This ‘Ranger’ Off-Roader is Pretty Much a Fiat 500 on Steroids

Automotive shapes elicit different responses from different people.

But some designs are a bit more unanimously accepted than others. Consider this cutesy off-road machine to be one of them—a 1967 Ferves Ranger. If you didn’t already have a smile on your face, you do now.

1967 Ferves Ranger Italian micro off-roader
No, it’s not a Pinzgauer military vehicle that was left in the dryer for too long.

The teeny Ferves Ranger is the unofficial off-road cousin of the equally teeny Fiat 500. It was built from 1966 to 1971 in Italy by Ferves (Ferrari Veicoli Speciali, no relation to Enzo Ferrari), and shares much of its running gear with the Fiat family.

Anyone up for a spin?

Befitting its Fiat origins, the Ranger’s steering box, four-speed manual gearbox, and 499cc air-cooled two-cylinder came from the plucky Fiat 500. Engine output is said to be around 18 horsepower and had a maximum speed of around 45 MPH.
The four-wheel independent suspension however came from a Fiat 600D, and other parts are said to have trickled in from the Fiat 124, 238, and Autobianchi Primula.

1967 Ferves Ranger 499cc air-cooled engine
The body was a custom job though, and it was penned by designer Carlo Ferrari, hence the “Ferves” moniker. Each Ranger featured folding windscreens, a canvas top, rearward opening doors (though they were optional), and both front and rear seating.

Another Ferves variant was available too—the “Cargo”—which added rear load space but subtracted the back seats.

Ferves Ranger micro off-road vehicle based on Fiat 500
Initially, all Rangers were two-wheel drive but in 1968 Ferves added the option of four-wheel drive. Given the ute’s off-roady stance and big tires, we’re sure it came in handy.

Ferves Ranger small Italian off-roader rear end
Approximately 600 Rangers and Cargos are said to have been built during its six-year production run, though only 50 or so are known to have survived today, while only eight live in the USA.

1967 Ferves Ranger italian off-roader
Today these small off-road vehicles cost a fortune. A two-wheel drive Ferves Ranger was sold a couple of years ago at RM Sotheby’s auction for a staggering US$169,000.

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