Rust-Free 1979 Ford Ranchero GT

When the curtain fell on 1979, it also fell on the production of the Ford Ranchero, a badge that had been in existence since 1957. Many of these vehicles suffered untold levels of abuse at the hands of their owners, but this particular Ranchero GT appears to have led a very sheltered existence. Located in Davis, California, you will find the Ranchero listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has risen to $5,400, and with the reserve now met, it is set to go to a new home.

The Ranchero has spent its entire life in California, so it isn’t surprising to learn that it is completely rust-free. The floors look perfect, while the panels exhibit no issues. The color combination of black and silver is pretty special, and a recent buff and polish has brought it up nicely. There are a few marks and chips on the paint, but these appear to be pretty insignificant, especially for a vehicle of this age. A nice recent addition to the Ranchero’s exterior has been the fitting of a set of Rally wheels and BF Goodrich tires. They might not be original, but they just look right on a vehicle like this. The external trim and chrome appear to be in very nice condition, as does the factory tinted glass. When the owner had the vehicle buffed, this did not extend to the inside of the bed. The new owner might choose to address this, they might choose to fit a bed-liner to protect the original paint, or it could be left as it is.

The Dove Grey interior trim is generally quite good for a vehicle of this age, but it is far from perfect. The carpet is starting to show its age, but a new carpet set is included in the sale. There are no major flaws with the interior, but there are plenty of little detail items to address if the interior is to be returned to its best. The pedals look like they need new pads, with the one for the brake missing completely. The door trims need a good clean, while I have also noticed that the driver’s exterior remote mirror is hanging from its housing. There a few rub-marks on the edge of the dash, and it isn’t clear whether the pad is cracked under the cover. As I said, none of it is major, but it all adds up to make the interior look slightly untidy. As far as luxury and comfort are concerned, the Ranchero scores air conditioning, cruise control, and a tilt wheel.

Under the hood of the Ranchero is a 351ci V8, while the next owner will also receive a 3-speed automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. That mighty engine produces a mere 151hp, but given the fact that the Ranchero is actually a relatively light vehicle, performance can be quite reasonable. With this vehicle, this has been helped a bit, because it features an upgraded carburetor and intake. The owner says that the impact of these changes has been profound, but that the original components will also be included in the sale. It’s always worth remembering with the Ranchero that a lot of the vehicle weight is towards the front, making the rear end very light. This can result in some pretty lively moments, especially in wet or icy conditions.

The styling of the last of the Ford Ranchero’s might not be to everyone’s taste, but they are a vehicle that has a strong and dedicated following. If you drive one of these, and then drive something like an F-Series pickup from the same era for back-to-back comparison, you will be quite surprised by how much more comfortable the Ranchero is. These are a classic that can still be found at reasonable sorts of prices, and this rust-free example could be a pretty decent buy, especially if the bidding doesn’t go a lot higher.

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Comments

  1. dirtyharry

    Having owned one, I can attest to all the good times it brought me. It was handy as all h… and towed my boat too. This would be so much better with a Ford Coyote motor and a six speed from a Mustang wreck or the 3.5 twin turbo from a Ford PU. The 79′ 351 2V was truly a boat anchor and it would be expensive to get right. Mine had a 460 and wasn’t great either. I don’t know what Ford was thinking with the “front end,” the earlier birds mouth and other early models looked cleaner, but this is still a winner too. Living in the desert southwest, I always appreciated the small cab and the AC, which could freeze you out.

    Like 13
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Nice Ranchero. Attractive paint/ stripe/ interior colors, nicely equipped, wheel/ tire combination looks good. It has the sportier gauge cluster with the engine-turned trim. Price doesn’t seem out of line. After an underhood detailing and some interior work, this would be a fine vehicle for the local cruise along with serving the owner for trips to Home Depot.

    I even spy the infamous “make sure it is in Park” warning sticker.

    Like 4
  3. Ron Bajorek

    not a ford guy, but these are very attractive

    Like 5
  4. scottymac

    “Rally wheels” = Magnum 500s

    Like 2
  5. Rj

    Ugly beyond words.

    Like 4
    • Gary

      I have a black 79 Ranchers By Brougham. I have loved owning the sweet ride. So no I don’t think it is ugly. Marti report says on 73 back By Brougham were built. I feel really fortunate to own it. Also I would never call another Mans pride and joy ugly…

      Like 1
  6. Jeff T.

    the ealier 73 -76 rancheros are better looking in my opinion ,most of them are fitted with 351-400m engines which are low compression smog motors,some may refer to them as boat anchors ,carb intake cam changes certainly liven them up,mite even improve mileage as well.

    Like 1
  7. Fitz

    Had a 73 with 400 that we rebuilt. Torque monster. Full frame, decent ride & brakes. Don’t know about “relatively light”… those things weigh about 4K. And a 351m is a slug…

    Like 4
    • Gary

      I have a black 79 and I love it! I have had a blast with it. Marti report says only 73 black Ranchers By Broughams we built. I feel very fortunate to own it. I like the front end.Sweet ride.

      Like 1
      • lc

        The front end does seem a little long. If you own it, just get used to it I figure that’s what I’ll do if I ever own the LTD Ranchero. I’ve been eyeing them lately.

  8. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Never was a fan of the later model Rancheros, too big with fairly unattractive front end styling. Best lookers in my opinion were the ’69 to ’71 editions. I was lucky enough to have had a ’70 GT with a 351C, C6 and a posi rear. Beautiful bucket seat and console interior with factory A/C. It was near mint with an arrest-me-red exterior. Love to have that one back. I know there are fans of the later Rancheros and this looks like a nice one, but compared to a 300hp 351C, this one would be a disappointment.

    • Gary

      I have a black
      I have a black 79 Ranchero and I love it! California truck. I have had a blast with it. The interior is new, it’s very pretty. Marti report says only 73 black Ranchero By Broughams were made. Personally I like the front end. Sweet ride. I feel very.fortunate to own it

  9. Dave

    These had a lot of room; inside and out. Great styling at the time and seems get better with age. Black paint and magnums are right combo. Just need to get more zip unleashed from that Cleveland

    Like 1
  10. AndyinMA

    Proportions seem off, kinda like a big guy with a little head

    Like 1
  11. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Andy….so true – they used the same body unit from the fire wall back from about 1972 until the end,

    Had a 1979 GT blue with the Brougham interior and even with the Marti report with a June 1979 build day it was a hard sell at $3500 as a runner/driver.

  12. Superdessucke

    Agree on the proportions being off. To me though, it looks like trouble is that the cabin is directly between the hood and the bed, kind of like a caboose.

  13. Gary

    I have a black.Ranchero. I have had a blast with this vehicle. Since I own one I do not think it’s ugly. Marti report says only 73 black Ranchero Gt Broughams were built. I love it. I would never call a man’s pride and job ugly. It’s a common courtesy thing…

  14. lc

    Light? I was looking at the vehicle identification plate on a 79 Ranchero GT, and the GVWR – 5501 LB; front GAWR – 2902 LB; rear GAWR – 2663 LB
    It must weigh more than it’s competitor the Elko going by the extra length in body.

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