Thunder-Jet Are Go! 1970 Ford Ranchero GT

Get out the asbestos underoos for this one, this 1970 Ford Ranchero GT has a monster lurking under that sleek hood: a 360-hp 429 Thunder-Jet! I know, you can buy a Hyundai with more horsepower than that today, but still, this is a 1970 Ford Ranchero GT with a 429 Thunder-Jet! Come on! This one is listed on eBay with a current bid price of $6,900 and there are about three days left to rearrange your garage to fit this one in, and also to fit in a cot because “if you drag one more project car home, mister..”..  This hot hauler is located in Los Angeles, California.

Is anyone else a huge fan of this era Ranchero? I hope so. Other than the first-gen Falcon Rancheros, which I absolute love, the 1970 & 1971 Ranchero is by far my favorite. This grille is killer, in my opinion. I like them all, from the 1957 to the 1979, but there’s something about the fifth-generation cars that gets to me.

This is an original California vehicle so the rust-through is minimal, but that doesn’t mean that it’s perfect. As you can see, it has more than its share of dings and dents, along with enough surface rust to (insert un-pc phrase here). You can actually haul things with a Ranchero, there’s a decent amount of room in the back for a couple of motorcycles or a few bales of hay. The owner has a nice five-book set of Ford manuals that goes with the sale.

The interior looks decent other than the seats which are dirty and torn. But, new covers are available along with a lot of other parts and pieces that you may need to bring this one back. The dash is cracked and as you expected, you can get a new one for peanuts, relatively speaking. Does anyone remember the tach in these cars? Nice. This car has Ford’s C-6 select-shift automatic instead of a manual transmission. A manual may be more desirable, at least on paper and at auction, but in the real world we all know that automatics rule, sales-wise.

Here’s that famous engine, from back in the days when you were singing along with Three Dog Night’s “Joy to the World” and you meant it because you were driving a Ranchero GT with a 429 Thunder-Jet in it. This “Thunder-Jet” has 360 hp, according to the VIN, being an N-Code car, the lowest HP available with the 429 V8. The next in line was the Cobra Jet with 370 hp, and finally the Super Cobra Jet with 375 hp. 360 hp would work for me since it’s over twice the hp of my daily driver. This car came with AC but the compressor has been removed, although it comes with the sale. The power steering doesn’t work but parts to fix it also are included. This one will need a full restoration and Hagerty lists a #1 concours value of just $24,500 so you’ll be upside down in a real hurry. Are there any fans of these fifth-generation Rancheros out there? What do you think of this one: restore it or get it working perfectly and drive the wheels off of it as it looks now?

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Comments

  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Love the Thunderbirds reference, Scotty — my favorite TV show as a young child. Anyone know if these were available without the vinyl top? Never been a fan.

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    • JP

      Yes, I would say most did not have a vinyl top. This is well optioned, as a Torino guy I could see buying one like this to build a Torino especially a convertible. You would definitely not be upside down doing so.

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    • Jack

      I thought the same thing Jamie, “Thunderbirds Are Go!” F-A-B. Check out the new Thunderbirds Are Go animation series on Amazon Prime, really good stuff.
      I like the hidden headlights on this Ranchero GT, just makes it that much cooler as a hauler. I say drive the wheels off it!

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  2. dirtyharry

    I drove this car (it isn’t really a truck at all) in HS, but with a 351. Even with the 351 motor (and headers) it was a tire shredder. I really think it would be difficult to get this one to “hook-up,” without some serious tire on the back. I think these are the next jack pot cars. It is 70’s muscle and that just has to go up from here. The world is running short on 70’s muscle. This one needs some love, but these will be winners at some point. Some of the European cars are looking crazy expensive and these more and more like bargains. How do you not like a 429 in your collector car?

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  3. Don DA DAVIS

    This car -truck makes me cry !
    I could only pray ,I’d find one !

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  4. AMCSTEVE

    lose the vinyl and you got a winner.

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  5. redwagon

    i like the low tail gate and hauling capability. wish more trucks came low like this.

    429? 360hp? sounds good to me.

    the marti report says this is a pastel blue car. if so my monitor coloration is way, way off. looks to be a dirty white boy color to me.

    anyone see evidence of pastel blue?

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    • wuzjeepnowsaab

      Looks correct. Powder Blue was Barely Blue when new and after 40some years of Cali sun it would be Hardly Blue

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  6. Luki

    What’s with the black plates?
    Wasn’t 1970 blue?
    Are those truck or trailer plates?

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  7. Gunner

    You are correct Luki. The black Cali plates were from 1963 to 1969. It was during 1969 that they switched to the blue plates. Great observation.

