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Donated To Charity: 1973 Ford Ranchero

Ford pioneered the “gentlemen’s pickup” in 1957 with the Ranchero. Based on the company’s 2-door station wagon, the product was more “civilized” that the F100 or other Ford trucks. Though different platforms and sizes were used over the years, more than a half million Rancheros saw the light of day through 1979. This ’73 edition was donated to charity and doesn’t run, so the buyer will have to contend with both cosmetic and mechanical issues. Located in Orange, California, bidding on this old Ford has reached just $1,675 through multiple small bids here on eBay.

A more appropriate product category for the Ranchero is “coupe utility” and its primary competitor was the Chevy El Camino (1959-60 and 1964-87). The sixth generation from 1972-76 would continue as a mid-size entry as had been the case since 1966 (from 1960-65 it was a compact). Following along with changes made to the Torino, the mid-1970s Ranchero’s had a larger, heavier look, especially from 1973-forward when the bumpers got huge to support Federal mandates for greater impact protection. A variety of engines were offered, from a 250 cubic-inch inline-6 through a 460 big-block V8.

The VIN on this Ranchero indicates the engine to be a “high-output” version of the 351 V8. The engine cranks but won’t start, so some investigation will be needed to determine the issue. The truck will also need a new battery. An automatic transmission complements the motor, but there’s no indication of its operating condition. The odometer reads 96,000 miles, which could be accurate depending on how long this thing has been sitting (it has a clean Nevada title).

Though the blue paint is quite weathered, the body may be okay from the photos provided. This could have been the Squire model as there is evidence the pickup once had woodgrain side paneling (imitation, of course). The interior shows signs of wear and tear, but the material is likely vinyl (once recovered), not leather as the seller suggests. If the bidding doesn’t go crazy toward the end of the auction, this might make a decent gamble as a project.


  1. Stan

    Love to see it restored. Nice pick on 351 h.o.

    Like 4
  2. Steve

    Be VERY careful when dealing with these people! (It is NOT a charity.)

    • Big_Fun Member

      Towing company, right?

  3. George Birth

    Someone will wind up with a decent driver with this one. Hopefully it won’t take much to get it running again.

  4. Brian P

    In the ebay listing, the VIN shows S which is a 400 ci.

    Like 3
  5. Sam

    Change the Brain Box and it will start.

    Like 1
    • karl

      What’s a brain box on a 73 Ford ?

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