Ronnie Amburn, from Eden, North Carolina, bought his '98 Ford Ranger brand new. It was his first vehicle and he drove it stock for almost six years before joining a small truck club. The camaraderie of the group soon led to some basic upgrades for the Ranger, and the truck began taking on a new personality. Before long, the truck progressed until it was finally unique enough to become active on the show circuit. That's where Ronnie met some "really great people" and decided to get even more involved in the show scene. Now he's a member of Acrophobia and the truck has come a long way from its original look.
Like most folks, the first thing Ronnie did was tint the windows and add new wheels (in this case, American Racing 18-inch chrome Casinos wrapped in Nanking 35 series rubber). While that was a great start, the changes quickly escalated. Billy Ward at Concept Auto Works created the new lowered profile, dropping the body by 4-1/2 inches, and then added a C-notch, Godfather four-link rear suspension, and new lower DJM forward control arms.
Collecting show points, the air suspension components were neatly arranged inside the Speedliner bed with the twin tanks, valves, and compressors on display. Additions like the Sir Michael's roll pan and Checkmate tonneau cover keep the lines in the rear as slick as those in front. Lighting the way are Diamond Back projector beam units; and carbon fiber, euro-style replacements bring up the rear. The Dupont Vermillion Red and black are separated with Gun Metal Gray and Orion Hyper Silver tribal graphics thanks to Ken Surmons of Collision Center in Thomasville, NC, who handled the spray gun.
What's in store for Ronnie's future? He has done about all he's going to do on this truck and plans to keep it for quite awhile but there is already a new truck in the garage, a box-style Ranger that will become the next project truck in the family.
OWNER:Ronnie AmburnRIDE: '98 Ford Ranger Location: Eden, North CarolinaClub: Acrophobia
Rolling AttireWheels: 18x7.5-inch chrome American Racing Casino'sTires: 215/35ZR18 Nankang
Chassis ModificationsSuspension type: AirRear suspension: Four-linkAirbag type and size: Front: Firestone 2,600lbRear: Firestone 2,500lbControl arms: DJM lowered control armsValves: GC 250sCompressors: Two Viair compressorsAir/hydro accessories: 5-gallon reserve tankFrame mods: C-notchGas Tank: 16-gallon fuel tankDetail work: Painted frameMisc: Frame painted by the owner and Ken SurmonPerformed by: Concepts AutoworksCity/state: Burlington, NC
Body ModificationsShaved: Tailgate, cowl, emblems, mud flap holes, antenna, third brake light, stake bed pocketsFrenched: License plateBody dropped: 4-1/2 inchesFront end: '00 Ford Ranger bumper and a Ranger Edge HoodBack end: Tailgate welded shutTaillights: Carbon-fiber euro taillightsMisc: Raised bed floor to avoid cutting holePerformed by: Concept AutoworksCity/state: Burlington, NC
PaintBrand and colors: Dupont Vermillion Red, Orion Silver, Gunmetal GrayStyle: TribalPerformed by: Ken Surmon City/state: Thomasville, NC
InteriorSeats: StockMaterial: Red and gray tweedDash: Gray tweedDoor panels: Red and gray tweedCenter console: Custom built by the owner in red and gray tweedHeadliner: Gray tweedPerformed by: Owner and Bobby Campbell City/state: Eden, NC
StereoHead unit: Sony XplodMids & highs: Pioneer 6x9-inchPerformed by: Owner
Engine/PerformanceIntake: AEM cold air intakeExhaust: FlowmasterBattery: DuralastDetail work: Powdercoated intake valve cover, and throttle bracketMisc: Chrome radiator and overflow tankPerformed by: Owner
Special ThanksRonnie's loving and understanding wife, his mom and dad for their support, John Jackson of Acrophobia, Danny Scott, Bobby Campbell, Ken Surmon, Chris Barger, and Billy Ward of Concept Waterworks