Having friends who worked in the Ford Ranger assembly line, I find myself paying more and more attention to the little things that went into the original. I carefully replaced a lot of things that were stock. I got rid of the new aftermarket radio and replaced it with vintage. (By the way, they both sound the same). The old radio looks like it belongs there. And while I only listen to the radio, it is both a cassette and a disc player too. I replaced the hoodliner with one that in better condition, replaced the windshield, the rear window too, the center dash bezel, a tire change kit cover, and even the little round rubber stops inside the door jamb. I repainted the old rusty frame and had a body shop do the same on the top side.
Still I made some changes. I've put on new wheels and bigger tires, improving traction and increasing its value. Ford factory wheels were boring. Most show their age. The aluminums are rather boring. I added fender flares (which didn't come on stepsides like mine). Those flares help reduce the effects of mud sling that comes with those wider tires,
I added nerf style step bars so that my wife could get in easier.
Mine is an Edge which came from the factory with a three inch lift. I lowered it one inch to improve handling.
I trashed the heavy fiberglass Edge hood and replaced it with lightweight aluminum.
I had a dual exhaust installed to improve mileage and performance as well as brighten up the back end.
Regular cab step sides have become a thing of the past. No one else seems to have shed a tear, but this is a100 year old tradition. I chose to modify and create a retro look on purpose. Blackout headlights make them look like old round lights. I made a custom egg crate grill, a design which dates back as far as the fifties. I added some pinstripes. The old bed floor was beginning to rust out, so I made one from oak, so typical of older trucks.
Under the hood is an electric fan, a popular improvement here on the Forum, also a high performance intake filter. Both improve mileage and handling. I just added an uprated voltage regulator which keeps the battery charged even at idle with the air conditioner and all the lights on.
The word that many here use is RESTOMOD: Restore first then Modify, or Modernize, improving the truck's performance, maybe even giving it a custom look. It wasn't cheap, but then again, I'm driving a new/old truck, and driving it for much much less than a new Ranger, Bronco, or Maverick. i don't want to sell it. I love it, but if i did, I'm sure I would get more for it than if I sold one that is simply stock.