33k Original Miles: 1979 Ford Ranchero GT Brougham

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

The 1979 model year marked the end of Ford’s Ranchero range. There have been rumors that the company is considering reviving the badge and concept, but nothing concrete has seen the light of day. Therefore, buyers must turn to the classic market to secure vehicles like this 1979 Ranchero GT Brougham. It ticks the right boxes as an original and unmolested survivor. It presents superbly, and the odometer reading of 33,000 original miles is the icing on the cake. I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Tony P for spotting this fantastic classic.

The Ranchero badge served Ford faithfully from 1957, evolving from what was essentially a workhorse into a comfortable passenger car. The company knew the end was coming by 1979 as it focused on alternatives like the new Courier model. The extent of the drop in Ranchero sales provides insight into its demise. At the peak of its power, Ford sold over 45,000 Rancheros in 1973. All it mustered for 1979 was 14,000, making production unviable. Vehicles like this Ranchero GT Brougham represented a last hurrah, combining practicality with luxury. The first owner ordered it in 1C Black with contrasting White GT stripes. The presentation is impressive for a survivor-grade classic. The paint shines beautifully, and the panels are laser-straight. The stripes show deterioration, especially on the tailgate, but that is the only thing warranting criticism. The tinted glass and chrome are spotless, and the Ranchero rolls on the optional Magnum 500 wheels.

This Ranchero features the entry-level 302ci V8, although buyers could order these classics with a 351 under the hood. The extra cost was hard to justify because while the 302 delivered 133hp and 245 ft/lbs of torque, the 351 raised those figures by a mere 16hp and 13 ft/lbs. This classic features a three-speed automatic transmission and power assistance for the steering and brakes. Ford based the Ranchero on the LTD II platform, but with a lower curb weight, it can easily beat that car’s 19.6-second ¼-mile ET. News for potential buyers is positive. The seller recently performed a fluid change and a tune-up. They say it drives like a dream, ready to head into the sunset with a new owner behind the wheel.

I like a good mystery as much as the next person, but not when considering a classic purchase. This Ranchero is highly optioned, featuring air conditioning, a sports gauge cluster, a machine-turned bezel, cruise control, a tilt wheel, and an AM/FM radio/cassette player. However, whether the first owner splashed their cash on power windows or a power driver’s seat is unclear. The seller refers to the trim on the split bench seats as leather. I secured a copy of the original sales brochure, and that material isn’t mentioned. We’re also flying blind regarding the condition, as this is the only interior shot. It reveals a spotless dash, carpet, and uncracked pad, which may indicate a well-preserved interior.

The seller listed this 1979 Ford Ranchero GT Brougham here on Craigslist in Bristol, Wisconsin. Their price of $17,500 looks competitive, but the seller indicates they may entertain a lower figure if someone stands in front of them with a fistful of cash. Its overall condition and odometer reading justify the price, but who doesn’t like the idea of a bargain? I admit I was never a fan of this vehicle type. However, while racing, I purchased an Australian Falcon version as a tow vehicle. It is nearly a decade since I hung up my helmet and sold the race car, but the Falcon remains my daily driver. There’s a lesson in there: these classics burrow into your lives, and many people cannot part with them. You might be the same, and I will understand if that is the case.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    For those who appreciate this generation of large Rancheros, lots to like here. Eye-catching colors/ stripe package, instrumentation group, low miles, Magnum 500’s on new white letter tires. Treat it like a cruiser with some load-hauling utility.

    By this time this type of vehicle had pretty much run its course. In hindsight, was it because “regular” pickups were starting to get nicer, i.e. better interiors, attractively trimmed, etc.? Along with the availability of Supercab configurations, which offered more interior space?

    Like 13
    • Bunky

      Bob, you could make big bucks as a diplomat. I do appreciate your consistently positive spin on things.
      I suspect that people that love these “grande” Rancheros are in the minority. I love Rancheros, and have owned several, but after ‘72 they don’t excite me. The ‘77-‘79s are just too big. It’s a shame that Ford didn’t build a Fairmont Futura based Ranchero. (Fox Body).
      I have to admit that this is a nice one. The white stripe makes it look longer and lower- hiding the slab side of the box.

      Like 8
      • Bob S

        Bunky, Ford did build a “Ranchero” in a joint venture with national coach works in California from 79-82, I want to say around 300 or so in that time frame, it was called the Durango. I’ve seen a few for sale, but never have seen one in the wild.

        Like 3
      • Bob S

        I forgot the most important part, it was based off the Fairmont.

        Like 1
  2. Jonathan Green

    This has everything right and wrong with it, just as a concept.

    70’s scumbag vibe? You bet.
    Sporty? Of course. It’s a GT.
    Luxury? With a name like “Brougham”, it’s oozing luxury.
    Utility? It’s got a pickup bed.

    I’d be in on this, but I’m afraid not at that price…

    Like 1
  3. Wademo

    Absolutely beautiful condition! Only thing that would make it better would be a 460.

    Like 5
  4. Hotrodbuilder

    I have owned several of these later model Rancheros and enjoyed them for their uniqueness. The main drawback for me was the long hood. When seated in the driver’s seat it looks like you are looking over the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. That and mediocre fuel mileage. JMHO.

    Like 2
  5. AzzuraMember

    I owned a 79 Ranchero with a 302. Also had an Edelbrock intake and carb. Was incredibly slow. Too much weight to haul around. And those doors….must be 5′ long. They started to sag quickly. I’ll take an El Camino any day over one of these.

    Like 6
  6. Dr Ron

    These 1973-1979 Rancheros are the reason that Ford took the Ranchero behind the barn and put it out of its misery.
    Huge, bulky, heavy, overly square and poorly executed cow catcher bumpers couldn’t compete with the 1978-1987 El Camino styling and size. Proportions matter and the Ford offering was a bloated whale of a Ute…
    And I’m a “Ford Guy”.
    I’ve owned a 1967 390 bucket seat Ranchero, a 1970 429 Ranchero GT and a 1972 351 Cleveland Ranchero and loved them all…
    But Ford had its head where the sun didn’t shine when they didn’t migrate the Ranchero to a smaller platform.
    Granted, some folks liked these things.
    Some folks liked Edsels too.
    A Fox body wasn’t avail able in 1973 but even the Maverick platform as a Ute would have been an improvement over the bloatmobiles.
    And Australian Ford Utes looked great all the way to the very last Falcon based Utes.. especially the FVP models…
    Dwindling sales were driven by this vehicles styling and proportions and not necessarily the lack of buyers wanting Utes when they could buy a much better looking and proportioned GM Ute…

    Like 3
  7. stillrunners stillrunnersMember

    Wish mine had the W motor – I might have kept it. Mine was ordered towards the end of the run in May. A GT with the Bro-ham package and most dodad’s….pulled or bought the Martin report as I tried to sell it – which was a tough sell running driving and a 1-owner…but it was that factory baby blue outside with a darker blue inside.

    This looks like a nice one so good luck to the buyer.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds