Its first appearance on the rocks was in 2004, in the newly combined rockcrawling series of UROC/ARCA. Originally built by Brad Lovell, this rig made headlines all over the nation. A few hands have touched this Ranger since Brad’s competitive rockcrawling days, but not so many that the rig was made unrecognizable.
Imagine my surprise while wheeling in Texas to see it on the trails again. I wasn’t the only one who recognized it; when Jonas Burnett saw it up for sale, he knew he needed to restore it in his newly opened Black Smoke Garage. Jonas found the chassis sitting on the ground with no wiring and no axles under it. Every panel was broken and painted green; the front and rear axles were cracked and in need of a complete overhaul. The 5.0 Mustang engine and transmission worked but had plenty of leaks that needed attention, as did pretty much the entire vehicle.
The Ranger sports a 103” wheelbase, with an overall width of 75”. The rebuild added Holley Sniper Fuel Injection, Holley billet Distributer GT40 Heads and Cams, a Ron Davis radiator, Art Carr C-4, Custom Aluminum SFI Bell Housing, reverse/manual valve body, and Custome Art Carr 9.5” She sports a high pinion Dana 60 and 35 spine shafts in the front and rear; Wilwood disc brakes, CNC cutting brakes, Trail Ready beadlocks and 39” Red Label BFG Crawlers.