Ranger Boats has been a key player in the fishing and boating industry for over 40 years, and has become a household name among boating and bassin’ families all across the country. Here’s a brief snippet of Ranger history according to The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture:
“With the help of a handful of employees, he formed Wood Manufacturing Company Inc. (doing business as Ranger Boats) and built six boats in 1968. He used the name Ranger Boats in honor of the Army Rangers and the Texas Rangers.
In the late 1960s, Wood became involved in the fledgling sport of competitive bass fishing as a way to promote his boats. In 1968, he met Ray Scott of Montgomery, Alabama, founder of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, and participated in the second B.A.S.S. tournament. Ranger Boats was designated “the official Bassmaster Classic boat” in 1972, and the Woods and Ranger Boats eventually went on to sponsor bass-fishing tournaments.”
I thought I’d share a couple Ranger ads from some early midwestern magazines. The first is from 1975 and appeared in Fishing Facts, about 5 years after they changed from a newspaper format to a traditional magazine format (another story to be told). The second is from In-Fisherman’s first year issues (1976), and is in their black, white and orange color pattern before they (IF) adopted a color format, which would happen about two years later.
According to what I’ve read in various places online, the “A” on the end of 175A as in the ad stood for Allison. Ranger supposedly bought the hull for this boat from Allison racing and it became a Bassmaster Classic boat in that 1975-1976 time period.