Ferves Ranger "Mini Truck"
Ferves Ranger. From the side, it looks like the product of a liaison between a Steyr-Puch Haflinger and a Fiat 500. From the front or rear, the compact off-roader’s tiny tires tilt with a comical amount of positive camber, giving it a cartoonish appearance. Pseudo-Seussian-styling aside, the Ferves Ranger was a capable off-roader, and just 600 examples were assembled between 1966 and 1971. Around 50 are said to survive today, and restored examples can command impressive amounts in private sales or at auction. The Ferves name derives from its creator, Ferrari Special Vehicles (or Ferrari Veicoli Speciali, in Italian). The Fiat 500 tie-in, then is genetic, as many parts used on the Ranger were liberated from Fiat 500 or 600 models. The engine, for example, is the same 499cc air-cooled twin used in the 500, rated at 18 horsepower. The Ranger’s four-wheel independent suspension is derived from the Fiat 600D, and the four-wheel drum brakes and four-speed transmission are Fiat parts bin items, too. Designed to carry four adults in relative comfort, the Ranger featured a removable top and a folding windshield, and early examples also used front-opening and removable doors. Though the engine is mounted above the rear wheels, power is sent to all four wheels via full-time all-wheel drive. Late production models were available with a five-speed transmission (which included an ultra-low first gear and the option of a locking differential) and even two-wheel drive, concessions likely added to increase the unusual model’s appeal. This particular Ranger was first sold to the Montreaux Power Company in 1973, though it’s unclear how long the Ranger remained a commercial vehicle. Now restored in its original shade of green, its owner of record on registration paperwork is French industrial and interior designer Philippe Starck, best known for his efforts to make design affordable for all. It’s quite possible the Ranger served as an inspiration for Starck’s Volteis Electric Car concept, which seems to mirror the Ferves’s simplicity in its design.Read More