Pickup Pair! 1970 And 1971 Ford Ranchero GT

When I stumbled upon a listing for a pair of Ford Rancheros I thought, hey maybe it’s a BOGO deal or a package arrangement. Nope, it’s a single listing advertising two similar cars but they’re still worthy of a review. Located in Winnetka, California, these Ford Ute twins are available, here on craigslist for $6,500 (’70) and $5,500 (’71).

1970 Ford Ranchero

While I generally prefer the similar era El Camino, Ford did a bang-up styling job on the ’70-’71 Ranchero and the underlying Torino/Fairlane. From ’72 forward? Not so much so but it’s the same for me with the ’73-’77 El Camino – not really interested. For both years, buyers had plenty of Ranchero options starting with the top drawer Squire (faux wood slathered), the performance flavored GT (both of our subject cars), Ranchero 500, and a stripper simply known as the Ranchero.  Sales were fair in both years, 21,640 in ’70 and 24,946 in ’71 but the GT count was light both years with 3,600 and 3,900 copies respectively.

1971 Ford Ranchero

Externally, both are a bit rough. Obviously, the paint is burned through and surface rust is present but rot-through is not evident in the included images. There are no included images of either cargo bed and one, or both photographed would be helpful. These are California cars as far as domicile goes but there is no back story or mention of where they have lived out their half-century lives. The one VIN that is included indicates a San Jose build so long-term California citizenship is a possibility. BTW, the ’71 does come with an uninstalled grille.

1971 Ford Ranchero “Cleveland” Engine

The ’70 example has a non-running 220 gross HP 302 CI V8, while the ’71, also a non-runner,  features a 351 CI “Cleveland” V8 that may have originally been a 285 gross HP version. It now looks modified with a Holley carburetor and an open-element air cleaner. Both cars are claimed to possess matching numbers engines and utilize automatic gearboxes.

1971 Ford Ranchero Interior

Inside is a split decision with the ’70 outfitted with a standard bench seat while Mr. 1971 ups the game a bit with bucket seats sans center console. The ’70s bench seat looks to be in fair shape but the ’71s buckets have seen better days and will need reupholstering – black duct tape only goes so far. One neat feature of the ’71 is the horizontal band tachometer. Both subjects look like they are air-conditioned but the ’71 has a newer style, non-OEM compressor.

1970 Ford Ranchero Interior

While either of these cars will need quite a bit of work, I can see possibilities with both. A deeper dive regarding overall integrity would be warranted. The total advertised tariff is $12K but I bet if one were to offer something reasonable for the pair, both could be had for less, as in a package deal, wouldn’t you agree?


  1. 19sixty5 Member

    I’m a little biased toward the Elco’s, I have a 70 SS396, but… I really like the 70 Ranchero GT, add the hidden headlights, Laser Stripe graphic, Magnums, they really are a great looking car

    Like 6
    • B Wallace

      It is always nice when a Chevy guy says something good and positive about a Ford. I am a Ford guy but there are a lot of GM Muscle Cars from the 70’s and 60’s & 70’s Chevy Trucks that I really like. And you are right both SS Elco’s and Ranchero GT’s are pretty cool. What were the best 2 looking Muscle Cars of all time? The 70-72 SS Chevelle and 69-70 Shelby

      • 19sixty5 Member

        I’ve always had a soft spot for the 69-70 Shelby’s! I would like the bragging rights of the GT500, but would prefer a GT350 for the weight savings, the marginally better F/R weight distribution, but mostly for changing spark plugs! 67-70 big block Mustangs with the factory smog air injection tubes are in my opinion the worst ever, I worked in service stations back in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

  2. Al camino

    More cars pounded into the ground,didn’t anybody take care of their cars back then?

    Like 3

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