In the early 1960s, Henry Ford II was poised to buy the Ferrari company, but Enzo Ferrari decided at the last minute to back out. Dan Webb, owner of Dan Webb Hot Rods in Burton, Michigan, believes that his truck, the Ferrari-flavored 1998 Ford Ranger that he built might be what that collaboration would have produced.
Before developing Dan Webb Hot Rods (DWHR), Dan restored early-Italian thoroughbreds. A blend of ingredients from one-off early-Italian exotics and a large dose of American street rods make this truck unique.
He started this project for Duraliner with little more than the cab and front fenders from an electric-powered Ranger. Everything beyond that point was fabricated by the talented crew at DWHR. Dan’s shop first focused on creating the custom tubular chassis, which included all the elements of what you’d find under the best of pure-blooded, American street rods. Up front is a Heidt’s Mustang II front end featuring heavy-duty 2-inch-dropped spindles, tubular A-arms, and rack-and-pinion steering. Out back is another rodding favorite, a Ford 9-inch rearend. The number one choice was the 1957 Ford station wagon unit, used for its smooth pumpkin and large bearings. The 1957 unit is hung underneath this truck by a custom-fabricated triangulated four-bar. Each of the four corners ride on adjustable airbags from Air Ride Technologies. The full drop from the stock ride height is more than 12 inches.
With the initial fabrication out of the way, it was time to bolt on the goodies from Angelo Giamprotroni and the good people from Ford Motorsport. The Ford Motorsport pieces that put the hot in this rod included the 1999 GT40 302ci powerplant, a supercharger, and Mustang SVO four-wheel disc brakes. Dressing up the engine is a combination of pieces from Ford Motorsport, an A/C unit from Vintage Air, a custom aluminum plenum tube by DWHR employee Ronnie Star, and pulleys from Street and Performance. Backing up the supercharged GT40 mill’s 475 hp is a Tremac five-speed manual transmission with a special Hurst shifter available through Ford Motorsport. Final touches to the new chassis include a 2-1/2-inch exhaust system and an aluminum fuel tank, also fabricated by DWHR.


The rolling platform was complete, and the body was ready for some heavy massaging. Every panel was stretched, shrunk, smoothed, and recontoured. So much was done that only the original designers could detect all the subtle and crafty modifications. Starting up front, the bumper was sectioned and smoothed, giving a lighter appearance to the once heavy leading edge. Moving back, a completely handbuilt aluminum grille flowed into the aluminum hood. This piece best represents the Italian building influences. With the engine-turned inner surface and drilled support frame, this is exactly the style of work you’d find covering Enzo’s early thundering V-12 race engines.
To give this truck its sporty new shape, the wheel arches in the front fenders have been moved forward 3 inches, the upper body line was removed, and the entire length of the body was pie-cut. In addition to the body line removal and sectioning, the cab and doors were given their full share of attention.
Work on the doors started with the narrowing of the upper window frame. Then the doors were extended to the bottom of the rockers, the handles were shaved, custom teardrop mirrors were built, and, finally, the outer window scrapers were removed, cleaning up the appearance greatly.
With the cab, every body trick short of a top chop was applied. A completely smooth firewall left the engine free to sparkle and shine on its own, and the door openings were reshaped to match the heavily reworked doors. But the body mods that gave the cab a lightness over the factory version were made above the rear beltline. To add the feeling of speed to the profile, the rear of the cab was leaned forward, and the rear window opening was enlarged to mimic the big-window option of the early F-100s.
Rarely does a bed receive as much attention as this one, and thanks to Duraliner it can still haul the goods. Major work to the cargo box included full-length sectioning, 3-inch shortening, a raised floor, a molded-in tailgate, a custom roll pan, and reworked taillight openings. When the custom work was complete, Duraliner created a special liner for the new proportions. A special mold was made for this liner, but any customer can request the wheel tubs when the needs are a little greater than stock.
An exterior this wild deserves an equally exotic interior, and what could be more exotic than alligator skin? But none of the mighty predators were harmed. Leather that had been tooled to appear like real ’gator hide was wrapped around the 󈨢 Mustang seats and Colorado Custom steering wheel. Al Rogers Jr. is credited with the creation of the sculptured dash and door panels. Dan’s head body-and-paint man also handled all the spraying of the House of Kolors custom mix called Al’s Butterscotch on all inner and outer surfaces.


Other unique features in the cab included prototype SVO white-face gauges from Ford Motorsport and a drilled pedal to recreate the look of the early Ferrari units. Keeping things in the family, Al Rogers Sr. was responsible for installing a full electrical system and a complete sound system. The audio package consists of a JVC head unit, two Phaze Audio amplifiers, and eight hidden speakers.
The final detail separating this Ranger from any other is a one-off set of wheels from Colorado Custom. The original design of the wheels mimics the Mustang Cobra R wheels, but this set was made up of 17x7 fronts and 20x10 rears. The special wheels are wrapped in BFGoodrich Comp T/As.
Dan would like to give a huge thanks to his talented crew and the generous supporters who came together and pumped out this truck in only three months--just in time for the Specialty Equipment Market Association show, where all efforts were rewarded when Duraliner’s latest project truck received the prestigious Most Original Ford Display award.