Weird Wednesday: Ferves Ranger off-roader
For this week’s Weird Wednesday, we bring you the Ferves Ranger.
You’d could be forgiven for wondering if someone had stuck a German Pinzgauer military truck in the clothes dryer for a few cycles… but no, this little piece of four-wheel driving excellence is actually the Ferves Ranger off-roader. It’s based loosely on the Fiat 500… no, not the modern one… the oldie from the 1960s, and it’s a great candidate for Weird Wednesday.
The Ferves Ranger was built from 1966 through to 1971 by Italian automaker Ferves (Ferrari Veicoli Speciali – no relation to Enzo Ferrari, however). They were available as a two-wheel drive and also in four-wheel drive guise, as you see it here. The running gear is borrowed from the Fiat 500 of the same vintage, which includes a rear mounted 499cc air-cooled two-cylinder engine, offering up a stonking 12kW of power thanks to the same tune as the Fiat 500 of the time. The four-wheel independent suspension comes from the larger Fiat 600D model, with other components coming from the Fiat 124, 238 and Autobianchi Primula.
The body was entirely custom-built, with a folding windscreen, canvas top, rear-hinged suicide doors and the option to remove the backseat in the ‘Cargo’ variant. Yep, that’s right, this tiny thing could seat four! It would appear that approximately 600 Ferves Rangers were built, however it seems that only 50 or so still remain today.
All in all, a rather crazy little four-wheel drive, but at least you knew if ever you got bogged in one, you could just about pick it up and carry it out of strife! We’re not gonna lie… we want one, but that probably ain’t ever going to happen: a two-wheel drive Ferves Ranger sold last year at an RM Sotheby’s auction for a staggering US$169,000, which is nearly a quarter of a mill in Aussie currency. Ouch!