No Reserve BF Auction: 1971 Ford Ranchero

Sold for $1,000View Result

  • Seller: Thomas S pence
  • Location: Orange, California
  • Mileage: 53,923 Shown
  • Chassis #: 1A47H153735
  • Title Status: Clean

This 429 V8-equipped Ford Ranchero project has clearly lived an interesting life. The seller purchased it five years ago, and it was a daily driver at the time. They drove it for a while and then decided to sell it. The next owner made the unfortunate decision to take it to do bodywork and prep it for new paint. Unfortunately, that process stalled with the paint stripped away, and before long, the raw metal was covered in rust. It recently came back to the seller in its current state. Given that it still runs, the seller wants to see it go to someone who can do something with it before it deteriorates further. Therefore, they offer it here as a No Reserve Barn Finds Auction!

The Ranchero remained a staple of Ford’s model range from 1957 until 1979. This vehicle rolled off the line during the final year of Fifth Generation production. While little of its original paint is left, there is enough to suggest the original owner ordered it finished in Lime Gold. That is a distant memory, and with the panels in their present state, it would be an ideal opportunity to perform a color change as part of a personalization process. The Ranchero received used front fenders and a hood from a junkyard find during the stalled refurbishment. These are in good order and will require little beyond basic sanding before applying fresh paint. The remaining exterior steel is straight, with only a few minor bumps and bruises that wouldn’t justify steel replacement. The same is true of any rust issues, which are small enough to be addressed with patches. Any remaining problems appear to be surface corrosion that hasn’t progressed far. The floors and underside are rock-sold, and the lower extremities are clean. Much of the original trim and the lights can be found sitting in the bed, and the glass shows no signs of problems. The Ranchero rolls on aftermarket wheels, which will add a touch of menace and purpose once the exterior wears fresh paint.

The seller didn’t know the car’s history before their ownership, so it’s hard to say precisely how this Ranchero ended up with a 429 under the hood. Based on its VIN, it started life with a 351 V8, but the engine does appear to be a 429. Further investigations would be an excellent starting point, as it’s impossible to say what the engine’s specs are without a closer look. A previous owner told the seller that the V8 was rebuilt, but they received no documentary evidence supporting this claim. It inhales deeply through an Edelbrock carburetor that is either rebuilt or relatively new, while the spent gases exit via headers and a Dynamax exhaust. The 429 starts and runs, but there is some tweaking for the winning bidder to undertake before the motor performs at its best. The carb float is sticking, flooding the engine while running. Addressing that issue shouldn’t be challenging before the new owner bolts the included Edelbrock air cleaner into place. The three-speed automatic transmission is believed to be a C6, making this a bulletproof combination. Driving should be effortless because the original owner ordered this Ranchero with power assistance for the steering and front disc brakes. The rear end appears to feature the original leaf springs with new shackles. The previous owner added Bilstein coil-overs to increase this truck’s load-carrying ability. The tires have excellent tread, but since they are old and as tough as nails, new ones should be fitted before this classic takes to the street. This Ranchero might not be mechanically roadworthy, but achieving that goal should cost more time than money, and most tasks could be completed in a home workshop.

The Ranchero’s interior also begs for love, but there are a couple of important positives to be drawn from the supplied photos. The most critical is the state of the dashpad, which is free from cracks and splits. Potential buyers should feel relieved because replacement pads are expensive. They leave no change from $800, which is one expense the winning bidder won’t face. The bench seat requires a new cover, the driver’s door trim is missing, the carpet has gone, and there is a seam separation in the headliner. Repairing the headliner is possible, but with replacements selling for around $125, it would hardly be worth the effort if the new owner seeks a high-end result. The parts required to address the remaining shortcomings are readily available, so whipping the interior into shape shouldn’t pose many challenges. This classic rolled off the showroom floor with air conditioning, but most system components are long gone. Reinstating the A/C is possible, and doing so will be a matter of personal preference.

This 1971 Ford Ranchero is a promising project, and its relatively low curb weight and large-capacity V8 should offer stunning performance once it returns to its rightful place on our roads. I never understood why these vehicles fell out of favor with new car buyers because they provide an excellent blend of comfort and practicality. I have used a similar vehicle as my daily driver for over eleven years, and I don’t think I could do without it. You need to own one to truly understand everything they offer, and this is your chance to do so. The fact this Ranchero is offered with No Reserve means parking it in your garage might be a single click away. That must make it worth a close look.

Bid On This Vehicle

Sold for: $1,000
Register To Bid
Ended: Nov 24, 2023 11:00am MDT
Winner: Groker
  • Groker bid $1,000.00  2023-11-24 10:55:43
  • ET bid $611.00  2023-11-23 10:21:25
  • Dick
    bid $500.00  2023-11-18 14:09:44
  • paul_b bid $100.00  2023-11-18 09:20:15



    I own and drive, on a regular basis, a 72 Ranch w/460 built with a little upgrades and it burns the tires off when you least expect it to. This makes it dangerous and only meant for an experienced racer. The 429 runs as strong as any 460 with a little more RPM capability. Hang on for the ride, I do for sure!

    Like 8
    • Byron

      I had a friend years ago that had one with a Four speed manual shift. It was fast and a good looking vehicle. I always wanted one to build like that one was. I would love to have this one to fix up.

      Like 2
  2. Rickirick

    I disagree with the author after looking at all 46 pics. It’s gonna take just as much money as time on this disaster. I mean sure….”project” .

    Like 7
    • Robert Atkinson, Jr.

      Upon further inspection, I agree with your assessment. Rust around the window frames, and the seams of the bed, suggest that the tin worm has taken hold more deeply than first thought. I dread what might be found after the body is stripped of paint, either by media blasting or chemical stripping.

      Like 6
      • Air-cooled Member

        I disagree it’s worth every $ mig here and there hell of fun. I hope the buyer has remose I’ll scoop it up.

        Like 1

    Message to the seller: Get rid of that junk Edelbrock carb and it will probably run like a top, which means you can ask some serious $ for this ride.

    Like 2
  4. Robert Atkinson, Jr.

    The last year for the unibody Rancheros, they got a full perimeter frame in 1972, along with their Torino siblings. I like the styling of these better than the later versions, but I miss the full frame of the later cars. Decisions, decisions… I’m not sure, but I think you could get these with a 429 from the factory, which was the largest available engine from the factory. The big 460 mill was strictly reserved for the Lincoln family until 1974.

    Like 1
  5. C Force

    Would be all about the numbers here…the engine numbers that is.Could very well be a 460 too,which either way is a plus having a 385 series big block in your Ranchero!

    Like 0
    • Robert Atkinson, Jr.

      In the words of my favorite carrot-chewing philosopher, Bugs Bunny: “M’m, Could be.” LOL!

      Like 0
      • Rickirick

        RAJR, Either way, our assessment is warranted bc there have only been two bidders–$100 & $500. It really doesn’t matter unless u r going to attempt to rebuild a 75% incomplete motor. Parts are everywhere. Tranny, rear-end etc ain’t perfect either I’m sure. Just sayin’

        Like 0
      • Air-cooled Member

        I’m Elmer. This is not a site for you’re witt

        Like 0
    • Air-cooled Member

      Yes any big block,even a FORD.

      Like 0

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