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Rare Ranger: 1989 Ford Ranger GT

This one is a bit newer than usual here, but it’s a fairly rare and unusual vehicle. This is a 1989 Ford Ranger GT and it’s in great condition other than the rust on both rear wheel arches. This one is on Craigslist for $3,500 or best offer. A very nice one sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction in 2004 for $5,610 so it may be worth repairing that rust and maybe you can get creative with a paint scheme, it’ll be hard to match that 28-year old blue metallic paint. This truck has been garaged but being in Sardinia, Ohio hasn’t helped matters, it must have been driven in the winter.

This side is worse, unfortunately. And I know what you’re thinking, what’s under all of that GT-specific cladding? This is a one-owner truck and the person selling it bought it brand new in 1989 for $13.152! That’s about $25,300 today which isn’t a ton of money for a vehicle anymore, but the GT option package added $4,657 which is about $9,000 today. That’s a hefty amount for a Ford Ranger option, and it’s not even a 4×4! The bed looks good other than some surface rust, or are those little rust holes? And there are a couple of small dents and also a ding in the back of the cab on the left side.

The interior looks great, those seats are perfect and the reason why is that they’ve had seat covers on them since day one! And, this GT has a 5-speed manual transmission, although an automatic was also available. There are no engine photos, which is always strange when it doesn’t cost anything to add one to either a Craigslist or eBay listing, and it always makes me suspicious that maybe it’s not as clean as it could be or something else is wrong or missing. But, no worries on this one, the seller says that the 2.9 v6 engine with 140 hp runs strong and perfect. This truck has been maintained religiously and has a ton of new parts and maintenance items, like new brakes, rotors, calipers, hoses, new/used trans with low miles just recently installed as well as clutch and slave cylinder -new starter -fairly new water pump -sensatrac shocks -very good and tight exhaust system, not to mention a killer stereo system. Have any of you owned a Ranger? Have you ever seen a Ranger GT?


  1. roger

    Only around two thousand of these made. My daughter and I have owned four between us and currently have two 1989s and two sets of 1988 ground effects. If you want one the price is fair and they don’t come up too often all parts besides the ground effects and the GT specific sway bars and ECM are readily available.

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    • Greg

      Looking to buy those ground effects. My name is Gregory Williams. My number is 731-223-0206.

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  2. Chebby

    Sounds like the guy got great service out of this truck.

    It’s a nice color, but rare =/= desirable. The BJ one would be the clear choice for not too much more.

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  3. motoring mo

    Lots of clear coat problems on Fords of this Era . SAD!

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    • Jerry HW Brentnell

      the other thing about rangers is they are prone to rotten frames over the rear axle there is 10 of them in a scrap yard up here all the same won’t pass a safety because of rust

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  4. erikj

    I have had a lot of these rangers both 2 and 4×4 and they are great little trucks. The 4x4s are awesome in snow and such, and the 4cyls 2wds are fun for just putting around and very reliable. The only bad is ,don’t let tem overheat! I,ve redone many and the 2.9 seems to be comin to fry heads.
    This Gt I wish I could get since I never knew they made a Gt. But I don’t need a nether project.
    I wish I could do this one though.

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    • Bobby

      I agree the 2.9 doesn’t blow head gasket it cracks heads. I could count the number if heads I’ve service for cracks. One I had I fixed problem I dropped a 5.0 with a 5 speed out of a donor 85 mustang that got total. Made a real GT Ranger. Pretty basic swap especially with donor car sitting right beside it.

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  5. Jason

    I’ve got nothing good to say so I guess I will say nothing at all.

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  6. JW

    Rangers are nice little trucks, glad Ford is bringing them back along with the Bronco in 2018. This one could be made decent looking again for little money, a friend had a similar issue with a Ford where the rear wheel arches rusted on his full size Ford pickup, the body shop cut them out and made ones to fit and you would never know the difference from new. While on the Ford subject did anyone see Ford is bringing out a electric F-150 & Mustang in 2020 ???

