Street Feature: A Never-Raced 1969 Ford Ranger Race Truck

For sale signs can be seen everyday driving down any road in Denver, but when you find one on a truck that you’ve always wanted, you jump on it. This was the case when Ray Suehrstedt saw his neighbor, and original owner, putting a for sale sign on a 1969 Ford Ranger short bed, in June 1985, while he was living in Arvada, Colorado.

“Some of my family want me to take it to Bandimere Speedway and see what it can do in the ¼-mile, maybe someday.”- Ray Suehrstedt

“l always liked this truck year and body style from way back when they were new” Ray said. A friend of his bought one in ’69 in Wimbledon White, with all the options. Of course all the options in 1969 is like the base model of a car today, but a fully loaded truck back then could be bought for the same amount as a used clunker today.

The original engine was a 360ci that made it to just over 100,000 miles. He then dropped a 429ci engine into it that came out of a 1968 Ford Thunderbird.

Ray started his restoration adventure June 5th, 1969 and completed the major portion of the restoration May 1991. The rebuilt engine is estimated to be approximately 450hp. Any parts that could not be purchased directly from Ford were bought from Dennis Carpenter Restoration Parts located in Concord, NC.

The 429ci engine makes do with over 450hp.

“I choose not to race it because un-due stress on the engine isn’t necessary. Some of my family want me to take it to Bandimere Speedway and see what it can do in the ¼-mile, maybe someday.”

After 26 years, and $25,000 invested, Ray has a gorgeous race and show ready truck that turns the heads of those who can hear him coming long before they see that pearly white truck.

Wimbledon White is the perfect color to compliment this '69.

Fun fact, all the glass is original except the windshield. The only other parts that are original are the tail lights and turn signal lenses. Slowly but surely Ray has been converting the OE components to modernized technology. Although he has yet to convert to disk brakes or improve suspension and steering, which are big ticket items. “Maybe someday, time and money tend to dictate what changes I make every year.”

Keeping the 69 style is still important to Ray as he modernizes the rest of the truck.

Keeping the ’69 style is still important to Ray as he modernizes the rest of the truck.

About the author

Nichole Holzli

Now a resident of Denver, Nichole grew up on a ranch in Southern California and relocated to a small town in Northern California upon starting high school. There she became a member of the Future Farmers of America, cultivating leadership skills and putting them into practice. Nichole has a passion for reading, a talent for writing, and a lifelong love affair with cars. She is married with four children and provides content for Power Automedia as a freelance writer.
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