Tweed and 17s—the stuff legends were made of, and what Speedy Baudion’s Ranger is all about. Without sounding like a condescending jerk wad, maybe it’s his age (38) or maybe it’s a combination of his years mixed with the exposure he’s had to the truck scene that has influenced his truck’s throwback styling, “I’ve lived, slept, and breathed minitrucks for 20 years. My brother Sleepy got me into this stuff. He had a slammed Regal that rode like a dump truck, but of course it was built waaaaaay before airbags.” This Ford is not a product of chance, but the spawn of breeding.
This Ford is not a product of chance, but the spawn of breeding.
But this isn’t the first build to manifest from Speedy’s imagination. Although he sunk nearly three years into it, he also has a killer Isuzu that is 15 years in the making. Between the two projects, he’s dropped enough cash to make getting his own hide to shows nearly impossible let alone bringing either of his trucks to show off. Sightings of both rigs have been few and far between, but that only created an air of hype around them, especially the Ranger since it was coming together rather quickly.
“I wanted to do this truck its due justice and get it out in the public’s eye, so I did what I could to finish it as quick as possible.” But having the best of intentions isn’t a fail-proof protection plan against the inevitable. “One night a longtime friend, Kevin Hebert, and I were driving along and had our lives flash before us. The truck rolled off of my trailer and slammed into his garage door, ripping it off the hinges and crushing the Ranger’s B-pillar 150 hours worth of fresh airbrushing was just put down on the truck. It took some courage to call my painter to tell him what had happened.” Luckily for Speedy, the team that has backed him from the start remained loyal until the truck’s completion.
Carrying the truck to this point wasn’t an easy task by any stretch of the imagination, and Speedy confesses how fortunate he feels to have become its new owner and caretaker. “I wanted to be the one to take this truck all the way while keeping it in the NC club. I still remember the night I picked it up from fellow member Clark Dufrene. He was in the driver seat eating chicken nuggets, and I knew how hard it was for him to give me the keys. I’ll always be thankful him letting me take the truck off his hands.”
Call it a sense of pride or an acknowledgement of fate, but whatever it is that pushed Speedy to drop everything on his already progressing ’Zu to take on a new project, it sure was a possessing force. And even though this truck may not make an appearance at too many shows, it will always live here on these pages for all to see.
1992 Ford Ranger
Ronnie “Speedy” Baudoin • Carencro, LA • Negative Camber
Wheels: 17-inch Eagle Alloy
Suspension (front): Toyota front clip, custom spindles by Wicked Kustoms, Firestone 2600 ’bags
Suspension (rear): Cantilever setup, Pete & Jake’s chrome four-link, Firestone 2600 ’bags
Compressor(s): Dual Viair 380s
Frame Mods: Complete tubular rear frame, smoothed and painted
Misc.: Stainless 3/8-inch air lines, custom 10-gallon fuel cell
Performed By: Clark Dufrene
Shaved: Door handles, shaved emblems, gas door, tails
Bodydrop: 7¾ inches
Body Mods: Custom rockers, cowl induction hood, smoothed entire bed, molded tailgate and roll pan
Bolt-ons: Explorer billet grille
Misc.: Webasto sunroof
Performed By: Wes and Clark Dunfrene
Brand & Colors: PPG Prowler Orange, House of Kolor white, Meter Maroon, Black Pearl, Porsche Rivera Blue, Strato Blue
Misc.: Airbrushed demons, skulls, gunslinger, Speedy Gonzalez
Performed By: Paint by Kristof Ludwig, Pop, and Elliot Smith, airbrushing by David Ludwig of AirArt Customs
Seats: Honda Prelude wrapped in tweed and vinyl
Dash: Shaved, painted, and wrapped in tweed
Misc.: Budnik Mercury billet steering wheel, custom center console, custom shifter
Performed By: Jamie Bufford, Dimitri, Alan Luke, Kuntry
Head Unit: Pioneer
Performed By: Owner
Engine: 4.0L Ford Explorer
Intake: Honda tunnel
Header/Exhaust: Custom 2½-inch exhaust
Detail Work: Painted block and headers
Misc.: Chrome and billet accessories, relocated battery to rear of frame
Performed By: Quality Muffler and Kevin Hebert
Special Thanks From Owner
“Thanks to David & Kristof Ludwig of AirArt Customs, Pop, Clark Dufrene, Wes, Mark Barcelona, Junior Miller, Jaime and Dimitri Bufford, Kevin & Leroy Elliot, Elliot &Krystal Smith, Lance Thib, Alan Luke, Jeffro Eatley, Kuntry, Eric Luttner, Kelly P & Kelly S, Ray Leone, Josh Long, the original builder, Jason & Jen Miller, and everyone else who helped. I did it, Tito!”