While promotional photos show both models with Eurosport side mirrors, real-life photos show the Elite with the bigger, conventional chrome towing mirrors. The cab had to be structurally reinforced so the frame could withstand the missing roof (via MotorTrend).
The unique Haartz Stayfast cloth Targa top was designed so it could be locked in the up position or quickly closed down and stored behind the front seats — with one hand, according to MotorTrend. Ads claim there was plenty of storage space behind the seats for “luggage, groceries, or golf clubs.” Custom graphics and a Haartz Stayfast boot cover rounded out the SkyRanger’s features.
The million-dollar question that kept Ford aficionados (aficioFordos?) awake at night was, who exactly created this thing? And for the longest time, the mainstream belief, as recounted by MotorTrend, was that the American Sunroof Company/American Specialty Cars crafted the ragtop Ranger, which was eventually proven false.
According to Ford Authority, the SkyRanger was actually built by a company named Professional Auto Crafters (or just Autocrafters), a small company headed by Bob Kaiser in Livonia, Michigan (via MotorTrend), not 15 miles from Ford’s Dearborn headquarters. Some sources say Ford commissioned the truck (via AutoEvolution), while others say PAC built the conversions with its own money. When Ford decided to pass on the concept, it financially devastated PAC, and they went out of business.
As to its rarity … again, sources are divided. Some say only 14 were built, while others claim 17. Wherever the final number lands, it’s a rare breed indeed.