1-of-135: 1963 Ford Falcon Ranchero

Rare 1963 Ranchero

When I first glanced at this 1963 Ranchero, I didn’t give it much thought. Ford built a ton of them and this one looked rough to boot, so I didn’t see any reason to feature it here on the site. Well, for some reason I went back and read the seller’s description. They mentioned that it is rare. We are talking about a Ranchero here, right? Then I read that this one is equipped with a 260 V8 and a 4-speed manual. Hmm, now we are talking! Maybe there is something worthwhile here after all… Find it here on eBay in Palm Desert, California with bidding starting at $1,800 and a recently lowered BIN of $2,500. Thanks for the tip Jim S!

Ranchero 260 V8

While doing a little research, I stumbled across a registry site that keeps track of all the 1963 Rancheros fitted with the V8/4-speed combo. The webmaster provided a quick rundown of why these cars are so special. Using production numbers from the book, Falcon: The New Size Ford, they were able to estimate that only about 135 cars were ever built with this specific option set. I have no way to verify that figure, but if it is true, this is one heck of a find! Just be sure to get a photo of the door tag to confirm that it came from the factory this way before handing over any cash.

Ranchero Interior

Nothing out of the ordinary in here. Oh, except for that shift stick poking up out of the Borg Warner T-10 4-speed transmission! The Falcon provided the dash and trim so sourcing replacement pieces shouldn’t be a problem. Getting all the paperwork figured out might actually be more work. Apparently, $653 is due at the California DMV before it can be registered in the State. Also, the seller says that the car will be sold with a bill of sale, but never mentions a title. So, do your due diligence here before bidding.

Falcon Wagon

The seller does sweeten the deal by throwing in this ’62 Falcon station wagon for parts! The Ranchero was actually based on the wagon platform so that makes sense. Even with the extra parts, this is going to be an expensive and time-consuming project. There’s lots of rust and it basically needs everything gone through. Still, in the end you will have one heck of an interesting car that is not only functional, but fun to drive.

Monte Carlo Falcon

Admittedly, if I were going to go to all the work of restoring this one, I would be tempted to steal some inspiration from the Falcons that ran at Monte Carlo. Wimbledon white, uprated suspension, black steelies, and a pair of driving lights would add some flavor while still being reversible. Blasphemy? Maybe, but it sure would be fun to show up at our next event in a rare rally Ranchero! What do you guys think?

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Comments

  1. GaryMc

    Do it! I like it. There was one done for the African Safari Rallye as well.

  2. sunbeamdon

    Jeez, for a minute there I thought about putting in an offer. The Monte Mustangs were in the era I was rallying in Canada – I ran a six cylinder stick Chevy II for a while, then a full sized four-on-the-floor Dodge 383 ci. Thank god for Traction Lok dif!

    • Jesse Staff

      Do it Don! What a cool project this would be. I should just focus on the Mustang right now anyway…

  3. Rick

    The rally Falcons were the 63 1/2 Sprint model, equipped with the 164 horse 260 V-8, factory tach, and Sprint only steering wheel. Falcon Sprint was one of the earliest pony cars of the 60s. My next door neighbor bought a brand new one in Heritage Burgundy. Right away he put duals w/ glass packs and a set of chrome reverse wheels w/ baby moons. I was already a car nut in those days as child, and I thought his Falcon Sprint was so cool. Same neighbor later bought a brand new ’66 Chevy II Nova SS with the L-78 option (solid lifter 12-to-1 327) and 4 speed, he put a set of Amercan mags on that, and what a tire smoker.

    • Richard Lee

      Rick, I have a 63 1/2 Ranchero, with the Sprint package. 260 V-8, 4-bbl carb, factory dash mounted tach, T-10 Borge Warner, 4 speed on the floor, front disk brakes that I recently purchased from a friend in Tx. I am trying to document the cars authenticity. Any suggestions? The Registery in not functioning.

  4. sunbeamdon

    Let’s see – 58,000 mi ’64 Merc’ Marauder 2 Dr Ht comes first (needs steering, interior restitch and paint); next – 140,000 mi Mk II Tiger (needs interior, tranny rebuild and bright work)

    But I know the answer – my brother-in-law is coming down from YVR today – he cut his teeth driving his dad’s ’63 Falcon Sprint – maybe I can convince him this is a good project! Keep him out of the sauce???

    • Jesse Staff

      Well, either way please keep us updated on your other two projects! Some photos would be great.

