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Ford is in the business of making vehicles. But that’s a means to an end: making money. So the company doesn’t take vehicle production lightly. And the expectation is to sell huge numbers of cars that satisfy buyers and make heaps of cash. But sometimes, those best intentions don’t materialize, leaving some trucks in the very rare category. Here are five rare Ford trucks you probably haven’t heard of.

1. Ford Bantam

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

Extremely uncommon in the United States, these rare Ford trucks, called “bakkies,” were common in their homeland of South Africa. Built between 1983 and 2011, the Bantam’s three generations sprang from three car platforms. The first gen was based on the Ford Escort, the second gen was the Mazda 323, and the last came from the Fiesta. 

2. Centurion Classic

It might look like an old Ford Expedition or Excursion, the Centurion Classic is neither. And though it’s based on the F-150, called “C150,” or F-350, called “C350,” this rare truck never came from the factory like the photo at the top of this page. The Centurion Classic SUV was a product of Centurion Vehicles in White Pigeon, Michigan, Autotrader explains. Though not an official Ford product, it used Ford bits in creating the conversion. 

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

3. Ford Durango

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

Sporting an awkward Crown Vic-style top, these rare Ford trucks were obviously based on Fairmonts from 1979 to 1982. But with the back of the top whacked off, the vehicle became a handsome Ranchero. The brainchild of California customizer Jim Stephenson, the conversion was done by National Coach Works, a school bus manufacturer. Production numbers vary, but at most, only about 400 examples rolled off the assembly line. 

4. Ford Skyranger

The Dodge Dakota convertible truck demanded a response from Ford. There wasn’t, but Michigan customizer Bob Kaiser conceived and built 14 Skyrangers under the auspicious of Professional Auto Crafters. Much of the background on these rare Ford trucks is murky, but the Blue Oval reportedly shipped 14 extended-cab 1991 STX Ranger trucks for the conversion. The auto giant required they be sold through authorized Ford dealers. 

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

5. Ford Escort Squire

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

Not exactly a pickup truck but a commercial delivery vehicle in the United Kingdom, the Ford Escort Squire was a production mini SUV built between 1955 and 1961. Ford made around 15,000 in that span. They weren’t particularly prolific when new, and most have likely rusted to the ground in soggy England and surrounding areas.

Stateside, these Ford trucks were extremely rare, though some popped up as drag-racing gassers in the 1960s. That might seem odd, but they were dirt cheap and lightweight. Those are the perfect qualifications for a tire-scorching quarter-mile beast. 


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