429 Power! 1971 Ford Ranchero

Slim listing, few images but a fantastic find in the form of a 1971 Ford Ranchero packing a 429 CI V8 engine. It may or may not be a GT model, just a generic Ranchero, and there are only two images of the exterior so it’s hard to get a good look. This 125K mile example is located in El Cajon, California and is available, here on craigslist for $7,500.

The Ford Ranchero came in four flavors for ’71  a standard “Ranchero”  trim level, Ranchero 500, a Squire model, and a GT version. Also introduced was the Ranchero Special as an appearance option available on all Rancheros except the Squire. As previously stated, this example looks like a standard or a 500 model but it does have a vented GT style hood. It is claimed to have new paint and shows really well from what can be seen in only two pictures – not the best way to market one’s vehicle, however. Anyway, there is no evidence of crash damage, mistreatment, or rust, and the chrome bumpers, plus the stainless trim, present quite well. The wheel treatment is typical for this era, Ford pie-pan hubcaps with trim rings – it scores points for original style. Unfortunately, there are no interior images included.

Ford offered an entire array of engines for the Ranchero in ’71, V8’s that spanned the gap from a 210 to 370 gross HP with the top dog being in the form of a 429 CI “385” series motor, and that’s what’s found in our subject car. Whether or not this 429 is the original engine is not stated though it is referred to as a “new motor”  that “runs great“.  Actually, without the VIN, there is no way to know with certainty, what was originally under the hood of this Ford. A C-6, three-speed automatic transmission handles gear changes.

Well, it’s a thin listing but it’s a thin price, too, especially for what it is. It’s tough to make any decisions about a candidate like this with such a paucity of detail but it is worth asking some questions if this Ranchero floats your boat. And I’d say this one warrants an inquiry, how about you?



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  1. Moparman Member

    I always disliked those “pie pan” wheel covers with trim rings; a really plain look in my eyes. Substitute Magnums instead and make this plain jane Ranchero let down her hair! GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 5
    • Steve R

      The reproduction Magnum 500’s are garbage. I had a set on a car, the chrome started to rust and put within a year. That was in sunny, dry, salt free California.

      Steve R

      Like 3
      • Boatman Member

        If they were made by Keystone, I’m not surprised.

        Like 2
      • Steve R

        Boatman, I have no idea who made them, other than they were sold by a reproduction supplier. The center caps were garbage too. I’d never buy a set of chrome plated steel wheels again, no matter how nice they look.

        The one thing that experience prompted me to do was find a couple of sets of 15×7 1960’s or 1970’s mag wheels. I now have several sets of vintage wheels in my loft, including 4 vintage 15×7 straight spoke American Racing Torq Thrusts and 4 15×7 U.S. slot mags, either of those will look good on anything, yet will still be distinctive.

        Steve R

        Like 6
  2. Terrry

    If the car is as nice as the three pictures indicate, this could be a steal.

    Like 6
  3. Steve

    The engine alone is worth the price. Something is fishy

    Like 5
    • Ralph

      I agree Steve.
      This appears to be in excellent shape, at least from what can be seen.
      Something is not adding up here.
      At least he is not asking 75K for it…

      Like 4
    • Steve R

      There is a good chance the engine is a generic passenger car 429, not a CJ. The seller never makes such a claim. That conclusion is derived from the fact that the only 429’s available in the 1971 Torino/Ranchero was either a 429CJ or 429SCJ. If the VIN shows any other engine, it’s guaranteed to be a swap and based on the rarity and expense of procuring either CJ engine would make it unlikely this car is equipped with one.

      Steve R

      Like 4
    • dave harnishfeger

      looks like a craigs list scammer

      Like 2
      • Steve R


        I’ve had Rancheros like this, until recently they haven’t sold for much money, and still don’t when compared to El Caminos in similar condition. Late-60’s and early-70’s Fords, unless they are some form of Mustang fastback or have a CJ or SCJ tacked into the end if the engine designation are relative bargains and don’t have a strong following willing to open their wallets. Based on the description and pictures, it’s fairly priced, which is something scammers rarely do. They underprice what they are selling to create a sense of urgency so potential buyers will let down their guard.

        Steve R

  4. David

    This is a great car for the price. 429 original or not, no matter. It’s has tasteful period correct upgrades. It also appears to have power disc brakes; that would indicate a possible original larger V8. No fan shroud in it now. The big blocks had a slim line fan shroud. Yes a vin scan would be helpful. Personally I see a west coast car that’s pretty clean with a 429 for a good price. If I was nearby I’d be right over there looking it over with cash in my pocket .

    Like 5
  5. Chuck Simons

    I just emailed the lister..no pics of the interior…If something is too good…

    Like 3
  6. Motorcityman Member

    If the interior is complete and the suspension is decent its worth more than $7500.
    Some rips and tears would be ok by me, as long as it wss complete.

    Like 2
  7. Bunky

    Very sharp! I bought a wrecked ‘71 Ranchero for my Dad years ago and put hideaway headlights on it from a Torino Brougham. 351C/auto. Had it repainted original white/ new red interior. He drove it once. Said it really moved. Noticed it hadn’t moved and asked about it months later. “Oh, no. I don’t drive it. It’s too nice.
    FYI: Base Engine was a 250 6 cylinder, and there was a confusing array of 3 different 429s offered in ‘71 Rancheros.

  8. David G

    That is a Thunder jet 429, not a CJ. Still has 11.0:1 compression and 360 horsepower, making this light weight Ranchero a screamer. The N code 429 was indeed available in Torinos, so they are likely also offered in the Ranchero, I assume.

    • Steve R

      According to couple of online VIN decoders, the only two 429’s available in 1971 were the CJ and SCJ, but not the Thunder jet. I was surprised to see that, since I had a 1970 Torino Cobra with the 429 Thunder Jet and just assumed it would be carried over to the 1971 model year. It looks like the 351CJ replaces it in the engine lineup.

      Steve R

      Like 1
  9. Kevin

    It was deleted by its author,sold or changed mind,if it ran great and drove,stopped etc.it was worth the money granted it didn’t have hidden frame rot or anything, I bet this would burn the tire or tires ,for a block!

  10. DeeBee

    Just enough info to be able to tell the significant other “yeah, I tried to sell it!”

  11. William Williams

    I am restoreing a 1971 ranchero gt 429 4 speed car need only one thing the lower rear drivers side trim the part is about 2.5 high by 18 inch long. Let me know if you can help.

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