I have no idea why I didn't see this forum years ago, I am a member of other large Ranger enthusiast forums. I stumbled across this one in a google search for some mechanical procedure....... forgot which one. I bookmarked the site at the time and came back to it tonight finally.
Figured I'd intro myself. Just a tad, you know what they say... TMI.
I bought my first new Ranger in 1997 fresh off the lot with 18 miles. A Vermillion red 1997 standard cab 2wd 5 speed, XLT, 2.3L, gray interior, fleetside. The identical truck I drive now, except I now have a stepside bed.
Still got my dealer key tag.
As well, when I bought my truck the dealer gave away a free month of car washes at a local car wash and I even still have some of those receipts left as seen below stamped 1997.
One thing I learned quick when buying my first vehicle..... you pay $20k for something you won't throw anything away. LOL! :) I think the exact numbers were like $11,500 + life insurance, + disability insurance, + financing, = $19,500-ish.
I've ALWAYS owned Rangers. Not 6 or 7 months after buying that 97 I broke my leg and had my disability claim rejected (That I paid $1900 for when I bought the truck....great investment) so lost the truck to FMC. Since it was my first new vehicle I loved it to death and never got over it. Since, I have bought every color ranger there is to have, two or three times. I've had 14 total, all 3rd gen except one 99 model. 3 white ones, 2 black ones, a blue one, the list goes on......... All of them the same........ 2wd, 4cyl, 5 speed, standard cab XLT. They feel the most balanced and easy to drive the wheels off of to me.
I never bought another red one though. It was kind of a sore thorn. At the start of 2010 I made the decision to look for another 1997 Vermillion Red Ranger exactly like my first one. It took me 18 months to find the one I wanted.
So, here it is folks. :) The only truck I care to own, no matter how many generations they make. :) More sentimental than anything, but also in my biased opinion nothing shines like the chrome off of a 1997 Vermillion Red XLT. :)
....and with my other truck. BMW 4.4i (AWD, 300hp, airbag suspension, fun stuff)