The Last Ford Ranger From Twin Cities

2011 Ranger II

Although we reported earlier this year that the soon-to-be-discontinued Ford Ranger would end production by Dec. 22, more recent reports from Ford have the final production date at the end of this week (Dec. 16) or the following Monday. 

The Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minn., has a storied 86-year history, producing such U.S. sales favorites as the Model T, Country Squire and, finally, the last small pickup truck Ford would produce for sale in the U.S. The plant employs more than 800 workers and has built over 7 million Rangers, with no plans to design, engineer and sell a replacement model here, though a new Ranger is sold overseas.

The 1983 Ford Ranger, which started production in January 1982, was a replacement for the Ford Courier, which was based on the imported Mazda B-Series small truck. Ford wanted a scaled-down, lighter version of its full-size F-Series pickup that could work hard, get good gas mileage and compete against small Japanese trucks from Datsun and Toyota and against the U.S.-built Chevrolet and GMC S-Series pickups from GM. 

Reports are that the last Ranger has already been sold to one of the largest, consistent purchasers of the pickup (in fact, we're told they may have also bought the very first Ford Ranger), Orkin Pest Control.

Ranger Orkin II

1984 Ford Ranger


A truly sad day for Ranger fans. Thanks to Ford's stupidity in not building the new Ranger in the USA, 800 workers will lose their jobs. And more sales will go to Toyota.

The ranger is a great truck. Too bad they are discontinuing them.

If they would have revamped it, it would have beaten the Tacoma.

The Tacoma sales for this year are around 100,000.

Don't start with the Colorado either. The ranger is already outselling the POS Colorado and the ranger hasn't even changed since 2001.

This is a sad day. It's a handsome little truck, but not so small that you would feel cramped it in. I say this as a 6'3 200 pound man, even with my size I found it extremely comfortable. It had plenty of capability, far more that it was given credit for, and it will be a shame to lose such an iconic pickup. I'm not one who much cares for the global Ranger, I really could not care if it come over here or not.

i understand everyone's frustration it was a good little truck and they are everywhere, i just don't think Ford is that stupid and will have a replacement probably around the same time the New Colorado comes out

@Dan the Man - I wouldn't be so sure. Ford is a corporation that is very concerned about making profit today, not so concerned about it's 7 million past Ranger owners. Retooling the plant to build the new Ranger apparently won't contribute to their bottom line any time soon so they are giving the truck the ax.

GM, on the other hand, has no problem spending money to build the new Colorado here, even if the truck flops. They have been declared "Too big to fail" and have the financial backing of the US taxpayer so they are free to make any decisions they want without fear of reprisal. Just like the big banks they are back to business-as-usual but even more care-free than ever!

@Lou - I've read the complaints about the Dana 28 and 7.5" Ford axles but I've never met anyone who actually had an issue. I suppose if you got crazy with 37"+ tires it would be an issue. The worst I ever had happen was a blown hub messing around in some deep mud in a farmer's field.

People keep talking about the Tacoma, what about the Nissan Frontier? They're quickly catching up to Tacoma's sales numbers.

I have a 1991 Ranger 4x4 that just hit 340,000 miles. It is still solid as the day I bought it. Has a few dings, but it still starts even on the coldest days here in MN, gets me anywhere I need to go and gets good gas mileage. I have taken excellent care of it - oil changed every 3,000 miles, trans, transfer case, brake fluid and coolant, all changed at recommended intervals. Just put in my second pair of shocks and water pump six months ago, but it's still a great little truck. Parts are much cheaper for it than my buddy's Tacoma, too.

@ toycrusher84 - I was running the biggest tires one could fit stock. I have to admit that I was damned hard on the truck. I didn't have a quad or a dirt bike at the time so it was used extensively offroad. Funny thing was that most my friends had lifted 3/4 tons and 1/2 tons. I was the one usually getting the phone call to come and help them because they broke something.
I had it 7 years. I let my best friend drive it off and on for almost a year. I sold it to a guy who drove it for another 7 years without any problems.
I have fond memories of the stuff I did with it, but do I miss it? or will I be sad due to the Ranger demise?
At the end of the day, it is just a machine.

@Lou - It's nice to know yours went to a good home. Mine finished it's days wearing the body of an '89 Mustang coupe. It had become a "Muckstang"...

I have a 1994 Ranger this truck is bullet proof, the 2.3L is not a strong engine but it is incredilibly durable (SOHC no pushrods) cast iron block and head. I have put 220,000 mile on this engine the only problem I have had is a EGR sensor that went bad and I have replaced the alternator and starter both failed at 200,000 plus miles. I bought a 2002 Ranger Edge with the 3.0L V6 because of the great durable of my 1994. I put 218,000 mile on the truck and it was lost in a car accident. I will never sell or trade my 1994 ranger. My brother has a 1995 Ranger with the 2.3L he has put 590,000 mile with no major problems, replaced 2 timing belts and 1 alternator

When my wife and I first started courting, she had a 1986 Ranger SuperCab STX with the 2.9L V6/4-spd. auto. It was a cool little pickup. We were a two Ford (with my 1968 Mustang G.T. fastback) couple. She ended up trading it for her (eventually our) first Jeep (1993 Wrangler Base 4.0L I-6/5-spd.), in 1995.

This is a sad time indeed. Another legend for the history books.

Ford Ranger -you will be greatly missed.

trucks from Datsun and Toyota and against the U.S.-built Chevrolet and GMC S-Series pickups from GM.

Sorry to see the Ranger go... Fond memories. My first truck was a 1987 2WD Ranger Long Bed with the 2.9L V6 and 5 speed that I bought in the mid-90s. It was my daily driver and I beat the crap outta it but never had any serious problems. I flat towed my Jeep CJ-5 all over New England with it and got through the snow fine with studded tires. Near the end the 2.9L leaked oil from the valve covers on the exhaust manifolds so it smoked a bit and the paint never held on very well, but those were minor things. Sold it to a friend for $800 with over 200k on the clock. He beat on it some more and ended up giving it to some kids who road tripped down to Florida with it. Not sure what happened after that....

Once I got a full-sized truck though, I couldn't go back.

@ toycrusher84 - in many respects, it was reasuring to know that the guy who bought it looked after it and got some great use out of it.
I had a different guy who had looked at it. I met him a month later at a pub. He was drunk, and told me he had bought a Chevy. He went on to say that he was out 4x4'ing with it (drunk of course) and wrecked it.
I've had a few other trucks that I have absolutely no idea where they went or what hapened to them. Sometimes I wonder. Trucks and cars are odd things. They are just machines but guys sure do get attached to them.

Good riddance now furd has to kill the f150 f250 f350 annd evry orher f,in truck they make

If people truly wanted little trucks in large numbers, there wouldn’t be any need to pass a law to make them buy them.

I was going to buy a Toyota but started to read the consumer complaints about them and was simply astounded.

After talking to a friend who owned a Tundra and two others who had Tacomas I bought a Ranger.

Toyota has set records this past few years for making poorly engineered trucks. To read all the complaints against Toyota trucks would take several days.

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