Where’s Waldoboro? 1978 Ford Ranchero GT

Just look what AMX Brian has found for us, a shiny blue ute with an extra long nose! The pictures certainly make this last generation Ranchero listed on Craigslist look nice.  The $6,600 asking price even seems reasonable, so one has to wonder why it hasn’t sold after being listed for several weeks. Perhaps it could be the missing title or the limited market in Waldoboro, Maine that is discouraging folks. The previous generation Ranchero was based on the Torino which went away in 1976 so this seventh generation was based on the midsize LTD ll. This Ranchero is well equipped with AC, power steering, brakes, and windows. The seller says it “floats” yet it “a blast to drive”.  No pictures are provided of the underside, but the dirt side is said to be in great shape with no rust. Life on Duckpuddle Lane seems to have been nice to it.

The interior appears to have been treated well and to be in great shape. Hopefully, the steering wheel rim is not too sticky under that cover.

The bed looks great, especially when wet. There are few dents showing and no signs of rust.

Here is the 351 V8 engine. It all looks tidy and original. Hopefully, the AC works.

This aardvark, er, Ranchero, looks all shiny and blue. One might even get the ends confused given similar dimensions front and back. There are the usual “ifs” here, but if you like the looks of the Ranchero and if it is even close to being as described and, the big if, if you can work around the lost title to register it in your state, then this could be a really nice ute. Most won’t like the wheels, but they are better than most, I think. Is anyone out there ready to float away?


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  1. JazzGuitarist54

    The price is so close
    The location so far…
    Ain’t that the way it is?

    • Dovi65

      Yep; it sure seems that way! If a car I’m interested in comes up at a good price it’s always too far to be practical. Maybe that’s the universe telling me I have enough projects

      Like 2
    • Ram Rod

      The price is so close but not to far for me. Seven hr drive. The wife may kill me but I might have to go look if its still there this weekend.

  2. 68Riv

    As far as the ‘no title’ question.. I’d bet my next paycheck on that. Maine’s a no title state for cars over 25 years old. I bought my toy in my garage from a guy in Vermont (also a no title state), handwritten bill of sale only.

    • Charlie Huntington

      You are close to correct. No titles in Maine prior to 1995. Year is fixed…

  3. 86 Vette Convertible

    I like! Now that would be one heck of a parts hauler.

  4. Alexander

    Best Ranchero story:
    I was working for a spell in an auto radiator warehouse pulling orders when an order comes in from one of the local shops for the heater core for a Ford Ranchero. The younger guys who worked there looked at the pick order and said, “What the [bleep] is a Ford Ranchero?!?” Carl, the old guy running the order counter says, “You know the El Camino, can’t decide whether it’s a station wagon or a pickup? That’s what Ford had in the 70s!”
    I chimed in “That HAS to be some heater core that fits every Ford pick-up, LTD, or whatever back then.” Carl had the guy go pull it….. “If it does, it’ll say so on the box sticker.” Every inventory sticker had a list of compatible models on it.
    Finally a VERY dusty box shows up, by this time even the manager had shown up to see this….. “Nope, just 71-74 Rancheros!”
    “What the hell is THAT thing still doing here?!?” the manager says.
    “Waiting for us to sell it, dammit! Ship that puppy outta here!” says Carl enthusiastically!

    Over a year later, at 9:30 at night, I see this weird, metallic purple monstrosity out of the corner of my eye ease into the parking lot of a Wendy’s in a disreputable part of my city……… I turn around and wheel in behind it. I pull up to the driver, an older gentleman, and ask, “You’re not gonna believe what I’m asking, but…….. did you get a new heater core for this thing about a year ago??”
    The gentleman pauses, thinks for about 20 seconds, and says, “My SON did…..”

    Like 2
  5. Classix Steel

    Missing Title! It screams loudly how is he driving it without a title? Does an outstanding lien await to be cleared ? This is a future Maine nightmare ready to be written by Stephen King :-0

    Nice car and if it had a title where one did not have to apply for a “salvage” title it would sell !
    Nothing like going to state police and have it ran for stolen, illegal parts or liens to make it a fun outing.

  6. Rex Kahrs Member

    This missing title problem needs a solution. Here in Florida, the BMV simply won’t play ball if you don’t have a title. In Alabama, as in New Hampshire and some other states, they don’t require a title for cars over 25 years old.

    I suggest there needs to be a standardized, national system for applying for a title when the car doesn’t have one. Maybe a simple form where all the known information is entered, and then that info goes through a database to verify that the VIN matches the vehicle (year, model etc.), and that the car isn’t reported as stolen. It’s really no different for newer cars, all those same safeguards apply. We just need to get all the states to require titles, and a method of creating a new one when the title gets lost.

    I know, I know, everyone is gonna chime in and tell me how easy it is to get a title, but that just isn’t my experience.

