One Of Few: 1969 Ford Ranchero Rio Grande

Ah, the Rio Grande! Not the river, or the movie, or the songs, but the Ranchero–the Ranchero? Yes, Ford created a very limited edition (400-900 units, depending on which source you believe) of the Ranchero, with some really neat features. One is now for sale here on eBay — obviously being flipped as it’s still on the trailer, but you might be interested anyway. It’s located in Puyallup, Washington and has a buy it now price of $6,350 but bidding starts below $5,000 and there’s no reserve.

Ironically, the lone piece of Ford promotional material I could find featuring the Rio Grande has the same Poppy Red/black color combination as the one for sale, even down to the vinyl roof and radio antenna (although it’s now broken off). Who knows, maybe it’s the same Ranchero? I kinda doubt it, though, considering the striping and bed rails.

The seller tells us that it was a California car-truck most of its life and that it’s basically solid car. I was surprised to read that it is sound under the vinyl roof. I’m hoping this is the original paint, although the right front fender looks different to me.

Speaking of that right front fender, there’s definitely been some parking by feel going on. I wonder how hard that corner trim will be to find?

The seller tells us that the floor will need some localized patching. I’d postulate that seats might be a good idea as well!

The seller also includes a copy of the Marti report, although unfortunately they don’t show us what things look like under the hood. We are told that the 351 Cleveland short block in the car can’t be used due to severe bore damage in one bore; I’d argue that a machinist can usually sleeve that, but it may be less expensive just to get a replacement block, and you’ll need some heads anyway. So what do you think? Is this Rio Grande clearly the vehicle for you, or do you have some muddy feelings?

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Comments

  1. RoughDiamond

    Still kicking myself-owned a ’68 Ranchero GT with factory 390 4-speed. Gold with black interior and factory tachometer which housed one of the dash turn signal indicators. Oh so painful as that was just in 2009.

  2. Steve R

    The 351 Cleveland wasn’t available until 1970. The Windsor and Cleveland are easy to tell apart, that’s probably why there is no picture of the engine.

    Steve R

  3. Scott

    This would have to be a labor of love. There is little upside to this when you start at 6k without a good engine.

    • CanuckCarGuy

      My thoughts as well; it’s in nice shape relative to its age, but not relative to its price. Strikes me as one that will take more money than its appearance suggests… especially if you wanted it factory correct.

  4. David

    Anyone know what the Rio Grande Package included?

    • SCOTT

      The package had: Bed rails, bed color black [not the car color] special wheels and center caps, lower stripes, cobra jet hood scoop with blacked out hood section into cowl, special door id tag [performance vehicle] special paint color not available on other models.

  5. Jbones

    One of a few hmmmmm not when they produced 816 of them. That’s a lot more than 3 IMO.

  6. newfieldscarnut

    This is my ’69 Torino Squire with it’s factory 351Windsor , a/c and third seat . Barn stored since 1981 and now running and driving . Thanks Barn Finds !!

    Like 1
  7. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Like a rocket ship ready to take off! Nice wagon — did you find it on Barn Finds newfieldscarnut?

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