According to many news sources, the historic Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota is headed for a not-so-grand finale. Come December 19th, the 86-year-old facility that originally built Model Ts will be history. Ironically, Twin Cities is currently making the T’s spiritual successor: the (somewhat iconic) Ford Ranger compact truck. So shall we, the collective group of automotive journalists, lament the loss of this famous nameplate from Ford’s storied past?
Nah, I am sure there’ll be a new MyFordTouch software update or an updated Lincoln MK-something that will occupy the autoblogosphere in the coming months. It’s not like anyone loves the Ford Ranger. Or has a funny story to share about one’s time in said Ford Truck. I mean, we all hated it, right? Why else would Ford abandon the tiny truck market–a market they owned–and give us cutting edge stuff like Doug the Focus Spokes-puppet instead?
I’m not a hater, even if I don’t know how to Dougie. There’s no time to start a Panther Love-like campaign, so I am doing one better. I ordered a brand new Ranger from Twin Cities in June, took delivery in August. It has every option I wanted, none that I didn’t. It’s the perfect little city commuter in every way. Can you see me rollin’ on 15-inch steelies, son?
Yes, this is the vehicle that answered my previous quandary. Granted it lacks a few things I really wanted: a mild refresh, without resorting to the bulk of the current Toyota Tacoma. Or gadgets like SYNC. Or an LSX-FTW powertrain. But I love this little truck. It will help me re-start my life, getting me where I’ve always wanted to be.
I coulda spent more and received diminishing returns…so I got a Ranger. And I coulda bought a Focus or Fiesta. But who wants that when there’s a rear-wheel drive rig with a stick, a revvy DOHC motor and a fun-ish suspension for the same cash? And FYI, my first tank netted me 26.1 MPG. Shove it, Ecoboost!
Apparently that’s not enough to bowl over FoMoCo, so remember where you were on December 19th, 2011.
It will be the day the American compact truck dies a sad and lonely death.