Looking like something out of a designer’s sketchbook, this 1989 Ford Ranger Rollalong with dually wheels (yes a dually Ranger), requires a second glance. And maybe a third.
We found this truck on a Los Angeles Craigslist page. The owner says it was bought new from the renowned Galpin Ford in 1989. It isn’t a kit, says the owner, rather it is an original Rollalong edition with a new transmission, tires and various new interior pieces.
While the owner may have bought it from Galpin, our guess is it is more likely an upfitter’s creation. In the 1970s and 1980s you could order a brand-new vehicle and have it customized before you took delivery. This is likely what how Galpin got it, from a customer’s cancelled order or they may have ordered it for themselves to sell at a profit.
An expert on automotive parts and marketing, Jason Lancaster, president of Spork Marketing, says this is probably what we are looking at here. He says Ford likely built this truck without a bed and shipped it to an upfitter. Then, the upfitter replaced the rear axle with a custom unit compatible with dual-rear wheel setup. Finally, a custom bed was bolted on, repainted and the truck was sold as a heavy-duty Ranger.
Why a dually setup?
“Truck bed campers were surprisingly popular in the 70’s and 80’s, and this heavy-duty DRW Ranger was probably intended to be a platform for someone buying a camper who wanted to save gas,” said Lancaster. “The dual rear wheels could be rated to carry a heavier camper, but the Ranger’s engine was small and (relatively) fuel efficient. I can see camper tiedowns on the side of the bed that seem like they might be part of the design. That would support the notion that this vehicle was intended to be a camper carrier.”
Whether it was meant for a camper or just to show off, this Ford Ranger Dually is one unique looking and rare version of the truck.