TED’S FORD RANGER
Well I figure I’ve just about got as many Ford truck stories as anyone. My Dad and Grandpa always had Ford trucks. I have driven a Ford truck most of my life. I had a factory made 1949 Ford truck, a modified 1956 hot rod Ford truck when I was 16, Club Cab Ford in the late 70’s, Ford courier in the early 80’s. In the early 90’s, I had a Ford Ranger with 230,000 miles, and sold it for 2,000 dollars. After the sale, I regrettably wondered “why did I get rid of that good truck”.
In 1995, I bought a ‘94 Ford Ranger with 5,000 miles on it. I decided I would drive it until it quit. I drove my kids to school, one to grade school and the other to middle school until they started to drive. My girls, Shamane and Seanna, would play this game as we drove to school. We would put Seanna, the youngest, in the middle. As we turned corners, we would lean to the left or lean to the right. On the straight-aways, Shamane and I would lean to the middle, smashing Seanna. That was fun.
Time moves rather quickly, because I still have my Ford Ranger and my girls are married with their own kids. I am now driving my Grandson to school in that same Ford Ranger.
I have always traveled selling T-shirts and had several traveling companions. My girls traveled with me for awhile until they got burned out. One time I thought I even burned out my dog, Odie. I have to mention my other late companion, Fred. He made deliveries with me until he had to begin dialysis. I would make deliveries to Branson, MO or the Lake of the Ozarks once or twice a week.
My dog, Odie, is a whole story in itself. We entered the pet lookalike contest and won. We sang together and even made a citizens’ arrest. Odie did not like a few things including vacuums, raspberries, and running off the road in my Ford Ranger. I think I am the only one with dog paw impressions in the dashboard. Poor dog.
Thinking back, I’ve had about 3 clutches, one every 125,000 miles, 4 windshields, new sparkplugs at 300,000 and 620,000 miles, wires and plugs, a couple of starters, 3 sets of tailgate cables, new headlights when the old ones turned amber colored, water pump, air conditioner condenser, relay, rear turn signal and eye glasses after I backed into a dumpster. Once a deer hit my rear left; anything pass the door is their fault.
I try to take care of my Baby. I change the oil every 10,000 miles or whenever the oil light comes on. I always use Pennzoil 10W30.
On August 23, 2005, I hit a half a million miles on my Ford Ranger. That day, just before it turned over, I stopped at the shop, grabbed a bucket and picked up a bottle of champagne. I started making phone calls. I first called my wife, Teresa and she called my girls. I called Mom and her husband, Bill. Mom called Larry and June Walthall, former Ford Dealers in Warsaw, Mo. In the meantime, I stopped by the house and picked Odie and my other dog, Gracie. I drove to the Truman Dam access road and stopped the truck on a cul-de-sac at 499,999 miles until everyone got there. Once everyone showed up, Odie and Gracie in the front seat, my wife and two daughters on the tail gate, and Mom, Bill, June and Larry on the sidelines cheering me on. I take one trip around the cul-de-sac to turn 500,000 miles, stopping the truck, we popped the champagne top, and toasted the truck. The things you do in a small town to create excitement.
Two years later, I was driving back from Seiville, TN at 12:03 am, November 3, 2009. My Ford Ranger turned to 600,000 miles. I am very thankful for my truck. It has stood by me through a lot of trips, sales deliveries, good times and bad times. I could not even think about trading it in during the Cash for Clunkers program. It hasn’t quit!
Today my little baby clocks in at 673,545 miles with the original motor.