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Ford is in the business of making vehicles. But that is a means to the main reason, which is making money. So it doesn’t take putting vehicles into production lightly. And the expectation is to sell huge amounts that satisfy buyers and make gobs of money. But sometimes those best intentions don’t materialize, leaving some trucks in the very rare category. These are some of the rare trucks you probably haven’t heard of.

Ford Bantam

Light blue metallic 1983 Ford Bantam pickup
1983 Ford Bantam pickup | Ford

Extremely uncommon in the U.S., these small trucks, called “bakkies,” were actually common in their homeland of South Africa. Built between 1983 and 2011, the three generations sprang from three different car platforms. The first gen was based on the Ford Escort, the second-gen was the Mazda 323, and the last version was from the Fiesta. 

Ford Centurion Classic

1988 Ford C350 F-350 Centurion Classic side view
1988 Ford “C350” F-350 Centurion Classic | Centurion

While this might look like an old Ford Expedition or Excursion, it is neither. And though it is based on Ford’s F-150, called “C150,” or F-350, called “C350,” it never came from the factory like this. The Centurion Classic SUV was a product of Centurion Vehicles in White Pigeon, Michigan, according to Autotrader. While not an official Ford product, it did use all Ford bits in creating the conversion. 

The back half of the Ford Bronco and most of the crew cab body combined to create the Skyranger. Remember, the full-size Broncos of this early 1990s era were all two-doors. Centurion made the factory-like SUV from 1987 to 1996, which was when Ford killed the Bronco. With around 15,000 made, they were always a rare sight even when new.

Ford Durango

1979 Ford Fairmont Durango rear 3/4 view
1979 Ford Fairmont Durango | Ford

These were obviously Ford Fairmonts from 1979 to 1982 with its awkward “Crown Vic” top. But with the back of the top whacked off, it became a rather handsome Ranchero. The brainchild of Californian customizer Jim Stephenson, the conversion was done by National Coach Works, which was really a school bus manufacturer. Production numbers vary, but at most around 400 left National Coach Works. 

Ford Skyranger

1991 Ford Skyranger pickup front 3/4
1991 Ford Skyranger pickup | Craigslist

With inspiration from the Dodge Dakota convertible truck, there had to be a response from Ford. There wasn’t, but Michigan customizer Bob Kaiser conceived and built 14 under the auspicious of Professional Auto Crafters. A lot of the background on these rare trucks is murky, but supposedly Ford shipped 14 extended cab 1991 STX Rangers for the conversion. It was sanctioned by Ford with the agreement they would be sold through authorized Ford dealers. 

All were red, with a 4.0-liter V6 backed by a five-speed manual. Besides the convertible conversion, the Skyranger’s custom touches include the deck spoiler, lower cladding, and soft tonneau cover. 

Ford Escort Squire

1955 Ford Escort Bantam  B&W factory image
1955 Ford Escort Bantam | Ford

7 Limited-Edition Trucks You Probably Forgot About

Not exactly a pickup truck, but meant as a commercial delivery vehicle in the U.K., the Ford Escort Squire was a production mini-SUV built between 1955 and 1961. In all, Ford made around 15,000 in those seven years. They were not particularly prolific when new, and given weather conditions in England and surrounding Europe, most must have rusted to the ground. In the U.S. these were extremely rare, though some popped up as drag racing Gassers in the 1960s. Though that might seem odd, they were extremely cheap, and lightweight. Those are the perfect qualifications for a tire-scorching quarter-mile beast.