Even before the latest-gen Ford Ranger was tackling overlanding routes and working commutes, the midsize pickup was a popular truck. But, although classic trucks have risen in value, not everyone’s prepared to deal with some of the frustrations that come with the rugged, old-school design. Fortunately, restomods offer a solution. Both OEMs and independent shops have taken vintage trucks and modified them to better-than-new condition and performance. And now, Icon 4×4 has done the same with a classic 1970 Ford Ranger.
The Ford Ranger build’s background
California-based Icon 4×4 originally made its name by restomodding Toyota FJ40 Land Cruisers. However, since then the company has branched out with additional product lines.
One is Icon’s Derelict series, which are based on patina’d (aka ‘rusty’) classic cars, but with modern powertrains and interiors. One of these, a 1949 Mercury Coupe, was even built around a Tesla powertrain.
The 1970 Ford Ranger build, though, is part of the Reformer series, Automobile Magazine reports. These builds are more like Gateway Broncos’ restomods. So, after finding the truck on Craigslist, Autoweek reports, Icon stripped it down to bare metal and got to work.
Icon 1970 Ford Ranger Reformer specs and features
Although it was originally a sedan, by 1970 the Ford Ranger was the more luxury-focused trim of the contemporary F-100. But even the more luxurious Ranger XLT, Autoblog reports, wasn’t exactly on-par with modern pickups’ level of refinement. Nor did it offer a modern truck’s level of performance. At least, not before Icon got to it.
To start, in 1970 the most powerful Ford Ranger engine was a 215-hp 6.4-liter V8. In its place, the Ford Ranger Reformer has the current Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter V8, which makes 426 hp. Said V8 is linked to a 4-speed automatic and four-wheel-drive system with a 2-speed Atlas II transfer case. In keeping with the vintage aesthetic, the transfer case shifts with twin sticks.
Icon also gave the Ford Ranger Reformer a Wrangler-like Dana 44 front axle and Dana 60 rear axle. The truck rides on BFGoodrich all-terrain tires mounted on 18” aluminum wheels. The suspension was reworked, with Fox shocks and Eibach coil springs on all 4 wheels. And, to help the Ford Ranger steer and stop better than new, it has a new power-steering system and 4-wheel Brembo disc brakes.
Although the paint’s not original, it is the same shade. The interior’s also been modernized, though it does still pay homage to the original. The leather upholstery is custom, and the fabric inserts are provided by a company that makes patio furniture, Autoweek reports. Instead of the original gauges, there are Dakota digital ones. And in another nod to modernity, the Ford Ranger Reformer has under-dash A/C and bed lighting.
How to get one of your own
Icon has officially said how much the 1970 Ford Ranger Reformer cost. This is also the first time the company’s worked on a classic Ford truck. But in an interview with Autoweek, Icon CEO Jonathan Ward claims the company could recreate it for around $350,000.
That is quite a lot of money for an old-school pickup. You could almost get a base Rolls-Royce Cullinan for that much—and it’s a genuinely-capable off-road SUV. But, if you are interested, a classic Ranger is itself fairly affordable. Hagerty reports values have been on the rise, with a pristine example valued at about $31,000. However, it’s possible to find good-condition models on Bring a Trailer for closer to $10,000-$20,000.
Though, if you prefer a more affordable Ranger, Ford will give a new one 50 extra horsepower for $825.
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