You can’t be surprised when I tell you the Ford Ranger is the second biggest-selling car in Australia.
It is book-ended by the Toyota HiLux in first place and the Mitsubishi Triton in third.
To understand why Australians have decided they prefer to drive commercial vehicles over normal cars, you need to appreciate that we have become a nation of tradies, miners, owners of dirt bikes, and crucially, gangstas – and a nation like that is clearly a baby truck-driving nation.
We’re like a massive unarmed Texas, but a bit more wishy-washy because our trucks, like our penises, are smaller, and our wives will beat us like dogs if we bring home a Dodge Ram.
The reason why Toyota’s HiLux rules the sales roost is Jeremy Clarkson. No one has ever forgotten how the Top Gear host put a HiLux on top of a 21-storey block of flats, demolished the flats with explosives, then drove the HiLux out of the rubble.
If there was ever a better advertisement for a car, I do not know what it is… oh hang on… there’s that one about a Jaguar that helps you pick up girls, isn’t there? Or was that in a movie? Never mind. A HiLux is the toughest car in the universe and it’s Australia’s
number one-selling car because Australians are the toughest bastards in the universe. Simple.
The Triton is the third-best-selling car because it’s bought by un-tough men who like cats, can’t afford to buy the HiLux, but still need a small truck.
And the Ford Ranger is Number Two With a Bullet (it will be number one, just watch) because it is the most gangsta-looking vehicle you can buy if you can’t afford a hate-black E-Class AMG. And so few gangstas can afford those.
Of course, real gangsters, as opposed to gangstas, drive invisible Toyota Camrys, catch cabs, or are driven around in 7-Series Beemers by blokes called Radovan.
But if you’re a gangsta – and you’ve tattooed your hands, hung a kilo of gold ship-chain around your neck, strapped a jewelled house-clock to your wrist, and always carry a week’s worth of syringes filled with creatine-flavoured steroids in your glovebox… well, hell bruv, you sure gots to be driving a Ranger.
And not just any Ranger. But a Ranger with matte black 33-inch monster-truck rims inside mud-digging rubber wider than two fat kids fighting over biscuits. A Ranger bristling with LED bars and spotlights that shit out more lumens than five exploding suns. A Ranger with a sound system Pink Floyd could wheel out on stage at their next revival tour. A Ranger with a grill that looks like the throne from Game of Thrones. I’m sure if Komodo dragons could be bought in Australia, Ranger owners would be eagerly chaining pairs of the drooling dinosaurs in the tray.
The bloke who designed the Ranger must be viewed as the Risen Christ by Ford management. His design calls have delivered a truck that sells on looks alone. It’s certainly competent as a work vehicle and an off-roader…but most Ford Rangers will not see a metre of dirt unless it’s a raked gravel driveway leading to a big house on a cliff where freshly waxed girls in very short dresses and very high heels are waiting to party with the driver.
No other light commercial vehicle can approach the Ford Ranger in that regard.
And so with the popularity of the Mustang – the preferred muscle car for the long finger-nailed wives of all Australians with Southern Cross tattoos on their backs – Ford’s conquest of the Australian car market and the Australian psyche proceeds apace.
I can’t wait to get one. A black one with extra black…