Well now… believe it or not, this here is something pretty special. Fleshing out the same bones that underpinned some of the most loved Ford F-series pickups in the world, the Mercury Ranger was Ford’s answer to the unique questions posed by the heavily taxed Canadian market, at least until the Automotive Free Trade agreement was ratified in 1965. Leading to the demise of a few Mercury models, that particular document would prove the final nail in the coffin for this rare Canadian-made pickup truck in 1968, making this particular example one of the last that would ever be produced. A relatively rare and little known version of the world’s most popular vehicle, this particular Ranger model is an example of the most luxurious truck Mercury offered in 1968, coming with everything from optional (and very rare) hood scoops to an eight track to two-tone paint.
But precisely which variant of Mercury Ranger this is remains unknown. Coming in the three same GVWR designations as the F-series (F-150, F-250, and F-350), this could be either an M-150, M-250, or M-350, depending. However, the F-150 being the most common version, my money’s on this being a well-spec’ed version of that particular model, ordered by someone looking for equal measures of road going presence and work capacity. After all, while we take significant styling features such as hood scoops for granted on modern trucks, it would have taken a very special buyer to opt for such a feature in 1968, when trucks were relegated to work duties and little else. As with all Ford pickups of this era, rust in and around the cab supports in of the utmost concern, as are the wheelwells, floors, and the rear seam of the cab. Mechanically, they’re almost industructable, and the 360 is a real trooper of an engine. I’ve owned a slightly newer F-series (1974) motivated by the same powerplant, and the thing absolutely refused to bow to Death, even as the odometer rolled over half a million kilometers. As for replacement parts, although the Mercury-specific trim pieces may be more difficult to locate, the majority of the important stuff is all extremely available.