The Pampered Life: 1978 Galpin Ford Ranchero GT

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This Ranchero GT was built by Ford in 1978 and then received the Galpin treatment. It is being offered for sale here on eBay for a BIN $13,900 or you can make an offer. The debate over whether the Ranchero is simply a high utility car or a compact pickup has raged for years, but this Galpin Ranchero makes thinks even messier by adding luxury to the mix. So what exactly is this Galpin Ranchero?

The seller has offered numerous pictures as well as documentation. The engine is the 351M (Modified) version connected to a regular three speed automatic transmission. The word Galpin is mentioned many times in the advertisement. Who is Galpin? And what did they do? This is a family owned Ford dealership that opened in 1946 in California. They are known in the car world for their customization work. When a car was modified by this dealership they were “Galpanized”. They are known for modifying Ford Mustangs and continue to do so today. In my research, I couldn’t find any other Galipinized Rancheros though. So, what all was done to Galpanize this one? The first thing you notice is the added pinstriping. The wheels seem to be an aftermarket accessory as well. A trailer hitch and brake controller were also added. There’s no word on if the engine was upgraded, so it’s possible that they only did cosmetic modifications to it. The seller says this car was featured on a calendar published by Galpin Ford, so perhaps they will know more about what all was done to it.

The front seat looks as big and comfortable as your favorite chair in the living room. As can be seen from the photos, this truck has the top-of-the-line luxuries. On the dash, we find “Ranchero 500” and on the inside of the doors “Brougham” and the exterior has GT badges. Our guess is that Galpin mixed parts from various trim levels to get the best mixture of parts.

It sure would be nice to have a detailed list of what all was done by Galpin. It could be a really cool machine to have. So who here is interested in this Ranchero? And does the idea of this Ford having been Galpinized make it worth more?

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  1. NotSure

    I think that I’ve seen those wheels on T-birds of that era?

    Like 3
  2. Steve R

    The sad says the engine is a 6.2L which is a 400, not a 351M.

    It’s nice, but the late-70’s Rancheros have close to zero collector value. It’s probably a $5,000 car/truck. Even if someone buys it to take to local shows and cruises, it will be virtually ignored, it’s very interesting and the color will make it blend into the background.

    Steve R

    Like 8
    • Tirefriar

      These might have zero or low collector interest but they still have some value. Similar vintage Ranchero in decent running and cosmetic condition with working A/C is worth around $5k just an older US market Ute. Given the condition of this Ranchero I’d say it’s actual value is closer to $9k. 400 cid engine was an option for the 7th gen Ranchero.

      Galpin is claimed to be the largest Ford dealer in the world. They have been running their Galpin Auto Sports (G.A.S.) program for years. I don’t believe this adds another $5k, or any value for that fact, to any vehicle.

      Like 7
    • Miguel

      Steve, the 6.6L is the 400. A 351 is a 5.8L, give or take.

      Like 3
  3. KevinR

    No franchised dealer in California in 1978 would have dared to touch the engine, so you can count on that being stock when it was new. The wheels are aftermarket, possibly either Appliance or Western. The wood grained dash trim is wrong for a GT. The seat upholstery appears to be a more recent recover while the seats themselves look more like the ones fitted to full size Fords (LTD, Marquis) of the era.

    It’s an interesting vehicle but not necessarily all that desirable. It will probably take some time to find the right buyer for this car.

    Like 6
  4. slickb

    All it needs are horns across the front

    Like 5
  5. Superdessucke

    Somebody correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the hood on these as long as the bed? If you look at it from the side it looks kind of like a caboose.

    Like 5
  6. guggie

    I personally love it , if it was on the east coast I would be all over it ! just my view

    Like 2
    • Tirefriar

      Its a good looking car and a rather rare find, the distance shouldn’t really be an impediment. Many advantages of this being a California car, of which you may be aware, not the least of which is that the smog equipment is fully intact and operational. Don’t know if that would be a factor for you but it certainly doens’t hurt.

      This Ranchero has been looking for a new home for quite a while now. Its been blasted all over classified sites so my guess the seller would be rather flexible on the price. Enclosed shipping to the east coast should not exceed $2K. Shoot the seller an offer at $11k and if he/she accepts, even counting the shipping, you will still be ahead of the asking price. Just my thoughts, really

      Like 2
  7. John G

    They may not be a high value truck, but I bought one a little over a year ago and I have taken it to 4 car shows, and I have had more comments about it than my 68 Montego with a T-5 in it. I can’t buy gas without someone stopping by and commenting on it.

    Like 3
  8. stillrunners

    Tuff saler right there – did the Martini report for my 1979 built in 5/79 thinking maybe might have been the last built – even if it was it was a tough sell even as a runner – with the GT package. Finally got close to $3500 for it as I gave the buyer $200 off because it developed a exhaust pipe leak just days before the sale.

    Why can’t I load pictures ?

    Like 3
  9. Miguel

    If somebody is in the area, they should go ask Galpin. I am sure those guys would be happy to help.

    While you are there you should see their collection of cars which is amazing.

    Like 3
  10. Zapp

    What an odd conversion.

    Gauge cluster bezel appears to have come from an earlier Ranchero, Gran Torino, Elite, Montego, or Cougar XR-7, but with ’78 gauges behind it that don’t quite fit.

    Radio delete and lack of automatic speed control certainly doesn’t add to the, um, luxury.

    At least the door trim from an LTD II Brougham comes from a same-generation car and makes sense.

    Like 1
  11. oldsquid

    At this point in life I’m sure Galpin regrets being associated with this thing. That’s a whole lot of ugly with zero cool factor, even with a 460/Toploader this would be a hard sell. Sorry guys………….

    Like 1
    • Tirefriar

      Squid, there’s an ass for every seat…

      Like 1
  12. Mike W_H_ Mike W HMember

    I can’t imagine Galpin letting this leave the lot without a camper shell on the back.

    Like 1
  13. Fran

    Ugly colors! My parents had a 1977 ranchero very similar in red and white I put mag wheels on it and it was very cool looking!

    Like 1
  14. Little_Cars Little Cars

    The area around the gas filler looks like it’s been worked/repainted. The addition of vinyl graphics along with the factory trim wrapping the car does nothing for me. This truck has led, and will continue to lead, a very pampered life. A malaise-era luxury car with an exposed cargo area. I’d rather have an LTD II or Cougar with a trunk lid.

    Like 0

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