truck with great fuel milage that almost never let me down.

      When I got divorced, my ex wanted it and took it out of state but sold it back to me 2 years later. Then I sold it to my brother who drove it into the ground for a few years. I bought it back from him, refurbished all the mechanicals and drove it until 2014. Finally, after 25 years and about 150K, I sold it to my nephew’s friend. He wrecked it 25 days later. Damn shame.

      These Rangers were good little trucks, parts are plentiful including performance parts and dress-up accessories. This one here looks like the bed and cab are in good shape and it may not cost too much to freshen it up. Can’t beat the asking price. If it was closer I’d be interested.

      Like 1
      • JW

        Fordguy, I had not heard that about the mileage so I can’t comment. My neighbor had 2 small Rangers both in dark green, he bought his and his wife loved it so he bought her one. My oldest son had a S-10 and loved it, The auto industry must understand not all people need a full size pickup for home use. The new one is about as big as our 2002 Toyota Tundra which me and the wife loved it, we put 130K on it with no problems then the youngest son bought it since we were going to trade it in and put another 150k on it with only changing a couple ignition coils then it met it’s match with a semi trailer.

      • FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972 Member

        JW, I’ve also read that over the years, the price difference between the Ranger and the F-150 got smaller so sales of the smaller pickup declined. For a few dollars more many buyers opted for the larger pickup.

        The Ford Rangers were very popular, hundreds of thousands were produced during it’s long production run from 1983 to 2011. I’m sure the size was attractive to many as well as the fact they were cheaper initially than a full-size pickup. I’ve read a little about the new 2019 Ranger and I’m not a fan. I don’t care for four door pickups, the bed is too small. Besides, you can’t reach the gun rack.

        I’m on my third Ranger, a 2004 XLT extended cab. Not a true two door but close enough; at least the bed is a six footer. Still have my ’97 Ranger which I’ll sell after it warms up here in the Northeast. Never had a Tundra, I’ve always had Fords and a few Chevys though I’ve heard they are indeed good trucks.

      • JoeBazots

        I can attest to the mileage issue. I had a 91 Ranger w/ the 3.0 V-6/5 spd. and I later had a 2011 (last MY in US) w/ a 4 cyl./5 spd. Even the 2011 only got around 23 on the highway. It honestly was pitiful. I’ll be glad to see the return, but will hang on to my F150 Super Crew. The reintroduced looks to be more a mid-sized rather than compact. Supposed to only be offered w/ an eco-boost 4 cyl. and 10 spd. auto only (at least for the initial offerings in the US.)

      • JW

        @JoeBazots, I think you are correct on only offering the 4 cyl. eco-boost as I think they are completely doing away with the V6 because the eco boost 4cyl. has just as much hp and better mileage, I know that’s what has happened to the V6 in the Mustangs, only 4 & 8 cylinders will be offered.

  3. CanuckCarGuy

    I’ve always wanted to put a 2.3 turbo drivetrain into one of these….a Tbird or SVO set-up would be very complimentary to the size and weight of the truck.

  4. Rube Goldberg Member

    Actually, I’m looking for something like this right now, but I’m not going half way across the country to get it. Price is right. I never thought of these early Rangers bigger than the imports. Seemed like a direct knockoff of the Asian trucks( for a change). Never cared for Ford’s V6, in this instance, I’d almost prefer the 4, but would take a V6 because a truck, that is in one piece, is always useful for something.

  5. Mntbikerxs

    An 85 Ranger longbed was the first new car I ever bought . It had the 2.3L
    4 cylinder with a 5 speed,AC, PS, and 85 was the first year for fuel injection. It was dependable, thrifty and fun to drive. It got great gas mileage too, hi 20s to low 30s. The body looks fairly sound on that one and if it will run, it’s a real bargain.

  6. Duffy Member

    If it looks as good on the passenger and front side as it does on the driver’s side, it’s a good buy. For the money, it’s just nice to have around.

  7. KSwheatfarmer

    Standard operating procedure in farm country when dad gets to old to drive just get him a smaller pickup and hope for the best. Locals soon learn which ones to watch out for.I’m living it right now. Beware the purple Ranger.

    Like 3
  8. Dan in TX

    Ford Ranger…the official truck of old men everywhere.

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      Thank-you,,, we earned it. :)

  9. SquareLeft

    Two notes from my time helping a friend who owned a Ford dealership:

    1. The fuel mileage comment is spot-on. I can’t tell you how many Ranger owners complained about the low MPG. I’ve not really researched this, but my take on the cause was that it was a combination of lower gearing to maintain hauling capacity vs. engine size and transmission life and that these trucks were produced before digital fuel injection allowed for better fuel distribution and higher compression ratios.

    2. If you buy this one or one like it, make your first inspection point the ‘buckets’ that locate the ends of the rear leaf springs. In a time when car dealers keep their parts inventory to a bare minimum, we kept TWO complete sets in stock. The ‘buckets’ rust quickly because the drain holes get plugged. When the rust reaches the critical level, one end of the leaf spring will break free. I don’t think that I have to describe what that does to the drivability of the truck!

  10. Jay. E. Member

    Cramped, noisy, uncomfortable, unrelieable, gutles and pathetic fuel economy. The later ones were ok, but I wouldnt take this one if it were free.

  11. David

    These are great all around vehicles ,which I learned late. Three years ago I came into possession of a 1989 ranger xlt extended cab 2wd with manual 5sp. Driven from Arkansas to Maine reaching 29mpg with that Lima 4. It has some 130k miles now and folks claim that 4 is a 300,000 Mile engine. Runs very cool too. This one had all the nice options including A/C which works. We don’t drive our ranger in winter, but it is a daily dependable and comfortable driver from spring to the first snowflakes. Hauling hay, livestock, and the family. What a comfortable ride it is especially at hwy speeds. I sometimes have the idea to stretch it to a long bed behind the extended cab, however it would be a shame to fool with this perfect little truck. This ranger here will get snapped up. Additionally the appreciation for these trucks is very dear among those who own or have owned them. Yes there is a place in the market for these basic trucks, but this new ranger I’m sure will be expensive and likely not made of the bones these older rangers were.

  12. Duffy Member

    I want this truck.

  13. Wayne

    I live in Northern Nevada and flip these for a reasonable price. Usually about $2,000. I only deal with 2.3s and 5 speeds. This combo is the most dependable .
    300,000 miles is done on a regular basis. Rube, I may have what you are looking for. 1988 regular cab, 2wd, stripy with no options. No rust anywhere and straight.
    I also have a new rebuilt SVO long block along with everything to put an SVO back together. (harness, computer, turbo, T5, everything!) let me know if you are interested.

  14. rufos_adventure

    I’ve had 4 rangers from the mid 80s, all 4 banger 5 speeds. fuel mileage in the high 20s, able to break the speed limit anywhere in the country and able to haul a way over half ton load. 3 were 2.3 ci 1 was 200 ci (that was marginal on te highway). two were hand down to sons, still have number 3. my daily driver now is a ford sport trac, far more room, but that v-6 sucks fuel.
    the new ranger is about sport trac size, too big for in small mall parking….

  15. Larry q

    It needs a 5.0 and a 5 speed

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