Too Sloww 1997 Ford Ranger

This 1997 Ford Ranger owned by ‘Uncle Fester’ is a beautiful example of a customized truck. Don’t think this is another mini truck that was purchased used and given a new life. The owner bought this truck new in 1997, took it home, and started taking it apart. The truck became a 14-year project as the owner went to great detail to customize the body, engine / drivetrain, and interior. Being inexperienced, the build became a learning experience that lead to many friendships along the way. 

The beautiful and meticulous paint job was done by Jamie Cummins of ‘If Its Got Wheels’. The Ranger is actually a rolling piece of art, and would look just as beautiful framed on someone’s wall, as it would at a show.

The Ranger received a suspension and body drop, custom body work, custom interior, and the V8 drivetrain from a 1991 Ford Mustang. The Ranger actually had the Mustangs floor pan welded in when the body drop was done.

Fester’s brother Jason helped with with the stereo setup. Unfortunately, he lost his brother to leukemia. Fester had a picture of his brother painted on the dash as a tribute. He kept his promise to his brother that he would be his passenger for life.

Here are the specifications for this build:

Owner: Uncle Fester

Ride: 1997 Ford Ranger

Location: Phoenix, AZ – Uncle Fester’s Garage

Rolling Attire:

  • Wheels: 17×7 Billet Specialties (front) 17×10 Billet Specialties (rear)

  • Tires: 205/40/17 Kumho Ecsta (front) 245/40/17 Kumho Ecsta (rear)

Chassis Modifications:

  • Suspension (front): One-off arms fit to a Toyota spindle/brake assembly

  • Suspension (rear): Two-link with a Panhard bar

  • Control Arms: Custom-made by James Strassner

  • Shocks: Monroe air shocks

  • Compressor(s): Two Viair 380s

  • Frame Mods: Full-custom frame by Chris Alston’s Chassisworks

  • Brakes: Stock Toyota front, Explorer rear discs

  • Misc.: Floor is out of a ’91 Mustang, custom firewall

  • Performed By: Owner, James Strassner, Greg Costlow

Body Modifications:

  • Shaved: Third brakelight, emblems, cowl, antenna

  • Bodydrop: Stock-floor and traditional amount to a big drop

  • Body Mods: Rockers removed

  • Suicide Doors: Reverse suicide

  • Bolt-ons: None

  • Performed By: Owner and James Strassner


  • Brand & Colors: House of Kolor and Sherwin Williams colors, main color is HOK True Blue Pearl

  • Misc.: Hours of airbrush work and graphics

  • Performed By: Jamie Cummins of If Its Got Wheels


  • Interior Seats: Reupholstered Rhino seats (thanks, Mom!)

  • Dash: Fiberglassed; shaved vents, air bag, and other misc. parts

  • Gauges: Stock

  • Misc.: Fully painted and wrapped in gray pleather

  • Performed By: Owner, paint by Jamie Cummins


  • Head Unit: Pioneer

  • Mids & Highs: Kicker

  • Subwoofers: Kicker

  • Amplifiers: Kicker

  • Misc.: Custom sub box

  • Performed By: Owner, brother Jason, and James Strassner


  • Engine: Rebuilt Ford Mustang 302ci

  • Intake: Chrome aftermarket

  • Header/exhaust: Chrome headers, custom exhaust by Mad Hatter

  • Transmission: Fully rebuilt AOD painted

  • Rearend Type: Mustang 8.8 narrowed with 9-inch end welded on

  • Detail Work: Fully painted and chromed to the max

  • Performed By: Owner, Steve Max, paint by Jamie Cummins

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Follow Jim Oaks:

As a Ford Ranger enthusiast who enjoys modifying my Ford Rangers for off-road use, I quickly discovered that there wasn’t any websites dedicated to the subject. So in 1999, I created What started as my own personal desire to help other Ford Ranger owners, has grown into a wealth of online information from numerous contributors. 20-years later, my commitment to the Ford Ranger, and the Ford Ranger community, is as strong as ever.

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