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No Reserve: 1971 Ford Ranchero

This 1971 Ford Ranchero ticks a lot of the right boxes for potential buyers. It is a rust-free survivor that presents nicely. The engine bay houses a 351ci V8, ensuring that this is a pickup with power to burn. To top it all off, it has been listed for sale here on eBay in what is a No Reserve auction. Located in Largo, Florida, the bidding has been spirited on this Ranchero. Thirty-five bids have pushed the price along to $7,100 in this “winner takes all” sale.

The owner describes the Medium Orange Ranchero as being a rust-free vehicle. There is no evidence of any external rust and the supplied photos of the vehicle’s underside show floors and a frame that are remarkably clean. The paint holds a deep shine, and the panels are free from dings and dents. The inside of the bed carries none of the sorts of damage that might signal a life of abuse, while the trim and glass are in excellent condition for a survivor of this age. The seller says that this is a classic that could be driven and enjoyed immediately, and the photos would tend to support this.

One of the great attractions of vehicles like the Ranchero and the El Camino is that they can offer some mind-blowing levels of performance with the right engine on board. In this case, we find a 351ci V8 which is backed by a 3-speed automatic transmission. This V8 should be producing somewhere in the region of 285hp, which should propel the 3,285lb Ranchero along quite nicely. The trade-off with these vehicles is that there isn’t a lot of weight hanging over the rear wheels. That can make them quite lively on loose or wet surfaces. This is a classic that is just brimming with good news. The wheels and tires fitted to the car are new, and the Ranchero is said to run and drive perfectly. This is one pickup that is ready to hit the road.

If you were waiting for bad news when we opened the doors and took a look inside the Ford, then you are in for a surprise. The interior presents exceptionally well and would seem to need nothing. The cloth on the seats and the rest of the upholstered surfaces are free from problems. There are no signs of cracks in the dash, while the carpet is free from appreciable wear and staining. The only thing worth noting is that the radio is missing. The interior is otherwise complete and also features air conditioning to help make life on the move a pleasant experience.

Anyone who has ever driven a Ranchero or an El Camino, especially one with a V8 under the hood, will be able to tell you how entertaining they are to drive. They are also a practical vehicle with the ability to cart or tow some pretty heavy loads. This 1971 Ranchero carries all of the hallmarks of a pickup that has been treated with respect, and I believe that it is also one that would capture its share of attention. I can understand why the bidding has been so strong, and I’ll be interested to know whether we have any readers who would be tempted to join that bidding party.


  1. Steve Bush Member

    Seems to be a very nice car you could drive home today; especially if it doesn’t get bid to crazy levels. Interesting that the various Torino and Montego models are available in very nice shape; often much cheaper than the equivalent GMs and Mopars and are certainty at least as good cars overall.

    Like 7
  2. bobk

    Was thinking about bidding till I saw the current bid (over $10k). Not saying that it’s not worth that, just saying that I can’t go there.

    Like 4
    • Chris M.

      Now that’s candor!

      Like 2
  3. Longdogs

    The interior represents a bit of work to correct if that is your approach. The dash pad has been recovered incorrectly, the emblem should be in a slight recess. The seat upholstery is not the original design and the head rests appear to be missing. The upholstery is easy & cheap, head rests would be the same as all 1970/71 Torino/Ranchero bench seat cars but dash pads are hard to find in good shape. I’ve been working on a 1970 Torino Cobra barn find (garage find actually) and I’m learning a lot about these cars.

    Like 7
    • Pookie Jamie

      What a downer. Let the negative comments commence

      Like 0
      • Longdogs

        I was just trying to put some knowledge out there. These cars are only a 2 year design and some parts can be a little challenging. The only thing I saw as a potential hard to find item is the dash pad. The seat issues are relatively easy and inexpensive IF it matters to the buyer.

        Like 11
    • Steve Clinton

      I’ve never seen an inflatable dash pad! ;-)

      Like 1
      • Chris M.

        Oh but you’ve missed out!

        Like 0
    • nlpnt

      Dash pad looked a bit puffy to me too. I’d do some research on the headrests, I know for a fact later in the ’70s Rancheros had special headrestless (but otherwise identical to Torino) seats because they were trucks and not required to have them; in that era if the Feds didn’t force them to build in a safety feature you couldn’t have it, plain as that. They had learned in the ’50s that safety didn’t sell and didn’t care to retest that maxim.

      Like 0
  4. Steve Clinton

    $10,100 with 4 days left? It’s gonna be bid into the stratosphere!

    Like 2
  5. JOHN Member

    “Anyone who has ever driven a Ranchero or an El Camino, especially one with a V8 under the hood, will be able to tell you how entertaining they are to drive.” Curious Adam, what do you mean by that?

    Like 0
  6. Troy s

    Looks great on the outside, sporty color and the sharp wheels pull it all together. It will draw attention cruising down the road or parked at the local auto parts retailer, the big tailpipes will get smiles. And that’s where it ends as far as the sporty image goes. The interior is typical early seventies Ford. I could easily live with it in that shape yet there’s nothing there I wouldn’t find in a four door family wagon or full sized taxi cab. The 351 engine, from what little of it I can see, must be a Cleveland. Talk about a cluttered engine bay. Enough of the nit picking…
    It’s a cool old Ford that hopefully costs a fraction of a rusted out Mopar or primered out Chevelle. Not everything has to be expensive.

    Like 0
  7. Macfly

    That 351C is the high performance 4V version… a high revving beast. Have owned a couple. Worth the price of admission.

    Like 1
  8. Lowell Peterson

    Disappointing to see so many lookers on this site whine anout the price and or resto costs. Obvious to me that they never paid full price for any resto work and don’t understand that they are killing the old car hobby by not supporting the reality that costs go up and if values don’t follow? THERE WON’T BE ANY OLD CARS!!!

    Like 0

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