Single Family Pickup: 1972 Ford Ranchero Squire

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The Ford Ranchero debuted in 1957 as a pickup based on a 2-door station wagon platform. It morphed into a Falcon-based compact truck in 1960 and then to a mid-size in 1966, and it remained in the lineup through 1979. The 1972 edition in Squire trim (fake woodgrain siding) was based on the Torino and this example has been in the same family since it was new.

For the 1972 model year, the Ranchero was redesigned for the fifth time. Three variations were offered: the 500 (base), Squire (fancy), and GT (performer). While the 302 cubic inch V8 was the first eight-cylinder in the series, a 351 was next up as an option and the seller has the one with a 2-barrel carburetor for slightly better fuel economy. More than 40,000 Rancheros were sold in 1972, its best sales year to date, with nearly 4,300 carrying Squire trim like the station wagons.

We’re told this is a one-owner “Ute” (short for utility vehicle), having been purchased by the seller’s parents in the Fall of 1972. When 73,000 miles weren’t out being added to the odometer, it stayed in the garage. The driver’s side door got in a small crunch when it was five years old and required some work, and a piece of the chrome on the tailgate got whacked one time. Otherwise, it looks good sans the few dings and scratches you might expect after 50+ years.

The 351 V8 and the 3-speed automatic transmission are said to perform as they should, but the age of the vehicle suggests it’s time to replace the belts, hoses, and tires. And, the bottom of the bench seat will need to be recovered. As a survivor, the truck can be found in Festus, Missouri, and is available here on craigslist for $17,000. You could proudly call yourself its second owner. Our special thanks to Gunter Kramer for another fine tip!

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  1. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    The price might be a tad on the high side, but the cool factor if off the hook!
    I love it!

    Like 16
    • Steve R

      21 days on the market says it is. It’s a nice car, but someone else said the upholstery should be fixed for that price. Figure you could fix some issues, do a few upgrades and be all in for less than $20,000, which isn’t inexpensive, but would be hard to replicate.

      It’s a nice car, not a fan of the whitewalls and hubcaps. I’d probably install some 15×7 dish mags (slots) or a set of vintage Torque Thrusts.

      Steve R

      Like 12
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    A large-ish (though termed an intermediate) V8 rear-wheel-drive
    car-based vehicle, seats only three (or two), with fake woodgrain sides, and loud yellow paint. Can’t do more than basic truck-y things (like hauling bags of mulch). Doesn’t sound all that desirable, does it. But for all those reasons, I’m with Rex… I love it.

    Fix the upholstery, do any mechanical updates, maybe install some Magnum 500’s, and call it good.

    Like 13
    • Frank Sumatra

      Might have been better if the seller paid some attention, if they were able, to the interior considering the ask.

      Like 5
      • TimS

        Yeah, that’s an “everything done” price.

        Like 10
    • Greenhorn

      Bob, I once loaded over 1000 pounds of concrete pavers into a Honda Civic (I was young) so this can can do more than mulch!!

      Like 5
      • ClassicP

        I believe it. I had a 73’ Vega GT that used more oil than gas and when Dad’s cinder block wall came down we filled the Vega with cinder I forget how many trips it took to dump them.
        Vroom Vroom!

        Like 0
    • ClassicP

      I was going to say the same thing this car is aching for Magnum 500’s. There I said it lol

      Like 0
  3. JDC

    That door rust looks pretty bad as does the upholstery. That price is way too high considering the condition.

    Like 4
  4. BA

    It does have the ultra cool jet aircraft front end (IMO) and could be made into something of a hot rod like machine with the right paint & wheels like well what I did 40 years ago! Unfortunately the price is too high for all I would have to do to relive my teenage life & the one I had back in the 1980s someone transplanted a 429 in it before I got it! So yeah no room sensibly for me to have a do over lol

    Like 3
  5. Driveinstile DriveinstileMember

    Im with Bob and Rex. Love it. 72 was one of my favorite years for the front end on these. I just really like them. I know this may not be popular, but I like the white walls and full wheel covers on this one, it just goes with that whole 70s vibe to me. It should hopefully not take much to take it to the next level, that seat for starters.