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    • z28th1s

      Ford is bringing the Ranger back in 2019 and the Bronco back in 2020.

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    • JW

      z28th1s, yes I stand corrected. I was told 2020 by my local Ford dealer a couple months back but just received the updated newsletter from Mustang360 stating your comment which was announce at the auto show.

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  7. johnnyb

    Had an 86 4×4 long bed and then an 89 super cab 4×4, which I owned for 20 years. Both had the 2.9 V-6 which, as mentioned above, can be a little fragile cylinder head-wise. Overall, though, pretty good trucks. I’m pleased to hear the Ranger badge is coming back.

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  8. Leon

    Explorer rims ??? And the door mirror looks rather far back compared to most vehicles

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  9. Rob

    I’ve had two Rangers. Both 2WD with the hearty 2.3. Loved both of them.

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  10. tasker

    GREAT little trucks, GT’s were not readily available but did remember seeing a few. I still own a 87 STX, and has well over 200k on it these days. those are stock mirror locations, they were placed rear ward due to the fact the earlier ones had wing windows

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  11. Darrun

    I’ve had several, and currently have two with V8’S in the garage. I did a V8 conversion on one with a worn out 4 cylinder back in 1988. Wow…what a difference that made. There was a large hill on the main road immediately after pulling out of my drive way. That 4 cylinder would top it at a blazing 28 MPH. The 302 that replaced it would take it up the hill faster than you could take the sharp curves on the way to the top. That was a fun truck.
    I wanted one of these back in the day. The 2.9 is plenty engine for a nice dependable daily driver. Good beds are still fairly easy to find. This would make a nice project. Great 80’s styling on this one.

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  12. JoeBazots

    I had a 91 Ranger Sport, which had a 5 speed, 3.0 V-6, and “cool” mini-truck vinyl graphics. Was a great truck. My oldest daughter drove it her senior year in HS and we traded it in on a new car for her to take to college. Great little trucks, but this particular one will need some work – always wanted to swap one of these with a stepside bed from a “Splash”.

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  13. Jubjub

    Leon, I had an ’89 Ranger and the mirrors were oddly placed and flopped all over. I think I mated the Ford bases with Nissan heads and all was better. Even looked pretty stock. And yeah, lose the funky Explorer rims!

    I once wanted to get a front sway bar from the local u-pick for my Ranger which came without one. Man, I think they installed the sway before anything else in the front end. I aborted and did fine without.

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  14. Frank

    I had 2 an 89 and a 92 STX shorty 4.0 , 5 speed , 3:55 posi , would outrun Mustang GT’s for 1/8 mile , 15.4 1/4 mile ,loved that truck

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  15. Steve

    I worked at a Ford dealer back then and never heard of a GT that was from the factory, we had ground effects kits from a outside vender and installed at the dealership, a lot of dealers offered special dealer only packages back then and still do but are not something you can order on a build sheet from ford. I could be wrong but never heard or saw these models on any order forms.

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  16. Mark-A

    So who’s downplaying the output of this truck? The 2.8i V6 has a 150hp output, 2.9 V6 is supposed to be 160hp & the one that was auctioned says it is 170hp so what’s the correct output?

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  17. Karl-S

    I had a first year 1986 GT. They were only sold in three western states that year. The SCCA had a road racing series called the RaceTruck Challenge starting in ’86 and Ford sold the GT as a street version of the race truck that was built by Saleen though the racers could only run the 2.3L 4 cylinder engines because none of the competition had a V6 in their small pickup trucks. The ’86 model didn’t have the body cladding. The 2.9L engine was rated at 140hp I believe but it felt peppier than that with the 5 speed manual.

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    I had an 1988, White, 5 speed. paid a whopping $100 for it. Needed a transmission. Fun truck, handed like it was on rails.

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  19. Jamie

    I got a 89 Ranger GT that is red a guy told me in 1989 they only made 730 of them i dont know how much truth to that there is. He said they only made red,white and blue. Now that is patriotic if you ask me . Anyways the truck has 25 thousand miles on it and i drive it daily to town and back it is a nice little ride.

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