The Classics: 1977-1979 Ford Ranchero

20140801-202529-73529844.jpgFor 1977, Ford introduced what was to be the last iteration of the Ranchero in North America. Fords newest version of its car-based pickup shared most pf its architecture with Ford’s contemporary mid-size vehicles such as the Ford LTD II, Mercury Cougar, and Ford Thunderbird. Also shared with these vehicles are its angular styling and low-slung stance. The long hood gave the truck nice proportions reminiscent of a large coupe, while the bed clearly defined it as a pickup. The rear of the cab curves to meet the top of the bed wall in a way similiar to that of the Chevrolet El Camino and GMC Sprint. Front sheet metal was shared with the LTD II, including its quad headlamps and protruding front fenders that helped give a mature and upscale appearance.

20140801-202530-73530745.jpgCreases run along the bottom of the truck and along the rear fender to continue the sculpted design of the front. In general, the last of the Rancheros had somewhat elegant styling and though it shared its basic idea with the El Camino, it had various design elements that set it apart. Motivating the big Ford was a choice of a 351 cubic inch V8 or the larger 400 cubic inch V8. Both engines were mated to a three-speed automatic. This generation of Ranchero was produced for only three years as the truck was discontinued in 1979, leaving only GM’s offerings to fill the domestic car-based truck market. The particular Ranchero shown was a 1979 model and was in nice shape. It seemed free from rust and the paint and vinyl top seemed devoid of conspicuous imperfections. The owner seemed to have abandoned the original wheels for some larger, more modern five spoke alloys allowing for a more modern look.

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