Micro Off-Roader: 1967 Ferves Ranger

1967-ferves-ranger

We love rare and unusual cars. There is just something about stumbling onto a car you’ve only heard rumors of. This little Fiat we came across while browsing the internet, might be one of the most unusual vehicles we have ever seen. It was designed to fill a niche that to be honest we didn’t know needed to be filled, but we are glad someone tried. This niche was the off-road micro car market, while there might be some humor in that statement, we are being serious. Take a look at this oddball here on eBay, but just a heads up, this one is in Germany.

ferves-ranger-interior

We can’t imagine what the thought process was when the people at FERVES, that’s short for Ferrari Veicoli Speciali (yes that’s Ferrari as in the exotic car company) decided to create this mini off-roader. We imagine it went something like this, “Micro car, good. Off-Roader, good. Micro Off-Roader, great!” We aren’t so sure if it was a great idea, but it certainly was one of the most unique micro cars ever produced. Given that there were only about 800 ever built, we are going to assume that the rest of the world questioned the idea as well.

1967-fiat-ranger

The Ranger, like many small Italian micro cars of the era was based on Fiat’s popular 500. Ferrari’s ties to Fiat helped motivate its inception and construction. It used the 500’s twenty horsepower two-cylinder motor, which let the two wheel drive model reach a top speed of about 45 mph. Top speed dropped a few mile per hour on the 4×4 version. Yes you read that correctly, this was offered with four wheel drive in later models. Sadly, this one is an early example and lacks four wheel drive, but it does have removable suicide doors and fold down windscreen.

ferves-ranger

This is one of those cars that no matter how impractical and odd it seems, you just can’t help but love it. We aren’t sure what it will take to restore this one, but given how simplistic it is we would assume it will be a straight forward project. Since it uses a standard Fiat engine, parts for the motor should be much simpler and cheaper to find than other micros. Some of the parts that are unique to the Ranger might be a challenge to locate though. That being said, we would still love to have this little project. We thought the photo above might give you some inspiration of what this could look like after applying some elbow grease.

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Comments

  1. Don Andreina

    What the? Barnfinds, you’ve done it again. Never, ever seen or heard of these. Awkward, but so frigging cute. Top find, Josh.

  2. scottski

    That would have been my kind of car show.

    • rancho bella

      wow…..look at all the trucks……..heaven on wheels

      • paul

        I just want to know one thing RB, was it you that grabbed that loti europa in a rancho bella minute.

  3. Wiley Robinson

    I know somebody who’s got one of those – and enough other stuff to fill this page for at least a couple of years :)

  4. Rolly Doucet

    That could be a monster truck for Mr. Bean.

  5. William Holt

    Man, I’d love to have one of these. Looks like someone built a Mule back before anyone ever thought of them. Niche??? May have been a niche back then but a lot of manufacturers are currently making a ‘version’ of this vehicle. This things would sell like crazy these days, especially if it’s street legal. Look how many people purchase what are basically heavily built 4×4 utility go carts. I could easily put this little car to use on the deer lease, hauling feed, etc. Too bad it’s so far away.

  6. MikeH

    A Jolly, an Italian Mehari–or really an Italian 2CV.

    • Don Andreina

      An Italian Farm-O-Road?

      • rancho bella

        Oh Don……me loves the Farm-O-Road and the Crofton Bug. The Crofton Bug is on my bucket list as they were made here in San Diego and thats all the room I have left.

        On to this Fiat……….how cute is this? never seen one.
        Thanks BF

  7. Robert J

    It’ a Mini-Mog. Perfect thing if you want to do some mini off-roading and your yard is infested with gophers.

    Youtube is a Ferves Ranger bonanza by the way:

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ferves%20ranger&sm=3

  8. Jim-Bob

    I have to wonder about the front suspension. The only rear engined Fiat I have ever worked on is a 1973 850, and I remember that it had the same strange front suspension arrangement as a East German Trabant or a Zastava Yugo. The car uses a transverse leaf spring with the spring itself acting as the upper control arm. I wonder if they did the same thing here?

    Other than that, It’s interesting and would be a unique alternative to a John Deere Gator.

  9. Bryan Cohn

    Its not as hard to imagine why this car came about. Ferrari had wealthy customers and some owned vineyards, farms and large acreage. At some point one of those customers had a lunch with Mr. Ferrari or Dino and while chatting mentioned something about hating to have to still use a horse to do some of the farm work or needing a off road runabout to use around the property. That got the wheels spinning and next thing you know you have the Ferves Ranger.

    I’ve never heard of this so congrats to BF!

    The asking is a bit steep, might need to remove a “1”.

  10. Alan

    Cute little off-road runabout.
    And the rest of the barn is interesting too…

    I just wonder why someone would try to sell a little project worldwide for $12K, and not have decent photographs. Get a better camera! Or, at least improve the photography technique, and take five times as many pictures, so that all the ones selected for the listing will be clear.

    The seller is likely selling on consignment or commission. Otherwise, it really makes little sense to have not rolled the Ranger out of the barn for some better shots.

    On the car itself… The only visible thing missing appears to be the horn. I wonder how rare those headlights are? And the steel body looks straight. Strip it, dip it, prime it, paint it. This would baffle and amuse everyone at a local car show!

  11. Paula

    Hey, it is not such an impractical idea! The Italian Alps are full of “mulatiere” or mule trails, and this little 4×4 should be able to use them. I used to live in the west of Northern Italy and would have loved to use it. As far as the 500, we had one from 59 to 62, and have driven every Alpine road there was between the Mediterranean and the Austrian border, had lots of fun! The crest roads, which were originally built for guarding border areas, were the best, driving along the crest of the lower Alps, with the country falling off on both sides, with views that took your breath away. Wonderful memories brought up by this find!

  12. Thomas Spencer

    It looks for all the world like the Cyclops car that was around Road & Track Magazine for years….

  13. Mike M

    Oh, that’s cool!

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