    Like 6
  6. gippy

    Was the best looking of all the Rancheros- I had the GT model back in 74. Never was a fan of the wood grain versions.

    Like 3
  7. justpaul

    As cool as it is, the Ranchero has always played second fiddle to its younger challenger from the GM stable, which simply has better lines in every iteration.

    Still, for that reason alone, a good one would be fun to have. Not every woman has to be Sophia Loren. In fact, it would be a loss if they all were.

    Don’t think I’d go as high as $17,000 for this one, but then I’m not really in the market at the moment.

    Like 3
  8. Troy

    From the photos it looks to me like the seller is trying to be honest about what you get for the money and I’m betting they set it at their dream price knowing someone is going to offer less looks to be one you fly out there buy it then go to a tire shop and get some good tires then drive it home I don’t care for the fake wood look so that would be changed , could potentially sell off some of those fake wood plastic trim pieces to someone doing a restoration. She has lots of potential to be a fun cruiser

    Like 3

      GREAT STATEMENT..I had a red 72 that I bought while in high school (76) 351 c 2bbl It got lots of looks (from the girls) and was a good ride.. I think the old lady I bought it from Yep really,… she was a antique dealer and used it from time to time. I bought it for $1900.00 and it had 50 k on it and was in great shape except for the driver side lower seat LOL!! that picture reminded me of it!!! I put a 4 bbl and headers on it dualed it out cragers >>>Remember them? and a set of 50s on the back and it looked bad ass going down the road and would turn the tires a bit. gosh I think the wood grain goes…

      Like 2
  9. Nelson C

    These are almost non-existent today and more so with the Squire package. The ’70-’72 are my hands down favorites. Great color. The wood isn’t for everyone but it sure works for me.

    Like 3
  10. Bunky

    I like it. I can live with the color and Squre package. The snorkel nose is cool. ‘73-‘76 are blah, and ‘77-‘79 are ugly boats IMHO. Ford blew it when they didn’t make a Fairmont based Ranchero. Look how many years the similar sized El Camino held on.

    Like 1
  11. Dave g

    Not that matters all that much but obviously the car has had a repaint, as seen by how they poorly masked off the door sticker.

    Like 0
    • Dwcisme

      The text said that the drivers door had been repaired.

      Like 0
  12. Dwcisme

    If Clark and Ellen didn’t have kids, this may have been what they drove west (but, doubtfully to Wally World).

    I’ve always liked these. Back in 72, our neighbour had one only in bronze. Didn’t have it 24 hours and and it was jacked up in the back, the stock wheels were gone to be replaced with Cragar SS’s and the biggest tires he could get. When he floored it, it would go about 50’ before the rear tires broke loose.

    Like 1
    • Nelson C

      The movie writers would not have allowed that. This is the car that would have been crushed like Clark’s sweet Vista Cruiser. They would have brought some monstrosity like a Ranchero with 4/8 headlamps and two grilles. Or maybe an eF-150.

      Like 0
  13. Allen L

    Not only is it a 351 V8, it’s a Cleveland!!!
    That adds to the cool factor, even if it is a 2V version.
    Agreed with the other posters, the one year only 1972 front end was a looker, not hampered by the subsequent guard rail sized 5 mph bumpers introduced in 1973.

    Like 1
  14. Fred

    Steve R, Exactly what my friend did with his Squire back in the day. It was tough looking,dark green with the wood, awesome looking truck.

    Like 1
  15. Mark RuggieroMember

    I dunno, what can you buy for 17k that will haul the groceries, bring home your new washer/dryer, move the kids to/from college, and provide a cool factor like this.

    Like 2
  16. stillrunners stillrunnersMember

    Squire’s were always the low production ones….this looks like a nice one if your in the market.

    Like 0

    This thing is so rare and has so much potential that who ever gets it will be guaranteed to make some serious $. Or if they are smart just sit on it and wait for the market to go up and up which is exactly what’s gona happen, guaranteed investment! I got one I know and I’m keeping mine cuz I luv it, with the 429 CJ in mine it is a gas to drive!

    Like 0

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