Neck Breaker: 1972 Ford Ranchero GT N-Code

The term “neck breaker” has re-entered pop culture as a means of describing that which causes you to snap your head back so suddenly you break your neck. Well, while this 1972 Ford Ranchero GT isn’t currently so stunning you’d stop in your tracks and stare, the poor photography might cause you crane your neck for a better look. Found here on eBay, the seller says this is a genuine “N” code Ranchero, originally fitted with the 429 big block mill but now sporting a 351 of unknown condition. The Buy-It-Now is just $1,750.

The car overall is rough, and the seller even says that the swapped-in 351 is likely a boat anchor at this point. That’s fine – it should be yanked out for a proper 429 anyway. It’s too bad the Ranchero has been left to the elements and to the ravages of time as you can tell it was likely quite attractive with its hunter green paint and factory white racing strip going down the sides. The “ram air”-style hood is at least still in place, as it was a staple of the Ranchero GT kit.

The seller notes that that the nose pieces are from a Torino but that the remaining panels are original. There is rust in the floors as well as the tailgate and the rear seam areas in the back of the bed. The interior isn’t much better, with missing door panels and torn up upholstery. The dash pad will also need replacing, and the seller notes the gauges are missing. I suppose this makes some of you think there are better cars out there, but are they genuine N code vehicles?

Not that I think the VIN breakdown should become the be-all-end-all, but the 429 mill does make this Ranchero a touch more special than other basketcase examples. If you were going to restore one back to good health, a GT-spec model is a good starting point – but is this one too far gone? How hard would it be to rebuild it into an authentic 429-equipped Ranchero? The seller seems realistic about the asking price, but I think it should go cheaper still.

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Comments

  1. Fred w.

    Seller would have gotten better photos if he had handed the camera to the nearest chimpanzee.

    • Adam T45 Staff

      Here it is!

  2. Classic Steel

    Looks like a future transplant of vins to a non N code car 🚗 sadly

  3. Rick

    Is there a class that teaches bad photography?

  4. stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

    We had a short discussion….cowl back is the same 1972 until the last one…but frames are different……my 1979….

    • Dalelong

      My 76 ranchero squire

    • Harold Wood

      I got a 79 that is the twin to yours, same blue and white. Some thief stole the radiator out of it a couple of years ago along with all the other radiators out of all my chevy classic, 69, 71’s, 72 and other cars I have been saving to restore. Mine Has the 351-c motor in it I think or the 352 not sure which is in which car I have some many out there with both motors.

  5. John B

    Somebody must have farted a lot into that driver’s seat.

  6. Mike

    The quality of the pictures makes Craig’s List pics look good.

  7. Madmatt

    Well,…..its almost all been said here already….,
    “Photos by Ray Charles & Stevie Wonder”,,
    “Hey Ray,just point this- that way and click”
    “Stevie make sure to get the whole subject in picture”
    Sadly,, Those guys photo skills were probably much better…!

  8. Clint

    “N” code was not the top engine for 1972. It was rated at only 205 hp. The top engine for 1972-74 Ford Gran Torino’s and Rabnchero GT’s was the “Q” code 351 CJ. It was rated at 248 hp. 351 CJ cars were the only ones available with a 4 speed.

    A 351 CJ will run away from a 429 in 72…and not by a small margin either.

    • TD

      You can bet that 351 installed in there is not a CJ

  9. Poptheclutch

    Hahaha…all you guys are to nice.
    Fred.w I’m still laughing! 🤣😂😅

  10. phil

    a true oakie

  11. Richard

    I had a ‘72 Gran Torino wagon. Based on that experience I’ll suggest that the only thing likely holding the body panels on this Ranchero together is the paint.

  12. Greg W

    The frame and suspension is the same from 1972 thru 1979 which was the last year Ranchero produced.

  13. Wayne

    I had a ’71 the same color green that this one was. It had a 5.0 with an AOD and 2.73 gears. It sure cruised down the highway nice at 100 mph.
    Wish I still had it. (No rust anywhere but the tail gate which was not the original.)

  14. Dalelong

    I would not go any higher than maybe $750.00. I have a 76 squire in not much better shape. This is going to cost 20 grand to completely do a restomod . Would. E nice to have but way too much. My 76 squire does run but needs a floor pan to drive safely. It has been my car for over 30 years. Will put money in this one. However, the 72 would make a nice project for the right price.

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