The Ford Ranger was the F-150s little brother for many years. The little truck was not exactly the smarter, better at sports type of little brother, but more of the annoying because he wasn’t good at anything type.
The mid 90s had some of the worst Ranger models we had ever seen and, in this video by RegularCars, we see exactly why. What you need to understand is that there was a reason why these trucks sucked and it was because of something called the “Chicken Tax.”
In a nut shell, the chicken tax was a 25% tariff on potato starch, dextrin, brandy and light trucks. It was put in place in 1963 as a response to France and West Germany imposing a tariff on chickens from the U.S. We were pumping out a ton of chickens back then and, in Europe, they were somewhat of a delicacy, meaning that our cheap chickens brought down their prices. What’s crazy is the tax on everything but the light trucks was lifted and, for the next 50 years, importing a light truck has not been financially feasible. Without competition from abroad, our smaller trucks could totally suck and there was nothing we could do about it, hence this sub-par Ford Ranger.
This law is so outdated, it’s ridiculous and there a lot of Americans that would love a small 4 cylinder pickup. In some cities like Chicago, you can’t even park a full size vhicle on the street without having special license plates. And those plates aren’t cheap.
Ford has announced a new Ranger will be coming out in 2020 alongside the Bronco, so we are moving in the right direction. Still, the chicken tax needs to go so more little trucks can be had by all and our friends can stop borrowing ours all the time.