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Back in the day I bought a few new mini trucks. 77 Datsun, 78 Courier , 87 Ranger GT and a 92 Ranger Super Cab. In 2002 I bought a Ford F 150 Super Crew.  My F 150 has been a darn good truck but lately I have been thinking of something smaller but still a pick up. Today the "small" trucks are just about the size of my F 150 and the prices are pretty steep. Do you fellows think that if a mini truck about the size of the older ones would have a chance of selling ? Something with a 4 or V6 and a manual transmission. Am I the only one that would be interested in such a thing ?

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Posted (edited)

Definitely not the only one. I had an '85 Chevy S10 extended cab and it seemed to be the perfect size. Had plenty of room inside and I could haul anything I needed. It was a manual with a 2.8 V6.

Don

ps. I used it for it's intended purpose, a truck, not the family limo.

Edited by bamadon
add ps

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I agree a truck like that would be a great thing to have available. Might have to go shopping in Mexico or Brazil to get one, though :P

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Ray , check out the new Ford Ranger, nice in colors flame blue, or canyon copper.

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I did look at the Ranger and it is pretty big plus it was about 32 grand for the one I saw.I know they can be found for less.  I realize things cost more now but I'm not willing to spend that much money.

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Funny, I  have owned a 73, 77 ,and 78 Datsun, an '80 Courier, and three Rangers, two '86, and an '88. Even had a '96 Dakota.  After owning full size pickups for the last 15 years I am going back in time. (cue Huey Lewis) 

I am looking at a very nice '88 x-cab 4x4 V6 5spd Ranger with only 83k miles. It will suit my work needs perfectly and get better mileage than my current full size while being cheap to maintain and easy to work on.

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My first vehicle was a '72 "Chevy" LUV (rebadged Isuzu), it was a POS but the size was good.  Currently own a '68 Chevy pickup, which is smaller than any Nissan, Toyota of today.  Everything is bigger now, except Smart cars.

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Yes I have a 01 ford ranger 4cyl 5 speed reg cab with 35k on it. I Love this truck and I'm not even a ford guy. I bought it with 15K on it for a good price one owner.

20160421_095049.jpg

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I know what you're saying. Everything has gotten bigger over the years. Compare a new VW Golf to the original. Have a look a t a new BMW 3 series compared to the late 70s version. It's massive now!

The problem is, vehicles now simply have to have more stuff, and it just won't fit in a small package. The gov't mandates airbags, crash tubes, crush zones, and all manner of safety equipment. Consumers demand everything too; heated seat, vented seats, massaging seats, bigger stereos, touch screens, less noise, more room, etc. You just could not fit everything mandated and wanted into a small truck.

As an aside, my son has sort of inherited my dad's old truck. 1997 Mazda B4000. Dad bought it new. It's worth nothing, but we're going to restore it together. WIll make a nice tribute.

5ce767dc84a82_050919-005-lfview.thumb.jpg.0d649cd4fd577099e6a359daffd12794.jpg

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2 hours ago, 89AKurt said:

My first vehicle was a '72 "Chevy" LUV (rebadged Isuzu), it was a POS but the size was good ....

Same here all the way around, except mine was the '73 seen in my old MCM Revell Luv thread.

With all the 'retro' design still going on, GM or Nissan could punch out a slightly bigger Luv or Datsun variant and maybe make a decent profit, if there is a country-wide backlash on the rise against all these other too-big bloated pickups lately.

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Had a 1981 Ford Courier and a 1986 Mazda B2000. They were great trucks and all I ever needed. The current small trucks are too big and and the new Ford with a 4 door body and a tiny bed is just ridiculous. Not to mention they want as much for them as a big truck. I think they have missed the market but maybe the market is for an SUV with a tiny bed on the back.

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5 minutes ago, peter31a said:

 Not to mention they want as much for them as a big truck.

I hear this one a lot here at work. Why would I pay $50k for a Ranger, when I can get an F150 with the same equipment for the same price? 

Well, because you're getting all of the same equipment, just in a smaller package. Everyone assumes smaller equals cheaper. And it shouldn't.

 

 

7 minutes ago, peter31a said:

I think they have missed the market but maybe the market is for an SUV with a tiny bed on the back.

 

Chevrolet Avalanche

Honda Ridgeline

Subaru Baja

It's been tried, and despite the sales success of the Avalanche and the Ridgeline, the models were changed. Avalanche cancelled, Ridgeline turned into something more closely approximating a truck. Generally, the market wants SUVs and trucks, not a combo of the two.

 

:)

 

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We went through something similar, and bought a Nissan Frontier. It's been a solid, exceedingly useful, if somewhat boring truck. It's much narrower and lower than the larger US trucks. In the midst of truck shopping, we learned we were going to be welcoming a grandson, so we got the crew cab instead of the extended cab. Finding that combination with the 6 foot bed was challenging, but ultimately accomplished. You can get either a 5 or 6 foot bed. My wife insisted on the 6 foot bed.

Have only needed to do routine maintenance in 80K miles. Plenty of HP for towing, now that we inherited a boat. 

The only big drawback to this truck is the turning radius. With the crew cab and long bed, it's about the same as our old suburban. If you get one of the older ones with the torsion bar front suspension, you won't have that problem. 

