Runs And Drives: 1962 Ford Ranchero

As I’ve had a soft spot for any Ranchero for a while and my first memory of a car is my mother’s 1962 Falcon wagon, this bargain caught my eye quickly. It’s listed for sale here on eBay with bids opening at $3,650. The classic Ford car-truck can be found in Sag Harbor, New York.

The seller informs us that they purchased the vehicle about four months ago after looking for an original Ranchero for a while. So why sell it so soon? Regardless, they have replaced the windshield and a fuel line and have been driving it around. On this side, the rust doesn’t look too bad, but you can see some bubbles that probably conceal more.

While the rear bumper is intact, that’s a lot of peeled chrome and rust. Having cut my hands badly on peeling chrome over the years, I will just say be careful when around it.

Unfortunately, the right side looks a lot worse than the passenger as far as rust-through is concerned. However, it’s still very repairable with a patch panel. Thankfully, panels like these are available from many suppliers — I was surprised to find that they were made in the USA.

I remember driving a parts runner 4-door Falcon with a similar interior for my local British car repair shop. It was my first experience driving a “three on the tree” car and I was always afraid I’d miss a shift in traffic! This Ranchero would make a great parts runner even now, although those of us in the South would beg to add air conditioning in the summer! If I recall correctly, the Falcon’s heater wasn’t too bad.

Okay, you blue oval experts out there, can you tell us if this is the standard 144 cubic inch inline-six or the optional 170 cubic inch one? Based on this guide, the orange valve cover and air cleaner would indicate that this is a 170, but obviously that could have been easily changed at some point. I went a little further and cheated by using this VIN decoder — the U in the serial number also calls out that this is probably a 170. The truth is that either way you won’t win many stoplight grand prix races. But you will have some reliable cruising fun. Anyone else think this Ranchero is a steal?

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  1. Howard A Member

    Hmm, no interest, at what I would consider a decent price. Why no interest? They were dismal vehicles. I too, had an interest in a Falcon Ranchero once, until I rode in one I thought of buying. It was awful, loud, tinny, gutless, all over the road, pretty much like a regular Falcon with no room inside. Modernized, I think they could be neat, but like this, no thanks.

  2. Tucker Callan

    Imagine a K, or a G code w/ all the goodies?? I think Shelby had one @ LAX for running parts etc. Somewhere I got that pic.

    • Angrymike

      If I build another hot rod, a falcon or one of these would be perfect. A lil 289 solid lift cam, gt-40 heads and 10.0 compression with a four speed would make quite a fun driver. Of course I’d probably want one in better condition though. I have fallen for these early 60’s Falcon type cars and trucks.

  3. Ken Carney

    Looks like a fun little grocery getter to me. I’d need an automatic to make it usable for Mom, but the cab has lots of
    glass to help her see everything around her as she drives along. You can always
    line the cab with sound deadener to make things quiet for the folks inside and
    add some vintage air and heat for those
    hot Florida summers and rather cool winters too. If the 6 is a bit slow for you
    in stock form, I’m sure that some aftermarket company offers an EFI kit
    that might spice things up a bit I’m the
    horsepower department. If it’s gonna go,
    it’s gotta whoa, so a good set of disc brakes would work wonders here. Add a
    Syrius XM radio for the proper tuneage,
    and that would just about do it for this
    truck. At least it would if it were mine!

  4. FordGuy1972

    It’s cheap enough but a good bit of rust and dent repair is needed along with a paint job. You could keep it stock and just putter around in it. Or you could put a small block V8 in it for more fun but after all that you may not get your money back when it’s time to sell. The seller lists the mileage at 811,000. That seems like a lot, doesn’t it?

  5. Andrew S Mace Member

    I want this! :)

  6. Maestro1 Member

    811 plus miles is amazing if true and I’m surprised it hasn’t died peacefully by now. Ken Carney has some good ideas about it, it’s too far away for me,
    but they are great errand runners so someone buy it, make it nice and use it.

  7. local_sheriff

    There are shockingly many of these Falcon-based Rancheros still around in the West and they don’t seem to be anything near as popular compared to Elkys. I find it strange – if I were in the blue oval crowd I’d much rather build something based on a Falcon/ Ranchero than a Mustang

  8. lc

    There was an original Falcon Ranchero for sale locally. It was about the same price as this one, looked a lot cleaner, and maybe sold very fast because the add was taken down from Craigs within 24 hours. I think the guy mentioned he only had it for a year, and he had it parked inside his garage really never touching it.
    Howard is probably right that they probably feel very small inside, and feel gutless. But I think they are still cool especially if given tlc.

  9. chrlsful Member

    “…Anyone else think this Ranchero is a steal?…” no, right priced, esp 4 da more desirable “round bodies” (’60/3). The square body (’64/6) R less desirable by some (more chrome, sharper lines). W/the 200 or 250 (4.1L) and this head:
    there would B no complaints by any driver.
    Shelby drop, discs, frame stiffeners, etc have made a few great SCCA style racers that no only slot car thru the slaloms but do the 1320 in around 10 sec…
    AKMiller (6 Keihens), Strope’n others had it goin on back in the day.
    Some R on it now…
    esp w/the Oz ‘cross-flow’.

  10. Foobarski Member

    Whenever I see a Ranchero of this era I immediately think of Oddjob driving back to Goldfinger after disposing of the gangster Solo (who “had a pressing engagement.”)


    Had both a ’62 and a ’64 Falcon with the 144 ci engine. 4eally weren’t all that bad, but that was almost 60 years ago; this thing is bound to be on its last legs. The 170 ci engine was in a ’71 Ford Maverick and was a pos, 2 cylinders started blowing oil past the rings at 15,000 miles, finally got rid of in in ’75. It was costing a fortune in spark plugs that kept getting fouled.

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