Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pleasanton Street Sighting - 1978 Ford Ranchero

I have a mild interest in late-model Ford Rancheros. The mid-to-late '70s utes are big and boxy, coming in two flavors mostly. There's the '72-76 model, beginning with the fish-mouth Torino-based front and evolving into the Starsky and Hutch '74-'76. An all-new Ranchero bowed for '77, based on the new LTD II. It used the same taillights as before, but the rest of the body was new and featured the LTD's coffin nose, pointed fenders and stacked quad headlamps. The body had more of a linear fuselage appearance as well, where the outgoing Torino-based pickup had a sculpted quarter panel.

My favorite Rancheros of this generation are the GTs with 351 and 400 cubic inch V8s and wide hockey-stick stripe decals. These pickups share a great deal with the Thunderbird personal luxury coupe, so much so that a T-Bird front clip and many of its luxury fittings will apparently bolt right on. This example is painted what I think is a non-factory metallic green (closest correct hue is Dark Jade). I'm not a huge fan of the large rub strips on the sides but they appear to be original. I think GTs and two-tone Rancheros didn't come with the rub strip, or it was optional. The body is in good shape, plates look original and there's a little custom work in the wheels and exhaust. It looks like a well-cared-for budget build. I like it.

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