If you think about it, customizing trucks is an awesome hobby to get into. Going to shows talking about how you built your ride, picking up ideas about modifications, and hanging out with friends and making new ones along the way are just some of the things that make customizing so fun. However, when a truck build offers the chance for family members to spend more time with one another, it makes the hobby all the more appealing.
Dave Caldwell III of Knoxville, Tennessee, is able to do what he loves and share it with not one but two generations of the Caldwell clan. Along with his grandfather, Dave Sr., and his dad, Dave Jr., he owns this '95 Ranger-the family project.
Dave Sr. has been involved with customizing vehicles most of his life and was looking for his next show vehicle as well as a way to spend time with his son and especially his grandson, who was becoming increasingly interested in custom trucks. When he discovered this partially customized Ranger for sale on the Web, he knew it was just the right vehicle to fulfill both of his goals.
The Ranger was already layin' body on the ground, and the exterior mods included: shaved everything, a cowl-induction hood, a Lexan rear window, and a 40-inch ragtop. The Flareside fenders, tailgate, and rear pan were molded into a one-piece unit with iron cross-style taillights. The front fenders and cowl were also welded together to match the rear. With the body drop, this Ranger lays out hard thanks to its air suspension system, which employs an engine-driven compressor to air up the bags through 1/2-inch valves and 3/8-inch lines. Two 5-gallon air tanks in the bed provide plenty of air to play, and the airbags get a little extra height thanks to the cantilevered mounting on the new four-link rear.
In the audio department, Dave III wanted the whole neighborhood to hear and feel his presence. The Alpine in-dash CD/DVD unit with 6-inch screen sends its signal to a hidden 360-watt amplifier. Sound comes from a pair of 10-inch subs in a custom sub enclosure and 6x9-inch speakers positioned around the cab. A PlayStation 2 was integrated into the system and center console along with a six-disc changer in the armrest.
Also inside the cab is a new vinyl headliner, custom carpet with diamond-plate floor mats, and purple tweed inserts on the seats and door panels. The bed is carpeted in gray and black and offers a view of the chrome air tanks and the fuel cell, which is covered by a flamed vinyl panel.
Paint on the Ranger is a combination of Acura Silver with Pearl added and Ford Sapphire Metallic Blue separated by House of Kolor Tangelo Pearl. Mad Mods in Hollywood, Florida, handled the bodywork and the paintjob, and Bonz Designs airbrushed the Tangelo flames.
In the end, this project was all about spending time with family, three generations doing something they love to do.
As for what's in store for the vehicle?
"I'll never sell this truck because it's so highly modified with its frame cut and notched," Dave III says. "If anything, we will change it up a bit, something clean."
Whatever it is, we can't wait to see what this family comes up with next.
The 411Owners/Hometown:David Caldwell Sr., Jr., and III / Knoxville, Tennessee
Year/Make/Model:'95 Ford Ranger
Engine/Drivetrain:4.0L fuel-injected V-6 / custom aluminum cold-air intake with cone filter and stainless steel guard / 2-1/2-inch exhaust with Flowmaster muffler / 7-1/2-inch Ford rearend / Optima YellowTop battery / chrome alternator, A/C compressor, fuse-box cover, oil breather, and radiator recovery tank / bed-mounted 15-gallon fuel cellBy: Owner
Rims:Front: 17x8 Momo Status
Rear: 18x8 Momo Status
Tires:Front: Toyo 215/40ZR18Rear: Toyo 235/40ZR18
Suspension:Front: Belltech 3-1/2-inch dropped I-beams / Nitro-Active shocks / relocated radius arms / Firestone 2500 air springsRear: Four-link / Nitro-Active shocks / Firestone 2600 air springsAccessories: Eight 1/2-inch valves / 3/8-inch air lines / two 5-gallon air tanksChassis: Step notchBy: The Shop, Orlando, Florida
Body Mods:Shaved windshield wipers, squirters, driprail, door handles, third light, taillights, license plate, gas filler lid, and all body emblems / tailgate and roll pan combo / body-dropped 3-1/2 inches / fenders and grille shell molded together / inner fenderwells removed for clearance / cowl-induction hood / billet grille / SnugTop tonneau cover / rear fenders raised 1-1/2 inches to clear larger tires / iron-cross taillights / Street Beat Customs 40-inch canvas sunroof / Lexan rear window with license plate and third brake light / hidden radio antennaBY: Mad Mods, Hollywood, Florida / The Drop Shop, Pikeville, Kentucky (body drop)
Custom paint:Acura Silver with Pearl, Ford Sapphire Metallic Blue, House of Kolor Tangelo PearlBy: Mad Mods / Bonz Designs, Hollywood, Florida (airbrushed flames)
Stock seats with purple suede inserts / purple and gray tweed door panels / gray carpeting with diamond-plate floor mats / billet steering wheel and billet shifter and turn-signal knobsBy: Kreative Kustoms, Knoxville, Tennessee
Alpine CD/DVD with 6-inch screen / six-CD player in center console / 360-watt Alphasonik amp / two Alphasonik 10-inch subs, four 6x9 mids, and highs in doors and rear quarter-panels / PlayStation 2By: Dubbed Out, Knoxville, Tennessee
Ric's Extreme Body Shop for helping keep all nicks and chips repaired