1 of 758: 1979 Ford Ranchero Squire

Ford rolled out the Ranchero in 1957 as something of a gentleman’s pick-up. Over the years, it would be available in different configurations – such as full-size, compact and intermediate – and a part of Ford’s portfolio through the end of the 1970s. The seller offers a low mileage, decked out version of the Ranchero in Squire trim from its final year, 1979. The “truck” looks beautiful and someone appears to have babied it the past 40 years. It’s located in Lakeland, Florida and is available via a dealer here on eBay where the auction stands at $6,350. The reserve has yet to be met.

The first Ranchero was full-size and adapted from Ford’s two-door station wagon platform that built the cab and cargo bed into the body. Over a 23-year span, Ford produced more than a half-million Rancheros, so to say it was a success would be an understatement. The pickup would flip-flop between platforms i.e. depending on Ford’s marketing intel. For example, beginning in 1960, the Ranchero became a compact based on the new Falcon. The seventh generation (1977-79) would be its last and based on the Ford LTD II, which had replaced the mid-size Torino. The Ranchero got left behind in the wake of market demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles, plus Ford already had the Ranger that could do a similar job. While total production for 1979 would be 25,000 units, only 758 were Squire models which bore the woodgrain styling paneling.

This 1979 Ranchero Squire is being offered by a dealer, so it’s long on photos and short on history. The odometer reads just 55,000 miles, so the truck spent far more time under cover than out on the road. While it’s one of 758 made, it may be rarer than that as the seller says only 11 were produced with this same color combination. It even has a vinyl top, which is something you seldom see on any kind of truck. If you were to go on a search to find rust, it could be a futile effort because everything looks so amazing.

Because it has a Brougham badge on the fenders, this Ranchero is well-decked out. Factory air, cloth/vinyl split bench seat, power steering, power front disc brakes – they’re all there. We don’t see any power windows, but maybe they weren’t offered that year. Under the hood resides a 351 Cleveland V-8, although you could have ordered a 400 if you wanted to burn up more gas. We assume that the vehicle runs as good as it looks, although no explanation is offered there.

Rancheros, like Chevy’s El Camino, aren’t commonly offered for sale. But when they do pop up, a standard Ranchero 500 from 1979 might fetch $10,000, a GT $15,000 and a Squire like this $20,000. So, it’s likely that the bidding will have a distance to go before hitting the reserve. If you’re into these kinds of “trucks” this one looks like it would be hard to fault.

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    That’s a rare one for sure. I thought someone restored it and added the Country squire effects. Now all needs to add is a rear facing seat to complete the package.

  2. Jonathan

    I’ve never understood this design category’s appeal.

    It’s like the combo of the worse aspects of a truck and a car.

    But for this car in particular, I can certainly appreciate it’s ‘rarity’ and conditional rarity.

    Like 7
    • qmmq

      Well…thats why it’s rare. Ugh

      Like 1
    • Jerry

      I have a 76 GT with the 400.
      The appeal is it has the more comfy ride of a car but the bed of a truck to haul bigger stuff than a car could.You can’t haul as much as a truck but u can tow quite a bit.

      Like 2
  3. Karo

    Yes, you could get power windows in ’79; this one just doesn’t have them. Nor cruise control. What you could not get was the 400 V-8; it was gone after ’78. The 460 was gone after ’76.

    This one looks like it’s been buffed up a bit – the vinyl top doesn’t appear be the original material. It also appears to have a Granada hood ornament, the correct version being a sort of clear hexagon reading LTD II with wreaths on either side.

    This dealer is notorious for such tricks, I’m afraid.

    Like 5
  4. Bob C.

    The “Cleveland” name disappeared after 1974. By this point it was referred to as the 351M. Some sources say it meant “Modified.”

    Like 7
    • bone

      The Cleveland and the Modified were not the same engines .

      Like 3
    • Ray

      The Cleveland lived on in Australia until the 19i0s. They even got a 302 Cleveland down under!

