Last Year Ute: 1979 Ford Ranchero – Sold!
As the end of the seventies approached, 1979 proved to be the final year for Ford’s half truck, half car Ranchero, and this 35K original mile survivor listed on Craigslist in Staatsburg, New York with an asking price of $12,000 is a prime example. Checking the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this the second owner has his Ranchero 500 priced between the #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $13,400 and the #3 “Good” estimate of $7,500. With the Torino ending production after 1976, Ford restyled the 1977 Ranchero in line with the Ford LTD II mid-sized car line which replaced the former using the same platform. The same three models available since 1968 were still offered and the Ranchero could be ordered in quite a luxurious form. Engines fitted went up to the 400 cu in (6.6 L). Production ceased in 1979 with, among the traditional choices, a commemorative “1979½” model. Although Ford only produced the LTD II-based Ranchero for only three model years, this body style with stacked rectangular headlamps is among the most popular among collectors and many have been customized with easy-to-swap front clips from other mid-size Fords and Mercurys of the period.
By the late seventies, the combination of moving away from heavy body-on-frame construction with increasing government restrictions made car-based truck production, at least for the U.S. market, less attractive from a manufacturing standpoint. Meanwhile, purpose-designed light trucks had to meet much less stringent requirements for emissions and fuel economy. Ford saw the way the market was going and decided small light trucks were the wave of the future, beginning with the Mazda-built Courier pickup. This vehicle would be a “stepping stone” during which time Ford would develop their homegrown replacement, the Ranger.
The second owner provides an entertaining description who says his car is original throughout and “runs beautifully.” The only thing we notice from the limited pictures is the driver’s side mirror control appears to be missing its joy stick. Otherwise, you’ll likely find this nicely optioned Ranchero to be a great survivor with plenty of miles left for you to enjoy. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s entertaining description:
“The year was 1957, Ford motor company had an idea for ranchers (later to be copied by Chevy with the El Camino)
Combine a truck with a car so you could have a comfortable ride with your wife, your girlfriend, your friend’s wife, who cares (one at a time naturally) and yet have room in the back for bales of hay, your mother in law, whatever. Rumor has it that this car was loved by Bill Clinton, especially the “hay” part.
In event, Ford produced these fine cars from 1957 to 1979. This is the last year of production. I am second owner and the car is original throughout with 35,000 miles. Has 5.0 Litre V-8–3 speed automatic–air conditioning, power windows, etc. Runs beautifully.
If you want something a little different which you can also use to haul things, just come up with $12,000 and it could be yours. 845-337-1774
You also may want to think about purchasing a western hat.“
Do you have a Ranchero story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!