AUSTRALIAN RANCHERO, 302 V8, 3-SPEED AUTOMATIC, RIGHT-HAND-DRIVE, POWER DISCS
What's a UTE? Apparently it's Australian for "car with a pickup bed." Actually, utes are popular all over the world, and this 1971 Ford Falcon ute is what the Ranchero might look like when it's built down under. Yes, it's got right-hand drive, and no, nobody will know what it is when you pull up in it, so if that's your thing, this is your truck, er, car!
This Falcon UTE certainly shows a fair bit of FoMoCo DNA, from the Shaker-style hood scoop to the race-style gas cap to the Mustang GT steel wheels, but it's definitely its own machine. The bright orange paint gives it a legitimate hi-performance look, especially with the black hood stripes and graphics running down its flanks. And given the rarity of these beasts stateside, it's remarkable to see one this well restored, since parts must be virtually unobtainable. Fortunately, it appears that this one showed up complete and in excellent condition, and the bodywork is evidence that the weather's pretty kind to automobiles down in Australia. The tailgate area looks far more modern than 1971, especially with the slick molded-in roll pan and recessed license plate area, and the Falcon GT badging is distinctly more futuristic than you'd expect. The bed itself is still quite practical, especially with spray-in bed liner material, and the front end carries enough chrome to remind us it was still the 1970s.
The all-black interior is basic and simple, as you'd expect from a pickup truck, and yep, the steering wheel is way over there on the other side. If you want to have some fun, pulling up to a toll booth in this car is always interesting. Of course, with a bench seat, it's easy enough to slide over, although you'll want to watch out for the chrome shift lever sticking out of the transmission tunnel. The gauges look familiar enough, as does the steering wheel, although the ignition key way over there by the door seems kind of odd, don't you think? Nice black carpets and new-looking door panels with bright faux wood inserts add to the restored look. And while this is a bit of an upscale take on the basic working-class UTE, there is no radio just to remind you that work comes first.
The engine is a familiar 302 cubic inch V8, and in the relatively lightweight pickup, performance is lively. All the usual Ford components made the transition to the other side of the world, including "Power by Ford" valve covers and that big air cleaner. Ford Blue paint really pops against the orange firewall and shock towers, and the detailing is quite nicely done throughout the engine bay with lots of reproduction decals. Long-tube headers and a new Magnaflow dual exhaust system make for a great V8 soundtrack that's quite appropriate for the racy-looking ute. We don't recognize the rear end or know what kind of gears it has inside, but the torquey V8 barks the tires if you stand on it and it cruises as easily as a Mustang of the same vintage. Staggered 215/65/14 front and 245/60/14 rear tires on factory steel wheels complete the look.
A neat contrast to all the Rancheros you're likely to see at a show, and the right-hand drive will be part of endless discussions. Call today!
This vehicle is not currently in one of our showrooms. Please set up an appointment to view this car in person.
- Front Disc Brakes
- Power Brakes
- Seatbelts (Front)
- Vinyl Interior
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