We are all presented with challenging situations in life, and the outcomes always depend on how we handle the problems as they arise. You can either roll over and let those problems get the best of you, or you can take action and rise up to turn it around for a more positive result. Paul Bullis from Dunnellon, Florida, found that some obstacles actually hold a few surprise benefits.

This '95 Ford Ranger happens to be Paul's first truck that he started working on back in 1998. His first efforts and a simple paintjob were OK, but it wasn't quite the image he had in mind of how his truck should look when completed. Over the years, Paul has taken the buildup of his truck one step at a time, but the most recent go-through has taken his truck one step further. In doing so, he's taken his ride to a whole new level. This time, he did the truck a huge service by shaving the emblems and door handles, and repainting it.

Proud of its new look, Paul decided a little more work was in order. He brought the truck to Florida's Slamfest in 1999, hoping to take home a trophy or two. Unfortunately, that's not the way the cads were dealt, and Paul found himself going home empty-handed. This caused him to take yet another look at the way his truck had been completed to that point. His Ranger was taken off the road yet again after the 1999 Slamfest, and Paul was more determined than ever to turn failure into success. Paul said, "I went home and started cutting and grinding, and one thing led to another."

Now, not only has he achieved the new look he was hoping for, but the truck is also featured in his favorite magazine. Paul credits going to Slamfest with motivating him to become truly competitive with his Ford. "I always dreamed about having a feature truck, but I never really focused on it until the past couple of years." Believe it or not, even in its current condition, this is still only an interim step for Paul and his Ranger. Future plans call for a new interior, a body drop, and a 302ci V-8 conversion. A pair of suicide doors and suicide hood will also be added before he changes the outward appearance of the truck with an upcoming new paintjob. When asked about the actual date of completion, Paul said, "probably never."

The Lowdown

Chassis/Suspension Steve Colley and Joey Machado from Ocala C-notched the rear / factory leaf springs with relocated brackets / tubed bed for clearance / DJM lowered I-beams in front / custom-built 'bag brackets up front / inner fender panels removed / transmission crossmember and radius arms relocated / suspension uses Firestone 2,500-pound 'bags in front and 2,600-pound 'bags in the rear / Blow Jax DC 7000 compressor / 1/2-inch Parker valves / 3/8-inch air lines / 6-gallon reserve air tanks / all components mounted under the bed floor
Wheels/Tires 18x8-inch Dante Designs with 245/40ZR18 BFGoodrich G-Force radials in front / 20x9-inch Dante Designs with 245/40ZR20 BFGoodrich tires in the rear
Body Mods Performed by Paul and his friend Steve Colley / custom fiberglass tonneau cover / fiberglass cowl-induction hood with a 2.5-inch rise made by Unlimited / tailgate welded shut / angled license plate built into an FBI rear roll pan / carbon-fiber mirrors / shaved door handles / shaved emblems / shaved antenna / shaved third brake light / shaved gas filler relocated to the bed / new Supra taillights / '94 Splash grille uses a cut-down Trenz billet insert / front bumper cover from F.B.I. adds fog lights / Rhino Liner bed holds an Optima Red Top and three 3-D skulls
Paint MatMan of Central Florida Collision in Belleview, Florida, [(352) 347-4441] sprayed the House of Kolor Candy Blue Pearl / graphics use nine colors with a diamond-plate-look along the bottom, skulls throughout, and a biomechanical theme / created by Mark Silvares of Eagle Eye Customs
Interior Ford Probe GT seats were re-upholstered in blue and gray by Eric in Ocala / Paul modified the factory door panels, fiberglassing them into a smooth design for the door speakers / Air Ride Technologies gauges installed for the air suspension / high-mounted Mallory 5-1/2-inch tachometer with rev limiter and shift light installed in anticipation of a 302ci V-8 conversion
Stereo Paul installed his own system beginning with the Sony CDX-M 7850 head unit / Audio Control 4.1 signal processor / Audio Control 3XS electronic crossover / MTX Thunder 304, four-channel amplifier puts out 90 watts per channel, energizing MTX Thunder 8000 speakers in the kick panels, MTX Thunder 8000 separates in the doors and dash, and MTX 5x7-inch speakers behind the seats in the stock factory location
Engine The 2.3L four-cylinder sports powdercoated valve covers and upper intake / APC cold-air intake / A/C compressor and heater removed and the firewall smoothed / modified 302 V-8 scheduled for future installation