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What’s It Worth? 1979 Ford Ranchero 500

“Where comfort and capacity come full size”, says a Ford Ranchero brochure from 1979 showing these unique cars in all their glory. It truly does look like an LTD II with a pickup bed on the back, which I guess was the whole point. This 1979 Ford Ranchero 500 is listed here on eBay in Orange, California, there is no reserve, and the current bid price is $565.

I’m such a weirdo that I really like the seventh-generation Ford Rancheros, which were based on the sleek-for-the-time Ford LTD II. They were made for model years 1977, 1978, and 1979 and then the Ranchero name would be retired. It sure seemed like a good concept to me. There are a few car-like pickups now that have a pickup bed on the back, but they’re typically four-door trucks – big shocker. People hate four-door cars but can’t live without four-door trucks.

Of course, there was the Ford Fairmont-based Durango that was made from ’79 to ’82, but it wasn’t solely a Ford-designed-and-built vehicle. Still, it was interesting and I’ve always wondered what a newer Ford Ranchero might have been based on, any thoughts? There were three Ranchero models, the high-end zoot suit Ranchero Squire with woodgrain sides, the sporty Ranchero GT, or the base Ranchero 500 as seen here. This one has the optional “bright hub caps and trim rings, and also raised white letter tires. Deluxe wheel covers, wire wheel covers, and Magnum 500 chrome wheels would have also been optional.

The interior photos are pretty contrasty so it’s hard to tell what’s going on there, but there are some issues. The dash is cracked and there’s an aftermarket steering wheel, not that it’s a bad thing to have an aftermarket steering wheel. The seat looks good and it would have been the optional seat in red vinyl, although the seller lists the seat as tan leather. Is it tan leather or faded red vinyl? A cloth and vinyl seat was standard in the Ranchero 500. The haulin’ part, behind that seat, looks good. There are some interior detail issues that need to be sorted out, though.

The dark engine compartment houses the optional 351-cu.in. OHV V8, which would have had 144 horsepower. This Ranchero isn’t in running condition, according to the seller, which is a company selling donated vehicles to fund their programs. Hagerty is at $3,000 for a running, driving #4 fair condition Ranchero and $16,100 for a #2 excellent condition example, just for a general ballpark value. How much would you pay for this Ranchero 500?

Comments

  1. Christopher Gentry

    I love Rancheros. Why not a fusion/mondeo based one for 2024

    Like 1
  2. Steve

    Had one of these in the 90’s. We trimmed the bumper mounts and moved the bumpers to the body. Really improved the looks.

    Like 4
    • Greg Gustafson

      No doubt!

  3. Christopher Gentry

    Dan Akyrod’s ride in “The Neighbors” need a radio control airplane in the back

    Like 2
  4. Kurt Member

    I wonder if a Coyote engine would fit in there? 144 hp seems low for that size engine. Maybe just put a souped up version of the existing engine that would bolt to that bell housing.Shaving the bumpers sounds like a great idea,btw.

    Like 3
  5. Woofer Member

    Looks like a Ranchero GT to me. The sides of the bed could have been painted over to cover up ‘GT’. The tailgate emblem is F O R D instead of the long chrome piece. And the dash instruments have the four small oil, temp, amp, clock. I’m just an old FORD guy.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Woofer, the badge on the glove box door says Ranchero 500. I’m guessing that would have been a Ranchero GT badge if it was a GT, but I’m not positive.

      • Woofer Member

        You are correct Scotty, but the picture is so dark for me I can’t see that badge. It’s supposed to be mounted on the dash between the two vents.
        That’s a good way to tell a real GT.

  6. bone

    I know its now an antique, but if I owned one of these I’d have to put an Elite header panel on it ; I cant stand the stacked square lights on these ( and any other stacked square light car or truck )

    Like 2
  7. Christopher Gentry

    Maybe an antique , but still just a ford. I bet the elite nose would be cool on this. And I like it ” stock” but that sounds cool

    Like 1

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