Price was reasonable too. Got the mid-range trim level. With frequent beach trips in our lifestyle, leather upholstery wasn't going to be practical. We have neoprene seat covers that work great for slightly soggy people. I also never thought I would feel the need for heated seats. Boy was I wrong. First switch I usually hit after some time in the ocean. 

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I've had two Ranger XLT 4x4 reg cab 6-cyl. 5-spd with LONG BED. It's heavy duty in a small size and that extra foot of the long bed has time-and-again made all the difference. Wish I had a new version of it, because mine is pretty worn out. Otherwise it's the perfect all season northland truck for me.

RangerXLT_RegLongBed.png.281997c740f2858b5668b30fe7ed3d99.png

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3 hours ago, iamsuperdan said:

I hear this one a lot here at work. Why would I pay $50k for a Ranger, when I can get an F150 with the same equipment for the same price? 

Easy. A Ranger will fit in my garage. An F-150 won't if I want another car in there with it.

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3 hours ago, iamsuperdan said:

I hear this one a lot here at work. Why would I pay $50k for a Ranger, when I can get an F150 with the same equipment for the same price? 

Well, because you're getting all of the same equipment, just in a smaller package. Everyone assumes smaller equals cheaper. And it shouldn't.

 

 

 

Chevrolet Avalanche

Honda Ridgeline

Subaru Baja

It's been tried, and despite the sales success of the Avalanche and the Ridgeline, the models were changed. Avalanche cancelled, Ridgeline turned into something more closely approximating a truck. Generally, the market wants SUVs and trucks, not a combo of the two.

 

:)

 

Dan, my point was the new Ranger you can only get in full 4 door cab with a tiny bed. It's like those others you mentioned. It's more SUV than truck. If it was like my old B2000 extra cab with just a couple of jump seats and a larger bed it would be much more useful as a truck.

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you can get the Ranger in extended cab with a 6ft box too. The crewcab will outsell it by at least 4 to 1 though. Minimum.

The thing is, for most people who want a truck, they don't need a big box. Throw a coupe bikes back there. Maybe hockey bags, the kids' toboggans. Maybe a trip to Home Depot on occasion. You're right, most people ultimately want an SUV with a tiny bed. 

That's why even on the half tons, the crewcab with the short box is the most common configuration we see.

 

 

 

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I wonder why you Americans don't get the Toyota HiLux?
We can order this:
toyota-Hilux-2016-exterior-tme-014-a-ful

Or this:
toyota-Hilux-2016-exterior-tme-017-a-ful

or this:
toyota-Hilux-2016-exterior-tme-020-a-ful

 

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I'd love to have my 1980 Dodge D50 back.

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I had two S10’s one was lowered with a stock 4 banger, standard cab short bed.

the other was dropped 5 1/2 inches with a small block Chevy under the hood. Ext. cab short bed 

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On 2019-05-24 at 2:13 PM, iamsuperdan said:

you can get the Ranger in extended cab with a 6ft box too. The crewcab will outsell it by at least 4 to 1 though. Minimum.

The thing is, for most people who want a truck, they don't need a big box. Throw a coupe bikes back there. Maybe hockey bags, the kids' toboggans. Maybe a trip to Home Depot on occasion. You're right, most people ultimately want an SUV with a tiny bed. 

That's why even on the half tons, the crewcab with the short box is the most common configuration we see.

 

 

 

Sorry, my bad. I was told at the Toronto Auto show that they only came as the four door model with the tiny bed. While we're on the topic, I don't understand why they all have to be jacked up like 4X4's even when they are just 2WD. My Courier and B2000 were a great height. Easy to get into and to load stuff into the bed around the same height as my current CRV. I had a heck of a time trying to get into the Ranger at the Auto Show. I get a lot of people want that type of thing but back in the day you had a choice between normal height and nosebleed height (an exaggeration....). I guess despite having owned mini trucks I'm just not a truck guy, at least not by the modern definition of everything having to be bigger and higher. 

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I did see a Ford Ranger today, 4 door (registered as a van with only two seats here in Norway) and short bed with 3 bicycles on the bed. The bikes where haning with the front wheels out over the tailgate because they are too long (or the bed is not long enough).
Due to the stupid rules making it only a two seater it could have had a regular cab and a longer bed and the owner would be able to get the bokes on the inside of the bed.

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I love my 2010 Ranger Sport 2WD 4.0  V-6.  However I could use a bit more pulling power.  I stupidly bought a utility trailer that is a bit too much for the Ranger, although I do have another smaller frame that I may extend to the size I need and then sell the larger one.  Anyway I stopped by my local Ford dealer a couple months back.  They only had one Ranger on the lot 4 door 4WD ecoboost I-4 10 speed auto and the salesman told me price was $36+ with no discounts or rebates.  To me the 10 speed is a catastrophe waiting to happen.  I understand the thinking behind it, yet I had a 10-speed bicycle and was shifting constantly while riding up and down hills.  I think the same will happen with the Ranger especially if pulling a small utility trailer.  In the past I owned a 74 standard cab Datsun and a 78 King-cab Datsun, loved them both but wore the first one out, got married and needed a sedan for the second one.  Since this picture was taken I have added a Slimline bed cover.

002.JPG

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My daily is a 1985 Nissan 720 diesel 4x4. Extremely rugged and practical vehicle for all my needs, even though it's the slowest thing on earth.... I miss trucks like that too.

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