Getting rid of the Haybaler never really sat right with me, so when the Previa’s brakes refused to be fixed, I went looking for another Ranger. It didn’t take long to find one. It’s pretty much the same as the Haybaler, with a four-cylinder and manual transmission. As a ’97, it’s got the updated dashboard and a few running changes. And it’s a shortbed, sadly; the long-bed Rangers are much harder to find, especially in rust-prone Michigan. Snezhna’s been a trouble-free, hard-working truck so far, and she hasn’t balked at anything I’ve tried to cram into her.
Update: I really didn’t want to go back to being without a pickup truck, but logistical constraints dictated the need for a vehicle that could carry more people, get better fuel economy, and, um, move under its own power in the wintertime. Snezhna got new shocks all around and some other repairs, but was making noises about wanting serious transmission work ere long. So, I traded her in for a Honda Element, while her rust bubbles were still small enough for her to have some decent value. Good truck. I’m sure I’ll have another some day.