351 CLEVELAND RACHERO, READY TO DRIVE OR WORK, GREEN MATALLIC PAINT
Right now, Ford Rancheros are outrageously affordable, but don't expect cars like this 1972 Ranchero to remain in the bargain basement for much longer. They look great, have the same V8 muscle as their mid-sized siblings, and with that pickup bed out back, they're hobby cars that can really earn their keep.
The Ranchero always lived in the El Camino's shadow, but when you look at this Torino-based truck/car, you see muscle car DNA throughout. Forget the wood on the side and focus on the hood scoop, the excellent proportions, and the aggressive front end. Finished in correct Dark Green Metallic paint, it certainly has a timeless look that is a lot less dated than many of its contemporaries, wood or no wood. Fit and finish are quite nice, with doors that fit well and a shine that looks right on the vintage hauler, yet isn't so perfect that you'll be afraid to take it to Home Depot for your next weekend project. The bed is ready to work thanks to a spray-in bedliner and shiny bed rails to protect the paint and the chrome sparkles against the dark green paint.
From behind the wheel, this Ranchero feels every bit like its Torino GT siblings, and with a split bench seat wearing handsome green vinyl, it has a bucket seat feel with 3-across seating. The carpets, door panels, and dash pad look equally nice, and all of it is original, suggesting that someone has always cared for this car. Five round dials look give the dash a racy look and with wood appliques, the Ranchero has an interior that matches its woody bodywork. An Alpine AM/FM/CD stereo head unit fits in the dash just to the driver's right, and there's modest storage behind the seats if you have gear that you'd like to keep out of the elements. The big thing here is the overall condition, which is quite impressive given that everything is more than 40 years old, and there's an honest feel to the interior (and the whole car) that would be hard to duplicate with a restoration.
Under that scooped hood lives a 351 cubic inch "Cleveland" V8, one of Ford's better performers even in the early '70s. With a 2-barrel carburetor, the name of the game was torque, and the small block V8 moves the relatively lightweight Ranchero with genuine authority. It's still wearing its original air cleaner, which bodes well for a car like this because you know it hasn't been heavily modified or abused, and there's Ford Blue paint on the engine underneath. A few new components, including a new dual master cylinder, means that it's been well-maintained and ready to enjoy. Underneath there's a C4 3-speed automatic transmission and a heavy-duty 9-inch rear end, and it's easy to see that that this car has never lived in the rust belt, because the underside is in very good condition. The single exhaust system is correct but showing its age, but the flashy 5-spoke alloy wheels more than make up for it, especially with sporty 225/60/15 front and 255/60/15 rear BFGoodrich T/A radials.
So take note if you're looking to get in ahead of a trend, Rancheros are over-due for a price bump. Take this one home and start having fun before everyone else catches on that they're are a ton of fun, too. Call today!
- AM/FM Radio
- CD Player
- Front Disc Brakes
- Power Brakes
- Power Steering
- Vinyl Interior
- Exterior Color
- Dark Green Metallic
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