Drive It Home: 1977 Ford Ranchero GT

So, do you fancy a vacation? Of course you, but don’t we all? What if the goal of that vacation was to fly out and collect the latest classic to add to your collection and then drive the vehicle home? Some enthusiasts could find the idea too tempting to resist, but it is a viable option for the new owner of this 1977 Ford Ranchero GT. It is a solid, mechanically healthy gem ready for an extended road trip. Located in Waukon, Iowa, you will find the Ranchero listed for sale here on eBay. The bidding has raced to $6,000 in a No Reserve auction.

Life is a learning experience, and I admit that it wasn’t that many years ago that I would have looked at this Ranchero and considered it as little more than a “tool of trade.” I purchased a similar vehicle for towing purposes around eleven years ago, and when its towing days were over, I considered sending it to a new home. However, its versatility has led to it remaining my daily driver years later. This GT looks like a gem. It isn’t perfect, but it is a tidy vehicle with no immediate needs. The seller admits that the existing Black represents an amateur repaint but that it presents well from five feet away. They suggest that a cosmetic refresh may lay in its future, but it isn’t urgent. The wheels are a later addition, and when combined with the paint color and lifted rear, they add a sense of purpose. The listing indicates that the Ranchero is rust-free, and with only minor bruises on the panels, returning the exterior to a factory-fresh state should not prove challenging. The chrome presents well for a survivor-grade vehicle, and there are no problems with the glass.

Lifting the hood reveals the optional 400M V8 producing 173hp and 326 ft/lbs of torque. The power feeds to the rear wheels via a three-speed automatic transmission, while power steering and power front disc brakes are part of this package. The ’77 Ranchero may not be the most powerful pickup on the planet, but it should still cover the ¼ mile in 17.9 seconds. However, it is worth remembering that this classic’s ace is its load-carrying and towing abilities. The 400 could be described as a “lazy” motor, with peak torque delivery occurring at 1,500rpm. It is that low-down muscle that makes these an ideal tow vehicle. The seller indicates that the GT is in excellent mechanical health. It runs and drives well, and they supply this YouTube video confirming that. The V8 sounds fantastic breathing through a custom exhaust. It is so healthy that the seller states that flying in and driving home is a viable proposition for potential buyers to consider.

We need to open the doors and survey the interior to reveal this Ranchero’s weakest point. It is serviceable, but the condition of the upholstery, carpet, and dash pad declare that this classic isn’t factory-fresh. The seat upholstery is split beyond repair, the carpet is worn and stained, and the dash pad is cracking under the strain of age and UV exposure. None of these issues are unusual, and the buyer could address them as time and circumstances allow. The seller provides a starting point by including a new headliner still in its box. It isn’t loaded with luxury appointments, and even the factory radio is slow to awaken when turned on. As a guide to the potential costs the buyer may face whipping the interior into shape, replacement seat upholstery retails for about $480, while a dash cap would add $150 to the tally. A carpet set will cost $220, but the buyer may need to be patient in locating door trims. I had no success locating new replacements, but I found a very nice secondhand set for $300. When you tally those figures, an interior refresh looks affordable. Adding to the attraction, it is a task that the buyer could tackle in a home workshop.

Anybody who has owned a vehicle like this 1977 Ranchero GT can confirm its versatility. The Ranchero offers the comfort of a family sedan with the versatility of a pickup. Its load-carrying capacity may not match a vehicle like an F-150, but it is sufficient to satisfy most owners. Their relatively low weight compared to those vehicles means they offer excellent performance, and their civilized nature makes them ideal daily drivers. Those are the attributes awaiting the next owner of this Ranchero GT and help to explain the intensity of the bidding. With twenty-eight bids submitted and plenty of time remaining on the auction, you could stake your claim on this classic. If you do, I could hardly blame you.


  1. Bick Banter

    Interesting vehicle. I simply cannot get over the weird proportions with the hood being as long as the bed. Looks like a caboose to me. But if that doesn’t bother you, go for it. Can’t be many left, especially GTs.

    Like 3
  2. Miguel

    I would put a Starsky & Hutch paint scheme on it.
    Starsky & Hutch.

  3. Fitz

    Had a ‘73. 400/C6. Rode like an LTD, would gather real estate at a decent rate of fuel consumption. This unit is tempting. Sniper EFI, adapt a 4R70w & go down the road

  4. Billyray

    All those pics and not one of the front! One very quick glimpse in the YouTube..

  5. Big C

    With an interior as roached out as this thing has? You’ve got to wonder about the rest of the truck.

    Like 1
  6. Bob C.

    The 400m engine is also known as the 351 Clevelands big brother. IIRC it was only available in 2 barrel form.

  7. LD71

    Is it really pictured in a cemetary? Omen?? LD71 :D

  8. Gerard Frederick

    The sad condition of the interior tells me this vehicle has been relentlessly abused. You can´t fix abuse, neither in people, nor in cars or boats. Hands off!

  9. don

    looks like it originally had AC but even the bracket is missing. As for the int, it’s 45 yrs old & leather surfaces, so not unusual.

  10. DON

    It may be black now, but it wasn’t always , the cowl and the fender areas under the hood show as white or silver/grey.

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