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      Actually I was going to say it will be impossible to tell a state what they can and can’t do.

      Every other state must comply with the title rules of every other state.

      If, for example, you have an old car from Georgia, you take the endorsed registration card to the other state and they must accept it.

      If they don’t ask for a supervisor.

      You can’t expect lowly employees to know the rules for other states.

      • Rex Kahrs Member

        Yes Miguel, what your are saying is what SHOULD happen. But in my many experiences with this issue, when the supervisor is called, the answer is still the same. I took a NH registration to FLA….no dice. I took an Alabama registration to FLA…no dice. I took a CT registration to OH…no dice. It’s all about the title.

        In Ohio, they require a title for all cars. In 1976, I bought a ’63 Beetle from a guy who had brought the car to Ohio from CT. No title. Ohio would simply not do business with me untiI I got a title from CT. There simply was no reciprocal agreement then, and there isn’t one now. I finally did get the guy to obtain a title, and then Ohio issued a new title. I would entertain the idea of paying some company to secure a title under the same terms as buying the car…no car, no money; no title, no money.

  7. CanuckCarGuy

    Nice car! For me, unless it’s a screaming deal, there’s something off-putting about a “firm” price…too often with private sellers, it factors in a sentimental value that I don’t want to pay.

  8. Vespaholic

    Sold on eBay on Christmas day for $7K.
    Listed there as having a clear title.
    Also listed other issues not mentioned on the Craigslist ad.

  9. Steve R

    I’d rather have the Riviera posted here last night for $14,000. Around here, California, those cars have zero resale value mainly due to emissions regulations.

    The three spoke wheels need to go, they are dated and ugly.

    Steve R

  10. Fred w.

    Probably the least popular body style Ranchero, but I still like ’em (dad had one, along with about 6 others starting in ’57). If Starsky and Hutch had a Ranchero, this would be it!

  11. chris

    I ran into the “no title” situation last year when I bought a ’73 Imperial. I had a Bill of Sale and I knew the prior owner had recently died after I bought the car. Regardless, I was still terrified when I ran that car through my DMV here in Delaware that it might show as stolen. It did not but in order to retitle the car in my name I had to sign a DMV document that allowed the prior title holder a three year window to claim ownership of the car. Basically leaving me at a loss for the purchase price and repair costs that I incurred. Now, there are services that will get you a title for a car but they cost around $1K, which for that Imperial and for this Ranchero, is simply too much.

  12. T Mel

    Anyone else notice how the seats are in great shape because they came out of an 80’s or 90’s vehicle of some kind?

    • Paul Hudson

      Those are the correct seats for that car. Maybe not the seat cover material but the pattern and the seat are correct.

    • Buick Fan

      Those are some seriously ugly seats…no headrest? I don’t believe they are original to the car.

  13. dan

    351 ?
    pick one

    • KKW

      It’s an M. The Cleveland was discontinued in 1974, and a quick look at the valve covers tells us it’s obviously not a Windsor.

    • Harold Wood

      Mine Has a 351 C not sure about this one, mine is identical except colors are different.

      • KKW

        You replied to my comment, but you apparently didn’t read it too well. There were no 351Cs in 1978.

  14. Geoffrey

    I had this car as a teenager. I remember having the N50 tires in the back all jacked up. My ride would get massive looks. I regret selling my mint Ranchero with the 315C. I am totally a GM man now…but I would definitely look at purchasing another Ranchero again. Wow what memories.

  15. Buick Fan

    Poor car has no identity…

  16. geoff a

    Live in Maine and Maine has no title for older cars. Not an issue. Car is already gone. And what kind of writer would not know that Waldoboro is the home of the world famous “Moody’s Dinner” ? A Maine institution. Almost as good as the diner in Twin Peaks and the pie is better

  17. RH

    Total Chevy guy here. 1st Generation Monte Carlo specifically. But with an affection for the 76-77 2nd Gens. This car looks more like a 76-77 Chevy Monte Carlo than a Ford!

  18. cidevco

    I owned a 1977 Ranchero back in 1977 and the interior is upgrade from the GT interior I had. The 351 is a “M” motor which was a down graded 400CI engine. Im amazed at the condition for how old it is. In California No Title means no way the car can be titled in California. Buyer beware!

  19. Chris Londish Member

    I recently bought a 1970 C10 in Alabama and it is a no title state I have a letter from the sheriff’s department notarised stating this and a bill of sale l had no problems getting an export and import approval to bring it to Australia and this will allow me to register it here

  20. Steve Wilbur

    I bought a 69 SS Camaro in Connecticut, a no title state. I live in NJ, where everything is a problem. But lo and behold, all I needed to show was the Conn. registration and my cancelled check from payment and they registered the car. I’m now almost 2 years deep into a total restoration. Fun, fun, fun!

  21. David Miraglia

    Five hour drive from Brooklyn minimum. Wish I had the time…

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