Small trucks like today’s Nice Price or No Dice Ranger are a rare breed these days. With its stepside Splash package, this one is even rarer. Let’s see if that, and its seemingly nice overall condition, can overcome its price and a salvage title.
Based on the comments, yesterday’s “project” 1979 Porsche 924 represented just too much work for its $3,000 asking price. On top of that, a few of you postulated that any amount of work still wouldn’t overcome the fact that the car was a 924, a model maligned as the least desirable Porsche on the market today. Here’s the thing, though: That least desirable Porsche crown once was worn by the VW-partnered 914. Today, those cars fetch a pretty penny. The same thing will likely happen with the 924 at some point. None of that helps the seller of yesterday’s car, however, as it fell in a 63 percent No Dice loss.
I have socks with little images of bacon on them. They are my bacon socks and I’m very proud of them. These were the first socks I have worn that have brought about the realization that other people actually look at your socks (perhaps for creative inspiration?) I discovered this when a co-worker commented that I had bacon on my socks and then nodded approvingly.
I think that in the automotive world, white sidewall tires serve the same function that whimsical socks perform for people. Today’s 1994 Ford Ranger Splash Edition wears whitewalls and to be honest, I think they are the crowning touch to the truck’s fun and somewhat flippant appearance.
Ford offered the Splash as a trim package on the Ranger from 1994 through ’98. The alterations were not extensive, but the result was a fairly dramatic change in appearance over the base truck. Most notable of these was the cargo bed, which traded a steel fleetside box for a flareside one made of fiberglass. That was complemented by a monochromatic paint scheme, some very ’90s “Splash” graphics on the fenders and doors and a slightly lower ride height. The Splash package was purely visual, although you could get any drivetrain combo you wanted with it, along with your choice of two or four-wheel drive.
This white-on-gray Splash is a 4X2 standard cab and for an engine, it rocks the 2.3-liter Pinto four. In this model year, that SOHC engine was good for a modest 98 horsepower and 130 lb-ft of torque. This Splash tries to make the most of those horses by channeling them through the standard Mazda-sourced five-speed manual.
According to the ad, the engine has a fresh five quarts in the sump and new plug wires up top. Going along with those are some new tires, which just so happen to be white walls. A hard tonneau for the bed is a nice addition too. The truck has 199,000 miles under its belt and those show in a few chips in the paint and a four-inch crease low down on the passenger door. Other than that, it looks pretty good, with no fading of the fancy decals nor any peeling of the chrome on the factory steel wheels.
It’s a similar story inside where the seats, door cards and dash all seem to have held up extremely well. There’s no word in the ad as to whether the fuzzy dice hanging from the rearview are included in the sale, but that could easily be a negotiating point. In fact, the ad is light on almost all details, most notably regarding the reason for the truck being tainted with a salvage title. Usually, that gets at least a mention to assure buyers that it wasn’t due to some horrific frame-twisting accident or that the truck was now home to a family of murder hornets. You’d probably want to suss out the reason just to be safe.
That tainted title is the likely reason for the Ranger’s $3,699 price tag. For whatever reason, these trucks do have a sizable following and typically command a good bit more than that when in this sort of shape. Could this truck’s demerits — mileage, title, anemic four — outweigh that, however, making even this price too high?
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