      • Ray

        1980s

  5. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Set of Magnum 500s would improve this Ranchero’s looks in spades

    Like 7
  6. AndyinMA

    Can’t decide if it’s beautiful or hideous….but I can’t look away.

    Like 6
  7. PaulG

    One of 758 for a reason. In fact I’m suprised 757 others wanted one…

    Like 8
  8. Ricky M

    what a beautiful unique cruck.

    Like 1
  9. Bill

    Nice ride, I had a 79 cougar xr7 351w. Only complaint was that silver blue paint faded after a few years. No clear coat back then.

  10. 6speed

    Wow, well from picture 1 this car captures four ‘style’ elements of my nightmares: wire wheel covers, whitewalls, wood paneling and vinyl roof. Ugh.

    Like 5
    • RexFox Member

      Mine too 6speed. However, I would add that huge front end and make it 5 nightmarish style elements. You could easily chop 18 inches off the front and create a little balance to the profile.

      Like 1
  11. DON

    My only fault with this car/truck is the hideous header panel with the stacked square headlights. Hated them in the 70s, still hate them . A Ford Elite header panel would have vastly improved the looks IMHO

    Like 2
  12. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    This vehicle just SCREAMS old senior man retired to Florida. He rolled this out only for solo runs without the old lady for mulch or a bag of dog food or to take a lawn mower to service. I’m sure the dealer, unless this is a consignment, bought this for a song and will perhaps double their money (if they’re lucky). I agree with 6speed above about this Ranchero sporting all the cliché elements of cars from the era.

    Like 2
  13. Stilbo

    These and same year Thunderbird are of an acquired taste…
    I can’t help but see Chevy Chase’s Family Truckster.
    This design is no doubt why Ford threw in the Ranchero towel years before GM killed the El Camino which even with big bumpers looked a lot better.
    I DO love my ‘70 Grabber blue Ranchero GT though.

    Like 2
    • Jerry

      I never liked the El Camino body style after 72……liked the look of the Ranchero untill 77.

  14. Bestguest

    I am in love. The 1970’s blue shag and faux wood panels are amazing. Whoever buys this hopefully will love it like the 1st owner did.

    Like 1
  15. Mark

    Buttus uglious.

    Like 1
    • Jerry

      The last gen from 77 to 79 wasn’t liked by all but the 69 to 76 looked pretty good especially the 72….
      I didnt like the square headlight LTD II front end of the 77-79

      Like 2
  16. JolietJake Member

    “Drives (rides) like a car, hauls like a truck” What a concept! You either love it or hate it (that’s what I’m hearing in these comments}. What presence this vehicle has! I own a ’68 El Camino w/ 350 and it takes me back to the good old days every time I drive it…it’s a BLAST!

  17. Gary

    I have a black ’79 Ranchero Gt Brougham. No vinyl top, red restored interior. Mine does have cruise control. I have had a blast owning this vehicle. I happen to like the stacked headlights. Thank you very much!

    Like 3
    • Jerry

      Well…..I didn’t say “nobody” liked the stacked headlights, but most people like the round headlight body style better. 😁

      Like 1
  18. lc

    This Squire is rare; however, I found a 79 for sale in the Denver area about a year and half ago. The condition appeared to be in very good. It was a orange color with white vinyl top. It had the same wire hubs and white wall tires. If I recall, the owner was asking $3500 for it, and it had the 351. But I had to pass since I already own a 81 Elko.

  19. wjtinfwb

    I think these are awesome! Grew up in the 70s riding/racing dirt bikes. Rancheros and El Canino’s were common haulers of bikes. I’d love this, would look great with a CR250 or YZ 490 in the bed.

    Like 1
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      The model companies were on top of the trend by offering things like this crude Lindberg Elco with motorcycle included. It comprised of 6-7 separate parts. Not the greatest detail, and Lindberg modified the molds to go from 2nd gen Chevelle front clip to post-73 front end without changing anything rearward of the B pillar. Neato!

      Like 1
  20. lc

    In fact, lo and behold, there is a 79 right now in Colorado Springs Craigslist (not a Squire though) with 351 not running, auto, etc. cash $1000 or trade.

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