A few years ago a neighborhood in Chatsworth, Georgia, was cycling a few residents, and Dwight Scott wound up with a new neighbor. This stuff happens everywhere and every day, but what his old neighbor left behind doesn't. It seems he abandoned his '69 Ford F-100 Ranger in front of his previous residence for someone else to deal with. The old Ranger certainly wasn't junk and only had four owners to date, most of whom were recent, but the lady who owned the house thought it was and was vocal about having it hauled off to the scrap yard. Dwight didn't want to see this happen, so he contacted the runaway owner and made a deal to give the truck a new home next door.

Dwight began to trace the Ford's history and found out that most of its life was spent with its original owner, who had run a local Gulf service station. At the station it was always garaged and well maintained, as you might expect. When the owner decided to retire, he also retired the '69 and sold the faithful truck. From here it had a fairly quick succession of owners to the present day, starting with a light-duty position at a talc mill in Georgia and then to a man who used it to haul firewood and letters on a local mail route before it found its way next door as an all-purpose truck.

One man who was pivotal to the truck's purchase was Ray Sitton, who worked for the sherriff's department and was a good friend of Dwight's. Dwight was banking on Ray to restore the Ford for him in his spare time; if not, then the F-100 might see a different fate. Ray said yes, and with help from his son Mike they got to work.

In the meantime he had the original 351 and C4 trans rebuilt by Wynn's Automotive in Chatsworth to stock Ford specs from top to bottom and inside out-not even any extra chrome. Wynn's also went through the suspension with all stock Ford parts. After this the truck was taken to Ray, who disassembled and stripped the body and bed to the bare metal. The Ranger was pretty decent save for the bed's box, which after all the hauling it had done was pretty beat up. That was the toughest part of the job, but you'd never know now.

The factory Ranger two-tone paint was matched by Auto Refinish Supply in Dalton, Georgia, in Sherwin Williams aqua and white and sprayed by Ray and Mike. The shortbed got all-new moldings from Dennis Carpenter, as well as new materials for the interior and upholstery that the Sittons installed. Elsewhere inside the cab the original steering wheel was restored, and believe it or not, the dash was rubbed out and left with its original Ford paint that houses a dash panel from Dennis Carpenter. To finish the truck off it went to Chatsworth Glass Co. for new glass all the way around.

The three-year project finished with smashing results from everyone involved, and the whole Scott family loves the thumbs up they get while toolin' around the South.