[Update: nope] Ford at the stealership: 2002 Ranger Thunderbolt

[Update: I went back, looked under the passenger-front corner where it had taken a hit, and the frame is slightly bent. NOPE. And that ends that!]

Interesting spot today: 2002 Ford Ranger Thunderbolt. What’s a Thunderbolt? It was a mostly a dress-up package done by SLP Engineering (yes the GM-oriented business) but there was an option for thicker sway bars, dual exhaust with a high-flow catalytic converter, and more performance-oriented tires. This one has a 3.0L (could get a 4.0L) that makes 160hp instead of 148hp which is appreciated but not as fun as as the 4.0L’s 222hp. However, this Ranger has problems...it’s missing several key Thunderbolt parts such as the polarizing (imo, ugly) front bumper, hard bed cover with duck tail (kinda cool), and the Thunderbolt fender badges. Turns out it was involved in an accident. Stealership wants $7,000 for it and it has 97k miles on it. Oh, and the darn center console is broken as expected with these Rangers.


Here’s what a standard Thunderbolt should look like. Note the bumper and Fender badges.

I’m going back to take a closer look at the passenger-front corner to see if there’s any visible frame damage. I could see myself paying no more than $6k but I’d love to knock them down to $5k for it. I’d fix up the body, sell the wheels for a set of Torque Thrusts in grey, throw the gaudy tail lights away, find the correct fender badges, and plan a V8 swap (thinking either Explorer 5.0L or 4.6L 2-valve (4 valve is considered)).

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