Saturday, September 12, 2015

Oakland Street Sighting - 1976 Ford Ranchero 500

Over the past several months, my friends have gotten me into a new pastime: flea markets. Every so often we get together early on a Sunday morning and hit the Laney College Swap Meet in Oakland. It's a fun little place full of bargains and occasionally sellers who think they have something made of gold-plated unobtainium, both of which make for amusing interactions. It has contributed significantly to my diecast collection, and also triggered my interest in customizing small-scale toy cars thanks to the low price of used examples at the swap meet.

It was after attending one such swap meet at Laney that I found this 1976 Ford Ranchero 500 parked just down the block. Many old trucks with amazing patina show up there on Sundays, but few as classic and interesting as this. I've long been a fan of this generation of Torino and Ranchero, in no small part because the red Gran Torino from Starsky & Hutch is awesome. The blocky styling of the '74-76 Torino lends itself well to a coupe-utility pickup body, too.

This Ranchero is a base 500 model and I have no clue what powers it. The single tailpipe gives up no secrets but I'd guess the 302 cubic inch V8 or even the base 250 straight six sits under the hood. It still has a dealer sticker on the tailgate from Brown-Clarkson Inc. of Redwood City (formerly located at 365 Convention Way if my research is correct), making it a longtime Bay Area vehicle. Dark Brown metallic body is heavily worn with evidence of accident repairs to the front end and passenger door, yet the two-tone butterscotch and brown vinyl seats look perfect. It's yet another reminder of how vinyl upholstery resists the ravages of time and weather better than most.

I like this ute. The patina makes it interesting, the camper top makes it practical and the doggy in the driver seat is just adorable.

Photographed May 2015

1 comment:

  1. You should post some of your diecast stuff over at Live and Let Diecast!, the Oppositelock diecast sub-blog. They even have a system where you can trade cars!