Real Deal GT: 1979 Ford Ranchero GT – SOLD!

Oct 2020 | Classifinds, Truckin Tuesday

February 1, 2021 Update – we confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

As the end of the seventies approached, 1979 proved to be the final year for Ford’s half truck, half car Ranchero and this 71K original mile, 400 cubic inch V8-powered GT model originally listed on Craigslist in October 2020 in Fredonia, New York (Buffalo) with an asking price of $6,500 is a prime example.  Checking the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the current caretaker has his Ranchero 500 priced between the #3 “Good” appraisal of $10,100 and the #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $4,000. The Collector Car Market Review Online Tool provides a second data point indicating the private seller has his Ranchero priced between the #3 “Good” estimate of $5,950 and the #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $9,800.

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 cubic inches (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.

If you’re into for a solid driver-quality Ranchero you can spend this winter fine-tuning in preparation for the 2021 Car Show and Cruising season, this may be the UTE for you. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“’79 Ranchero GT, 400 cid, auto.
Just over 71,000 miles, Repainted about 20 years ago. The paint has a few nicks and scuffs but presents well. There is a small dent in the tailgate.
In the last 2 years, it has had new carpets and seats (Mustang buckets) The engine was completely rebuilt and the tranny serviced 4000 miles ago. The engine even had a new crank put in, as well as an Edelbrock intake and carburetor, and an MSD ignition. New brakes all the way around about a year ago and new tires at that time too. The Interior needs a new speaker grill on the driver’s door but the door trim panels are in very good shape. The dash is not cracked or beat up, the headliner is very nice. New LED headlights. Just put a new battery in it last week.
Ready to drive and enjoy. Runs strong, shifts smoothly.
Clean NY title. It is a true GT with the right VIN code. Check out the photos. It’s clean, not perfect, a little typical rust on the door bottoms (no rust on the door skins) but not separated or all shot. The air conditioning pump was not reinstalled after the engine rebuild but it and all the hoses come with.

Do you have a Ranchero story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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