Let’s say you’ve got a beater yard truck at work and it’s sitting right next to several cans of red and white latex paint plus brushes, and you and your coworkers are bored. What do you do? I suspect that those were the conditions that let to the Nike-themed customization job on today’s Junkyard Gem, found in a self-service yard in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The light bar on the roof plus a couple of cheap UHF antennas indicate that this truck worked for its living, maybe at construction sites or a big industrial facility. 

The odometer is a five-digit unit, so we can’t know how many miles it traveled during its career. I’m guessing the final total was above 200,000.

The build tag say the original color for this truck was “Twilight Blue Metallic.” That was before it received a thick slathering of red house paint, applied with a brush.

Then white house paint was used to apply the Nike “Just Do It” theme. Nike began using “Just Do It” in 1988, after a writer at the company’s ad agency was inspired by the last words of about-to-be-executed murderer, Gary Gilmore.

Some real dedication went into this paint job.

The treatment extends into the interior.

The color-matched Car-Freshner Little Tree air fresheners are a nice touch.

Don’t forget the wheels!

The build tag says this truck was built at Louisville Assembly in November of 1988, and that it’s a short-wheelbase rear-wheel-drive Styleside.

It has the good old 2.3-liter “Pinto” four-cylinder engine, rated at 100 horsepower and 133 pound-feet.

The transmission is the base five-speed manual.

The first-generation Ranger replaced the Mazda-built Courier, with production beginning for the 1983 model year and continuing through 1992. The second-generation 1993 Ranger kept the original chassis but its body became less influenced by that of its F-Series big brother.

Another work truck heads to the crusher.

Canada’s best-selling compact truck!

Dogs were meant to lie in the sun and sleep.

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