Owner: Chris Maurer
Ride: '89 Ford Ranger
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Club: No Regrets
Every once in a while, we happen upon a truck that totally blows us away. Chris Maurer's '89 Ford Ranger is one of those trucks. It might be due to the fact that it's not the most popular truck to build, or maybe it's the rocker-laying body-drop. It could be all the cool frame modifications, or even the smooth body, interior, and paint. More than likely, it's probably a combination of the aforementioned modifications and the attention to detail that went into the buildup of Chris' rig. It is not everyday that you see a second-generation Ranger laying hard on 20-inch wheels.
Let's go through some of the more interesting steps of this five-year buildup. First off, when Chris started building his ride, there were no custom shops in New Mexico to drop his truck off, and a month or two later have it roll out 'bagged, bodied, and on a big set of wheels. Therefore, when Chris wanted to perform these mods to his Ranger, he found out he was on his own. With advice from reputable fabricators in our industry, Chris chose to ditch the factory I-Beams up front, then got the suspension from a Toyota. Once centered and welded in, he turned his attention to making it lay out with custom airbag mounts to house the 'bags. With the frontend handled, Chris broke out the Sawzall and made two cuts, right behind the front suspension. The bulky factory rails were replaced with 2x4-inch box tube that allowed the cab of the truck to sit 6 inches closer to Earth. But it didn't stop there, the back half sports custom tube work for the four-link, another set of Firestone 'bags, and to house the fuel cell, air tanks, and other gadgets under the bed. The truck now tucks all kinds of lugs on the 20-inch Centerline wheels. You have to see this truck to appreciate the kind of detail that went into the suspension and frame.
Chris continued the chore by shaving the emblems, mirrors, gas door, handles, and inside of the bed smooth. He also molded the license plate into the tailgate. When all the bodywork was complete, Chris sprayed the entire truck with PPG Prowler Orange. Next, a shaved and painted Corolla dash replaced the factory unit. Meanwhile, a billet steering wheel, a custom center console, Hyundai bucket seats, and a whole lot of paint, tweed, and suede put the interior in check with the rest of this beauty.
Chris' Ranger has no problem breaking the rear tires loose, thanks to a 350ci V-8 Chevy motor, backed by a TH350 transmission. The engine has been fully rebuilt from top to bottom, before receiving several coats of paint from the gun and dressed with numerous chrome items. Once the motor was ready to be dropped in, Chris found that clearing the stock hood was going to be an issue. However, after a few key mods, the stock hood shut like a dream.
Most of us hope we have what it takes to finish one custom in our lifetime. However, it's people like Chris who drive us all to know that it's possible. A lot of people would have sold the truck after its first or second build. But becoming attached to a vehicle is nothing new, if you put your heart and soul into it. When building your own vehicle, just remember Chris' motto: have a little patience.