Some people have more mechanical ability in their pinky toe than I do in my entire body. Fortunately for us, those folks love to build wild machinery that wows their buddies and, oftentimes, the internet. Such is the case with the madman behind this 1991 Ford F-150 ramp truck that bends in the middle, making it extra maneuverable in tight spaces—at least, in theory.
The truck is currently for sale on Bring a Trailer, though it was famously listed before on Facebook Marketplace. It sparked the intrigue of pretty much everyone who scrolled past it with people sharing it in several groups I'm in. I was going to write about it then but they yanked the listing. Alas, now the day is here that we can all enjoy it together.
As you might imagine, this is a one-off build described by the seller as a prototype. They built it for their towing company with the intent of removing cars from tight parking structures and the like. Per the ad, it's "not so much for recovery along open roads but for the use in big cities [sic]." Why else would you want a bed like this that can rotate 25-30 degrees in either direction?
The truck's hind end is connected to the forward section by an articulating ring that's controlled with a hydraulic motor. There's a turntable of sorts that enables it to rotate independently of the cab section. It's rigged up to a handheld remote so the operator can use it in the cab or wherever they please, as long as the cord reaches. Then the air springs out back allow the ramp bed to lift or lower depending on what the situation calls for.
Because this is a real tow truck intended for service, the hauler bed has rollers, a power-adjustable track, a winch, and a rail guide down the middle to keep cars straight. The operator also has deployable outriggers at their disposal, along with plenty of lockable storage. If you felt comfortable using it, and your state's laws allow it, then you probably could.
Interestingly, the truck is still rear-wheel drive. First, a 300-cubic-inch Ford inline-six sends power through a five-speed manual transmission. From there, it travels through a funky driveline that seems to utilize some sort of ball joint to power the forward rear axle. It's tough to tell from the photos and the listing, but that's my understanding.
So much about this truck is just strange. You can tell that just by looking at it from 30 feet away, but get closer and you might notice something else. It has seven-lug hubs up front! Those must have come from a '97 F-250—y'know, the one that looked like a 10th-gen F-150 but was a little heavier duty? Thankfully, the rears are more traditional eight-lugs.
You could buy this if you want, but the auction ends Monday and it also has rust in several places along the undercarriage, as well as the rocker panels. It's a Michigan truck, after all, and it's been around for more than 30 years. I'll choose to admire it from afar, and maybe even dream of what I would build if I were more skilled with a wrench than a chimpanzee.
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