CC Capsule: 1988 Ford Ranger STX – On the Job

1988 Ford Ranger STX a

One of my favorite things to come upon is the first generation of a vehicle made for a long time. Ford’s Ranger absolutely fits into long-time bucket: in production 29 years. And look, here’s one wearing the first grille. Hooray! And it’s not just any old Ranger, but a top-trim STX.

1988 Ford Ranger STX b

The STX was introduced in 1986 and disappeared after 1997. As best as I can tell, it was an XLT with every option box ticked, plus badging and often special tape stripes. Mechanical configurations differed from year to year. Sometimes they were available in four wheel drive; sometimes they weren’t. Same for four- vs. six-cylinder engines; same for regular vs. extended cab. Factory lift was even available for a couple years. It was just an inch and a half, though, so I smell a custom lift on this bad boy.


As you can see from this interior shot I pilfered from a Craigslist ad, the STX interior was a pretty nice place to be, with bucket seats and power windows/locks/mirrors. And is that a power seat adjustment I spy?


The jump seats are folded up in this extended cab, but that’s just as well. The narrow, thin cushions and the intruding front seat back made this space inhospitable to humans.

1988 Ford Ranger STX c

I found this STX on a construction job in the office park where I work.  We moved out of this building into a different one, and now it’s being refitted for a new tenant. Nice to see this Ranger still working hard.

I’ll keep looking for other cars on my first-generation bucket list, which includes the Chevy Cavalier, the roach-of-the-road Buick Century and Olds Cutlass Ciera (sealed beam!), and the aero Ford Crown Vic.