Italy's strange Ranger is a tiny off-roader by Ferrari*

Joe Lorio

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Combine the appeal of a vintage off-roader with the charm of a Fiat Jolly, and you get this: a Ferves Ranger. The Italian-built Ranger made its debut at the 1966 Turin auto show. A rear-mounted engine from the Fiat 500 provided a blistering 18 horsepower, sent either to the rear wheels or all four. The four-wheel independent suspension was lifted from the Fiat 600D. The open body was constructed of steel and aluminum, and the four-seat design features a folding windshield. The rear seatback folds to create a metal cargo area. A soft top provides some weather protection, and the spare tire rides atop the engine lid. In all, some 600 are said to have been built.

The name "Ferves" comes from Ferrari Veicoli Speciale (Ferrari Special Vehicles). The Ferrari in question is Carlo Ferrari, who designed the Ranger. He supposedly was of no relation to that other Ferrari you may have heard about.

This 1968 example is rear-wheel drive and will be crossing the auction block at RM Sotheby's Amelia Island sale next month. What will it take to put this little cutie in your pocket and take it home? More than it might have a year ago. This past summer, RM Sotheby's sold a near-identical version at its Monterey auction for $196,00 — which was considerably better than the $30k–$40k pre-sale estimate. It would appear that there is a fervor for Ferves.