A 37-year-old truck is usually long forgotten or a fond memory in the natural circle of life for old iron.
Most worked themselves to death on the job and found their final reward was either a quick death by crusher, or a slow lingering death by rust in a pasture.
Few mourned their passing and even fewer car guys felt the need to invest in a mid-70s truck later in their lives.
However, a big exception to this cold fact of life is Hank Schroeder because he wanted to buy another vintage Ford truck from the 70s that was as good as his old 1976 Ford from the same era.
Hank loves the style of these mid-70s Ford trucks and “miled out his ’76 Ford” in his words because he also likes the practical side of truck ownership- their ability to work hard-no matter what age.
So Hank replaced his vintage 1976 Ford with a vintage 1977 Ford Ranger XLT ¾ ton workhorse. The ’77 pickup was tweaked a little and put on propane for less of a fuel bill hit.
The 460 engine has a few upgrades to make it fly down the road with a 26-foot fifth wheel trailer behind it. The truck sports 429 heads and a lively RV cam to bring out the untamed beast in the big block.
Hank added a 3-inch exhaust system straight off his headers so his engine breathes free air without the choke-hold of the 70s pollution control gear that sucked the life out of the engines from that dark era of disco and ill-planned EPA legislation.
The net result is an old truck with a big trailer on back that “pulls like crazy-even on hills”, according to Hank.
He is very impressed with his ’77 Ford and enjoys it for its classic good looks and its ability to work hard this many years after it left the factory.
Hank’s basic assessment of his Ford from a time when ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and ‘Star Wars’ dominated the summer blockbuster movies was simple…“If you’re a Chevy lover, you hate this truck and if you’re a Ford guy, you love this truck”.
One can only imagine how new model Chevy truck owners would react to the sight of Hank and his vintage Ford blasting by them while pulling a big trailer in the mountains. Our guess would be surprise followed by disbelief, and finally a healthy dose of irritation.
The legendary rivalry between the Ford and Chevy boys could get a little more heated if Hank decides to take a lengthy summer vacation in his vintage Ranger XLT.
We have no idea whether Hank has a summer trip planned for 2014, but we do know he will be a conversation piece every time he and his truck hit the road.
We got the impression he has no plans to lighten the workload anytime soon for his trusty 37-year-old truck because Hank has built it into a formidable road machine.
We do know he has fun every time he gets behind the wheel.