2010 Ford Ranger – Click above for high-res image gallery

It may have taken 28 years to get here, but the Ford Ranger is living inanimate proof that determination eventually pays off. Or something like that. Automotive News reports (via PickupTrucks.com) that Ford built its 7 millionth Ranger last month at the assembly plant in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Ranger has gone through a number of revisions, trim levels and price increases (thanks a lot, inflation!) on its way from being a $6,289 single-cab, 73-horsepower work truck to today's $17,820 143-hp pickup. As an interesting side point, the original Ranger weighed in at 2,532 pounds and could tow 3,300 pounds. Today, the 3,030-pound Ranger can tug a total of 5,860 pounds. Progress!

All good things must come to an end, though, as Ford has announced that it will cease production of the North American Ranger in 2011. The jury's still out on the current truck's replacement, though rumors swirl that a smaller version of the next F-150 called, imaginatively enough, the F-100 may be in the offing. What are the chances that truck will have a 30-year lifespan and 7,000,000-plus sales?

[Source: Automotive News, PickupTrucks.com]

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