Pickup Car? 1961 Ford Ranchero

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Inspiring at least one song (you really should listen to it, it’s both pretty good and pretty funny), the Ford Ranchero has always been a compromise between car and truck, but it’s a compromise lots of people have fallen in love with over the years. This particular one is based on the Falcon, and the reason it only has a little rust is that it’s in Vallejo, California. The seller has decided to auction it here on eBay, and it’s been popular with 29 bids as I write this, but bidding is still under $1,900.

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You’ll note that I did not say no rust. It’s pretty apparent that you’ll have to do some quarter panel work on this find, but it’s not terribly expensive to find parts. Interestingly enough, at least from one vendor, the left side patch panel is twice as expensive as the right one. I wonder why?

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Looking at the faded blue paint, you might think it’s original, but if you view the video loaded by the seller here, you’ll see that there’s a darker blue color under the medium blue when you look inside the bed. Also, when you view that video, notice the temperature gauge — it’s close to pegged. Maybe it’s just a sending unit, but maybe not. The engine does seem to be running fine.

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It’s not as easy to see the darker blue paint in this picture as it is in the video, but you can see it a little bit. The bed is actually surprisingly solid, and based on the water it’s holding in the video, there aren’t any holes in the bed floor at the front.

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I’m pretty sure the seat upholstery isn’t original, but it’s not horrible either, and might respond to dying the fabric back blue. The seller doesn’t show us under the hood, but tells us it has a 170 cubic inch inline 6 cylinder that runs well hooked to a three-speed transmission on the floor. I do know what’s left of the aftermarket wrap on the steering wheel would come off before I loaded the vehicle onto my trailer. Other than that, I’d concentrate on getting it roadworthy and then drive it for a while to see if I could live with the small six. What would you do, and do you think your family would love it (you have to listen to the song to get that one)?

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Comments

  1. Howard A

    Would you guys knock it off? Don’t make me buy something soon!! This,,, is my all time want vehicle. They are non-existent in the Mid-west, and I figure, the only way to get one, is to go west. Serious rusters ( those tailgates are almost unobtainable.) I’ve always wanted a 1st gen Ranchero. The newer ones were just too big, and this is much more what a Ranchero should be, an economical, compact pickup, with a Falcon interior ( well, half of one, anyway) I looked at one in S. Wis. it was WASTED, and the guy still wanted like 2 grand for it. I’d probably do something with the gearing, as these did “holler” on the highway, but an easy fix. Best BF yet. Even tops the K-Whopper. (remember, in “Goldfinger” when “Oddjob” drives a ’64 Ranchero with the crushed Lincoln in the back? I don’t think a ’64 Ranchero would haul a 3 ton car very well. A crushed Lincoln still weighs 3 tons) http://www.motor-car.co.uk/images/bond/1964-Ford-Falcon-Ranchero-%20Goldfinger-007.jpg
    Oh, btw, the song, meh, reminds me of John Prine.

    • grant

      That did sound like a john prine song. I’m just impressed to have found someone else who’s heard of him…

  2. piper62j

    Marge did a re-hab on one of these on Dallas Car Sharkz show.. It sold when she finished it.. This one needs to be media blasted and have the lower rear quarter panels cut out and replaced.. The older Falcon based Rancheros are popular and fun..
    Great find..

  3. Bob Beach

    Might make a great “sleeper”. New interior, suspension, engine,.. fix the quarter panel. Leave the patina as is.

  4. Billy Bob

    The fender lights were added at some point. These safety lights became standard in 1968.

  5. Rick

    those hubcaps are not correct, are 64-5 falcon

  6. JW

    I would say make it a safe road worthy parts hauler and drive it.

  7. Howard A

    Did they add more pictures? I don’t remember some of these. Like the floor shifter. That is one cobbled floor shifter job ( the shifter boot is sideways, must have cut the hole too big) I don’t think they ever came with a floor shifter, but was a popular switch. Not a “V-6” either, as stated in the ad.

  8. DENIS

    Clean and drive til bored, then an H/O SBF with a 5 speed

  9. jim s

    thanks for the link to the song, its funny, i love it. if this one does not do it for you there are some other nice ones on ebay right now including a 1960 that someone lowered the roof on for some reason. nice find.

  10. rangeroger

    When I lived in San Bernardino in the early ’60s a good friend had a ’63 with the 6, factory 4 on the floor, and a Paxton supercharger. Needless to say, he surprised many a v-8.
    I have been listening to and singing John Prine songs since 1970, just after I got out of the Navy and moved back to San Bernardino. Having heard the Ranchero song I’m going to have to get the album and learn it.

  11. George

    I took my driver’s test in a 61 Ranchero in 1964, I loved that old beast. You couldn’t kill it but no girls wanted to date in a Ranchero. So I used my Dad’s 220 SE. Seats folded into a bed. That was great until my mom found out about the seats.

  12. Andrew

    I wish they made them again, perhaps Mustang based this time. Most of us don’t need a large truck to drive to town. This would hit the spot for me.

  13. Graham Lloyd

    Had one of these for about 8 years. Bought it around 1998. Summer time daily driver. 170 with 3 on the tree. Originally a flower car and had around 20,000 when I bought it. Sold it with 80 thousand plus on it.

    Hauled furniture, brush, lumber and even the odd motorcycle and engine. Great little hauler.

    Leave the 6 and 3 speed in it. Make it safe and drive it. Dead nuts simple and reliable cars/trucks. Resist the temptation to stuff a V8 and creating yet another ho hum cookie cutter street machine. The stock engine combination has more than enough power to keep up with today’s traffic.

    I keep an eye on them and so far have resisted the temptation to buy another. But, I still have a shed full of NOS early Falcon stuff in case I can’t resist any longer..

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