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  8. Ross

    California commercial plates ran to 1971…

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  9. SS

    California commercial plates ran to 1971…

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  10. Rustytech

    My favorite year for the Torino, and I love the Rancheros. This one’s almost got it all, hideaways, and stripes. I too would lose the vinyl top. I would also add a vintage A/C system to the restoration.

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  11. Part time

    Inside the Passenger side mirror shows blue. I love it right down to the vinyl top! I say buy it!

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  12. Car Guy

    429 with a good tune and stock size rear tires = Big smokey burnouts! Just don’t ask it to turn a corner quickly………….

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    • BRAKTRCR

      I’m a die hard Chevy guy, and I think these are one of the nicest Ford’s ever. Like the el Camino, they are muscle car bargains. $24k for one in #1 condition is amazing.
      And yes, they are cars, not trucks. This is the same as a Torino wagon.

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  13. Too Tall Tom

    Bought a ’69 GT with 351 Winsor in Fresno and spent a year restoring this back to a “driver” in great condition. We tow a ’67 Safari Airstream 22′ with it.

    I still need to bone up and get the GT wheels!

    Cheers, Tom

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  14. Jubjub

    What a classy hauler. Neighborhood friend had one that looked identical to this only, red but just a 351. It was nicely kept and well past it’s sell by date when he sold it. Bet he’d like to have it back.

    And I like the vinyl top. Maybe I’ve just got bad taste, but this year Ranchero as a Squire is just the bomb.

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  15. stillrunners

    On my paper route a guy brought home one with a shaker hood….not sure of the motor…pretty sure it was a dark brown….with those stripes and hideaways….man it was nice!

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  16. kman

    Hmmmm…. just got one car out of the garage, the next one will be out next week… I think I’ll go bid.

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  17. Ralph Terhune

    I have a 1970 Ranchero Squire, originally equipped with the F-code 302, 3 speed column shifted manual trans, factory air and power steering. Kind of an oddball IMHO. I’m planning on installing the 351C, C4 automatic and 9 inch rear axle from a ’71 Torino 4 door sedan and the PDB from a rusty ’71 Torino GT. Should be a fun car/truck when it’s finished.

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    • Rocco in Florida Member

      Just trying to learn. What does PDB stand for?

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      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Rocco, I think it’s Power Disc Brakes.

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      • Rocco in Florida Member

        Jamie,

        Thanks.

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  18. D

    I would put it next to my 71 SS454 El Camino!

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  19. racer99

    My favorite body style Torino. This is one I’d love to have as it has good bones (low rust, good drivetrain, highly optioned, somewhat rare but with available parts) and could be used as a daily driver as well as have some useful capabilities otherwise. Probably out of my price range when it’s done.

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  20. irocrob

    I love this old car. I think Hagertys value is light in value at 24K . A beautiful car when restored.

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  21. 68 custom

    great looks with most of the right options (needs shaker hood) best looking era Torino, as a ford hater I love this one!

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  22. BillB

    Looking to be a real bargain for someone!

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  23. M/K

    Does anybody else hate the”you will be upside down quick” comment? Not trying to be picky but most of us will know and lots won’t care if interested in a particular car, for most it’s passion not pay out. Thanks for the great site though, my favorite.

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    • racer99

      No, I think the comment is fair and useful. Many car guys will enjoy their toy for awhile and then sell it and get another as we don’t have the resources to have a 40 car collection or the space to put them in. For that group (and I include myself in that group) pricing and long term profitability is an important aspect of the “hobby”. I also agree that if something calls to your heart, you have the resources and you plan to keep it then price, final cost, and resale value don’t end up carrying much weight in the decision making process.

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  24. DG

    I can’t see how anyone would be upside down restoring this vehicle, its mostly complete. Maybe I don’t know enough about restoration. $10K would make this car awesome looking.

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    • racer99

      If it sells for under $10K it really looks like you could add $2k+/- and have a really nice driver or you’d probably end up over the value of the car if you do a full frame-off restoration (the numbers always depend on what you can do yourself). I wonder a little bit about the removed power steering and a/c (I can’t imagine driving this thing without the power steering) and all that assumes that the mechanicals are in usable condition. If you have major mechanical issues to fix then you could easily go way over the $24K mark. Still a neat car and my favorite Ranchero body style by far.

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  25. Melvin Burwell

    Love this truck.. Im located just north of this. In San Fernando. Phone # 818-792-7209.

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  26. racer99

    Sold for $9400.

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  27. Morley

    Why are so many comments all about –is it worth it. If that is your biggest concern, buy a new car with warranty. I buy and sell cars like this because I would love to own and drive this particular car. having never bought a new car , since 1980- a Ford F100 short box which I still have and it is still new. there is nothing on the market that I would want to buy…Of course all these money dreamers are all just talk, so they leave all the rest of us to enjoy these old cars.

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