1972 Ford Ranchero 429 GT Project

Here we go, a car bought online, not visually inspected, and turns out to be something less than anticipated. In this case, the subject is a 1972 Ford Ranchero GT powered by a 429 CI V8 engine. Sounds interesting right? Well, unfortunately, this is an oft-told tale so let’s see what derailed this Ford ute. It’s located in Griffin, Alabama and is available here on craigslist for $2,000. CadmanLS gets the credit for this discovery!

The seller of this Ranchero advises, “It is a major project. Much more than I can handle. The body has a good bit of rust. More than I was led to believe when I purchased it online from a fellow in Knoxville Tennessee. I just do not have the skills to do this kind of bodywork to restore it“. Gotta’ appreciate honesty! And it’s not just what you see in the cargo bed, there’s perforation in many different places all over the body. There aren’t any underside images included but one has to imagine that the structural integrity could be in doubt. That said, the body is pretty straight and still reasonably aligned but the rust repair will probably be like death by a thousand small cuts by the time things are repaired here, there, and everywhere.

Well, yes this is a 429 CI V8 powered Ranchero but the engine’s in the rear and not under the hood where it belongs. Apparently, the previous owner removed it and there it sits. The seller describes this 208 net HP “powerhouse” of a motor as follows: “Condition of the motor is unknown but I do believe it is a rebuildable core and is original to the truck“. He adds that his research indicates that this is one of only 200 produced with this powerplant. A three-speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission was the only available gearbox with this big 385 series engine.

The interior is about what one would expect – it’s pretty worn out, all of it. The seating upholstery, door panels, carpet, and dash pad will all need to be replaced. And there’s always the concern about the floor pan condition. Fortunately, it’s a small and limited environment that will require restoration. Interestingly, there’s no sign of a gear shift lever, the radio is missing and the instrument panel’s gauges look very dark and dingy – they’re likely going to need help.

The seller suggests, “It might better be used as a parts vehicle if you have one that you are restoring“. That might be logical I guess, it just depends on the condition of one’s restoration candidate vs. what’s left on this Ranchero that may still be of value. The ask on this Ford is $2,000 but the seller states that he’s open to reasonable offers so there’s probably $2,000, or something close to that, in parts alone wouldn’t you think?


  1. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    Yikes. Add a chain and a shackle or two, sprinkle thoroughly with water, and attach favorite boat.

    Like 7
  2. greg

    Engine been dropped how else do you break the cast iron manifold like that. Looking at exhaust would look at the frame, or what is left of it. No thanks

    Like 7
    • Hoberg

      Removed with forklift. Hood too.

      Like 3
  3. PJ

    are they going to pay someone $2,000 take it?

    Like 3
  4. Hoberg

    Removed with forklift. Hood too.

    Like 1
    • Bick Banter

      Yes somebody probably became angry. Very very angry. Any of us who have worked on an old car understand this. Heck, I’m doing restoration work on my E36 BMW and I was literally about to start breaking things myself just trying to put those plastic interior bits back in on a hot day without snapping those brittle tabs! Arrrggh! LOL!

      But most of us can control ourselves, but some simply cannot. It looks like that happened here, and to somebody with access to a forklift to boot. Not a good combination.

      Like 1
  5. Louis Iannaco

    “It is a major project. Much more than I can handle. The body has a good bit of rust. More than I was led to believe when I purchased it online from a fellow in Knoxville Tennessee.”

    And the moral of the story is?! 🤔 🤦🏻‍♂️

    Like 2
  6. Dave, Australia

    Our XA,XB, XC Falcon ute’s have very similar rear tail lights but had nothing like the power of a 429.
    A 351 was the biggest engine offered in Australia back in the 70s Ford utes

    Like 4
  7. Emel

    Been on this site for about a month now….was wondering why no Rancheros or the more popular Chevy El Camino. The guy that owned the Drive-In Theater I worked at as a teen….had a El Camino I think. Unless it was a later model Ranchero….cause the front end didn’t look like this one at all. This looks Torino like. This thing is a real heap !

    • Big C

      Rancheros from 1968 til the end of production, in 1979, were based on the Torino/LTD II. Thus, the front end resembled those cars.

      Like 3
      • Dr Ron

        Not quite…
        I’ve restored two 1970 Rancheros a 1968 Ranchero and two one year only Rancheros…
        And the 1967-1971 Rancheros were all based on Fairlane/Torino unibody chassis.
        1972 was the first year for the body on frame Torinos and Rancheros which lasted through the 1973-1978 giant bumper years…
        Chassis components were shared with full sized Fords and Mercurys but the body in white and chassis were Torino/Montego.
        This one is barely parts car worthy.

        Like 1
  8. Bick Banter

    It’s hard to imagine a vehicle getting so rough in that short of amount of time (50 years)!

    And it would take a lot to break a cast iron exhaust manifold like that. You would have to practically drop it off a 4+ story building, which would give me concerns about the integrity of the block and heads.

    Like 1
    • bone

      Really ?? Cars are routinely getting junked after about 10-15 years , and this one somehow escaped the crusher, then was left to sit . exposed to the elements and rot. I’ve seen far worse cars that were newer than this that were just left in someone’s back yard.

      Like 2
  9. HC Member

    Run away! This rust bucket is hardly worth saving unless you want to just throw your money away. Bed is completely rotted thru so no telling what else is going on with the frame and rails.

    Like 2
  10. JD

    POS. you have presented some real crap in the past but this is a joke.

    • Emel

      Or…..Have Engine….will Not Travel ! (or probably even run) lol

  11. Brian

    Being a one year only body style there are some good rare parts there, but not sure you can get to $2,000.

  12. chrlsful

    “…wouldn’t you think?…”
    think I’d buy it just for the motor as those go for alot more’n that.

    Like 2
  13. HC Member

    I wonder if you can even find a 429 block like that anymore? As that’s about the only real thing of value that I see here.

    Like 1
  14. Bil Hall

    I had a pos 73 Ranchero , The body had lots dings and dents all patched with a heapen helping of bondo. The only thing half decent was under the hood 351C which was rebuilt right after I got it. Even though a lousy rebuild still very fast.

  15. jd

    Interesting not only will you need a certificate of ownership but also a death certificate.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.


WANTED 1965-1967 Chevrolet Corvette Looking for a father/son project car. Engine/no engine. Running/not running. Contact

WANTED 1988-1994 Toyota Pickup or 4Runner 200,000 miles or less, no rust Contact

WANTED 1936- 49 diamond t any models and parts 1940 model 201 deluxe cab, and or any diamond t trucks or parts , also 20 in wheels Contact

Submit Your Want Ad