Here’s an interesting little curio. This tiny yellow beastie is a Ferves Ranger, built in 1967 by FERVES – a portmanteau of Ferrari Vehicoli Speciali. In production for five years, the Ranger took its mechanical package from the Fiat 500 and 600, something you might have guessed from the car’s miniscule size.
I say minuscule, but viewed head on it looks like any other forward control vehicle. Only in plan view do things get a bit odd.
It’s fair to say that side-on is not the Ranger’s most pleasing elevation, but it does betray the Ranger’s rear-engined. It also shows off the car’s soft-top roof. Looking like a hastily erected tent, it provided shelter for four rather tightly packed passengers.
The Ranger was designed to this scale for reasons that went beyond the cheapness and ready availability of Cinquecento components. It was intended as a kind of miniature SUV, providing all-terrain access to the cramped paths found in vineyards and olive groves, and the open roof makes a lot of sense if you imagine its occupants reaching out for drive-by fruit picking.
600 Rangers were produced, and around 50 are thought to still exist, which strikes me as a pretty health survival rate. A four-wheel drive version was also produced, but, disappointingly, I can find no mention of an Abarth variant.
(All images copyright Chris Haining / Hooniverse 2017)
And now for something completely different: The Ferves Ranger
15 responses to “And now for something completely different: The Ferves Ranger”
Amazing. The tiny car based off roader really was a thing in the sixties, and this is a good deal smaller than most.
Think of it as a quad bike instead and all of a sudden it makes a lot more sense. Note I didn’t say side by side, because it lacks load area, but I bet many of these had a load tray added. The short wheelbase would help in really tight quarters.
They also offered a two seat “Cargo” version, just for that:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bg7Nl6nhGVE/UkwKQoXfSoI/AAAAAAAAGX0/erpKFcocvkk/s1600/ferves_14.jpg http://cinquino.free.fr/files/100_anni_di_fuoriserie/images/0551.jpg http://www.italianways.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/fiat-500-ferves-ranger-11-665×417.jpg
This is a cute little bug. Here’s another small Italian utility from 1965. Unfortunately, it was saddled with the extremely ill-chosen name of F.A.R.T. Breack. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3ab51dbaa6b3bc80e5b97869ae42efb3928ca17bd53523fa59350d4414af3814.jpg
Less than the longer, larger Airbus A340 obviously: http://0.media.collegehumor.cvcdn.com/81/24/de88f6f7acbb2ba4e1ae54382ff7e6d0-longer-larger-fart-plane.jpg
No matter how many times I drive in Germany, I still giggle, I’d probably career off the road in Norway…
Ferrari Vehicoli Speciali.
Is it really that special? It’s in one of the popular Ferrari colours, giallo fly -and it has the signature round tail lights often shared with lesser models. And it’s at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
(That last one seems to be only partway through metamorphosis.)
I see what you did there with the fake MR2..
For some reason, I quite like Ferraris in dark blue..
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