It's taken Phil Fowler roughly 10 years to get his '92 Ranger to where it is today. It has undergone many transformations and changes, but it has finally taken on a shape that Phil can dig for years to come.
And there will be many more years of minitruckin’ left for Phil, as he is one of the most diehard, down-for-his-sh*t, mini lovers you’ll ever meet. And it isn’t solely the trucks that have kept him going this entire time: “I’ve traveled the country and made friends in places I’d never thought I would end up knowing people. I can’t imagine experiencing this kind of lifestyle doing anything else.” Phil continues, “There are many stories I could tell about the many phases of the build, but the times I’ve had with everyone in this community along the way mean more to me.”
Maybe it was all the traveling, all the innovative ideas he has seen at shows, or maybe it was just life’s distractions that got in between Phil and his truck. He does have three kids and a wife, and he has had to move twice during the course of owing the Ford, so spare time and extra spending money are more than likely the culprits. "It’s taken me quite some time to build this truck, but I have been around minis for a lot longer than that. I’ve seen the scene change so much, and fads come and go, but the slower pace helped me dial in my personal taste," Phil explains. It’s hard to argue with solid reasoning like that, since the product of Phil’s patience comes in the form of a Ford that touts ironclad good looks and flawless execution.
This past year at Layd Out at the Park, Phil finally introduced his completed decade-long work in progress. With so many pairs of eyes analyzing the smallest details, Phil’s nerves must’ve been wrecked half way through the show. The redeeming moment though came when his name was called for the Best Debut award—a deserving testament to the years Phil has invested into the minitruck culture.
1992 Ford Ranger
19x8 (front) / 20x8 (rear) Boyd Coddington Turbine
’85 Toyota clip, Firestone 2,600lb ’bags, drop spindles
Pete and Jake’s four-link, Firestone 2,600lb ’bags
3/8-inch SMC valves, 1/2-inch line, Viair gauges
Full-custom frame except for the Toyota clip
Owner and Kirk Simmons
Handles, gas door, antenna, emblems, stake pockets, windshield squirters, cab seams, rocker seams
Full rear skin, full sheetmetal bed, pop-up gas cap in bed rail
Owner, Jason Hurlock, Eric Foelber, and Pete Ryberg of Big Dog Customs
Brand & Colors:
PPG Vibrance Series Orange Glow and Sterling Silver
Graphics painted with PPG Rattle Snake and Tiger Eye
Performed By: Pete Ryberg, Eric Foelber
Stock seats chopped and wrapped in black leather and suede
Pulled and painted
Door panels cut, ’glassed, and painted to match, then upper half covered in black leather and suede, center console ’glassed and painted
Owner, Pete Ryeburg, Eric Foelber, Brad Wurzbacher of Driven Fab
Mids & Highs:
Pioneer 6-1/2-inch in door panels, Boston Acoustics 5x7 in rear
Phoenix Gold XS4300
Owner, Pete Ryberg, and Eric Foelber
Special Thanks From Owner
"Thanks to Pete Ryeberg, Eric Foelber, Kirk Simmons, Jason Hurlock, Fred Green, PPG, Tom Warwick, Tim Pennington, and my entire Low Rollers family. Thanks to my wife Danielle and kids Sarah, Emily, and Anna for their support. There isn’t enough room here to mention everyone on my list, but thank you to everyone who helped keep me going along the way."