Never Driven In Winter: 1978 Ford Ranchero GT

Having lived in snow country for all of my life, so far anyway, hearing that a vehicle has never been driven in snow or road salt really catches my eye. That’s the case with this 1978 Ford Ranchero GT which the seller has posted here on craigslist. It’s located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, definitely snow country, and they’re asking $11,000 or best offer. Here is the original listing.

Ford made the seventh-generation Ranchero from 1977 through 1979 and they were based on the redesigned Ford LTD II platform. This is a sharp-looking car and I don’t just mean the sharp angles and body lines. Ford period literature says it best, in a 1970s sort of way, “The 1978 Ford Ranchero is styled and designed for the man whose business and way of life make this vehicle the natural choice.”

It’s unfortunate that the wheels have been changed from the Mag 500 wheels that would have been on this car unless it had wire wheel covers which was the other option. This generation Ranchero was about five inches longer than the previous-generation Rancheros but it looks much longer than that to me because of the long, lean design. I don’t see any flaws in the body at all and the bed looks almost like new with just a couple of dings. This is the top-of-the-line Ranchero GT as you can see from the graphics. This car also has the Brougham Decor Group package.

The seller says that this car was repainted six years ago and new graphics were applied at that time, so this one isn’t all original. They say that it “has always been stored indoors, never seen salt or snow.” I would have bet that there would have been a cloth interior which was standard on the Ranchero GT but this one has optional Mataeo all-vinyl seats, an option with the Brougham Decor Group.

The engine is one of two optional V8s, a 351 cubic-inch V8. The other optional engine would have been a 400 V8 and the 302 was standard. The 351 would have had somewhere between 145 and 160 horsepower. This example has 146,000 miles on it and is a great cruising car, according to the seller. Hagerty is at $10,600 for a #3 good condition car and $16,400 for a #2 excellent condition so this one could be right on the money. Have any of you owned an LTD II-based Ranchero?


  1. Connecticut mark

    Very nice looker put original mags on it, tune up motor with some goodies , more HP, drive it all day.

    Like 5
    • Motorcityman Member

      U won’t drive it “all day” with about 9mpg!

      Like 1
      • TelcoTech

        Boy you got that correct…I had a ’75 Ranchero GT with the 400 ci engine and it never did break 11mpg on the highway, around 9-10 in city driving, and it was a 2 barrel carb factory set-up…pretty much a gutless wonder also. Put a couple carb kits in it and fresh turn-up, new wire set etc, disconnected all the ‘smog’ crap…didn’t make much differance…it was just a Ford 400 that liked to drink…FIL had a ’74 LTD with a 400 4 v carb and he would average 17-19 on the highway with his….go figure…sold the GT Ranchero to a young kid with only 58k on the clock.

        Like 2
  2. ThunderRob

    Those are 1978 Ford polycast wheels which came on Thunderbirds Cougars and could order them on Rancheros and LTD II’s even,because Ford would sell you anything you wanted …because money.

    Like 2
  3. Lee

    I owned one in the 80’s with a dual fuel system- gas and/ or propane. Great vehicle with about 600 mi range. Hated to let it go!

    Like 1
  4. mike kibler Member

    in 1958-1959 i worked as a gofer for a radiator repair shop that had a 58 ford ranchero with a v8 standard transmission that we used to pickup and deliver radiators to gas station customers. it ran like a scared rabbit. lucky i never got a ticket while driving 4-5 hours a day.

    Like 2
  5. bone

    I’m pretty sure these came with two 351s the tried and true 351 Windsor, and the not so hot 351m/400

  6. CenturyTurboCoupe

    Look at that aluminum air cleaner to keep the weight down! WOW!! Betting on the 351M two barrel in this. Hard on fuel and gutless is putting it mildly!

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