Lynwood "Woody" Spooner
1996 Ford Ranger
Sometimes it's not family, friends, or other people that get us into the minitruck scene. It sometimes happens to be the very magazine you're holding in your hands that takes a hold of you and you can't put it down.
That's exactly what happened when Lynwood "Woody" Spooner, from Ocala, FL flipped through a mid '90s issue of Mini Truckin' and saw two Rangers in one layout and from then on he wanted to do the same or even something a bit more extreme. After a couple years of looking, Woody finally picked up this 1996 Ford Ranger Extended Cab truck in early 1997, and after about a year of driving stock he started building it to the best of his ability. He spent a few years doing modifications, changing them and learning things along the way. In 2002, Woody bought himself a daily driver, which allowed him to completely tear apart his Ranger. This was about the time he met his sister's boyfriend, Chris King. Chris is a paint-and-body guy so the two of them hit it off immediately. Chris suggested that it would be best to start over, so they stripped the truck down to the frame and the body was stripped to the metal. As soon as the body was removed, Woody began the 4.5-inch bodydrop to get the rockers firmly planted on the ground with the use of 6-inch hydraulic rams on all four corners for adjustability.
Not long after the tear-down began, Chris moved to Raleigh, NC and Woody states "this is why it took three years to finish the truck from this point." Knowing he wanted Chris to be the one to finish what they had started together, several back and forth trips were scheduled from West Palm Beach, FL to Raleigh, NC hauling the parts necessary for completion.
Anything that could be shaved off of the exterior of Woody's Ranger was,including handles, antenna, third brake light, emblems, etc. To set the truck apart from other Rangers out there, the front fenders were welded to the cab of the truck to make the lines a little smoother, and the body line was welded up. With the cab and front end smooth as a baby's bum, it was time to tear into the bed. A full skin combo smoothed out the outside while the inside was welded and molded as well. Of course this added a ton of hours to the build in order to get the seams perfect, but the outcome was well worth the extra man hours. Once Chris had the truck smooth enough for Woody's likings, it was time to pick a paint that would make this smoothed out Ford the truck that Woody had always envisioned. A quick glance through the PPG chip book and Lime Green was picked and quickly sprayed over every inch of the truck including a few interior and motor parts. During the process, Chris and Woody's sister split, but that didn't have any effect on their relationship as they stayed good friends and finished the truck together.
With the suspension and body done, it was time to wrap all of the factory interior panels. This got the truck to a showable and finished state, which allowed Woody to finally enjoy showing his rocker-laying machine. Looking back at this ordeal, Woody said that "Trying to do things yourself can sometimes cost a lot more than it's worth, sometimes it's better to leave the things you're not good at to the ones that are." He also said that if he had to do it all over again, he would have added suicide doors and larger diameter wheels, but those are things that can always be added later. For more info on Woody's Ranger, check out the Lowdown.