  5. Matt Main

    If the wagon is any good on the inside, I’d consider swapping that 4spd into the wagon. Either way, cool find. Will make a neat project (possibly 2) for someone.
    P.S. I’d rather have the Falcon Ranchero than the ’75 Vette!

  6. pbryantr

    I’ve toyed with the idea of building a clone of this Ranchero: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2013/01/09/rise-of-the-ranchero/

    • DT

      My friend just put one together ,with a 302 and a 4 speed

  7. Dan Farrell

    My first car that was all mine, solid lifter cam, dual point distributor, tri-y header. As always I wish I still had her and about 20 other cars.

  8. stanley stalvey

    That’s correct, it is a Rare find with the V-8 and 4 Speed trans. I worked at a Ford dealer in a small town in Georgia back in the 80’s. There were 2 brothers working there doing frame work and alignment that had 2 of them. They had other cars so they used the little Falcon Rancheros for deer hunting and their daily commute from another city to get to work. Their cars were kept in pristine condition and looked great in fawn colors. Both had 6 cylinder engines and 3-on-the-tree manual shifters..

  9. Brian

    Don’t get me wrong, I really like the old Rancheros, but I have to wonder…what was Ford thinking making the Ranchero out of a Falcon? Again, don’t get me wrong, I like the Falcon, too; but they are what they were meant to be – a cheap little commuter car that was really too light duty to be made into a truck, and man, people really used them for trucks! Even the smaller 62-64 Fairlane bodies must have been a stronger platform that the Falcon? Every restorable example of early Ranchero I’ve looked over in the past 10 years or so looked as bad as, if not worse, than this one! I looked over one last year that was so bad that you could grab the top of the rear bed wall and work it back and forth (in and out, might be a more exact description) at least 6 inches. Although they all had their short comings, it did seem like each Ranchero body style after this one got stronger than the previous one.

    I’m definately not saying this one is not worth restoring, but my welding skills and wallet wouldn’t be up to the challenge! Now the little two door wagon, on the other hand, looks alot more restoration friendly with what appears to be a straight, rust free body, plus it’s a two door! I would never be able to bring myself to cut it up for parts!

  10. That Guy

    Within the past decade or so there was an industrial roofing company in the San Jose, CA area which had a fleet of very nice first-generation Falcon Rancheros running around. I know I saw at least three different ones, all painted different colors but with the same company signage. I thought it was a really cool way to advertise and differentiate themselves in the marketplace. I don’t recall the exact name of the company and I haven’t seen any of the trucks for a while now so I wonder if they are still in business.

    I agree, that wagon looks too good to use it for parts. Consider it two projects for the price of one.

  11. mike

    as much as i like the ranchero the 2DR wagon would be the one i would like to build into a …
    Rallye support vehicle…just me i guess…

    • Jesse Staff

      I hear you Mike! That would be a lot of fun.

  12. Chris

    A different ‘ute’ to the ones Ford Australia sold here. The Aussies one used a different
    doors, B pillars, & quarter panels. I think the wheelbase differed too.

    The early Falcons were structually deficient for Australias poor roads. Front end failure
    was endemic until they beefed up with Fairlane components.

    • james

      Yall Aussie’s got all the cool/bad-ass falcon’s,1971 GT-HO Phase 3 , Excuse me, Yes thats my puddle of drool soooo sorry. LOL

  13. Alan (Michigan)

    Has anyone else looked at the lister’s other Falcon auction?
    Four decent looking cars for $5K Buy-it-now.
    All you need is a big trailer, and a big barn to begin a Falcon dynasty!

    I have to say, I like the attitude of this seller. Straight-up, here it is, no pulled punches.
    Rare these days, it seems.

  14. Catfish Phil

    BOGO, baybee, beau geaux!

  15. z1 rider

    Is that a Borg Warner or Dagenham 4-speed?

  16. jim s

    ended with no bids!

  17. Nick

    Hey, why don’t you separate sold cars from available cars under a different category so those of us looking for something available NOW don’t have to sift thru a million sold cars. Thanks

  18. RH Willetts

    If memory serves me, the V-8 Falcons had five lug wheels. This doesn’t. So I don’T think this had a V-8 as original equipment.

  19. Richard Lee

    I recently purchased 1963 1/2 Ranchero, with the 260 V-8, 4 speed, tach, etc. The guy I purchased the vehicle said it was a numbers matching vehicle and was originally made with the Sprint Package. It’s in really good condition and I am proud to own the vehicle. My question, how do I document the original package equipment, numbers matching, etc. I tried the registry link but the site is not “up”. Any help you can offer would be great. Thanks

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