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Ford’s 1957 Ranchero launched the Ford-Chevy race to popularize this new type of vehicle: a well-appointed passenger compartment with the hauling attributes of a pickup. Our silver 1978 air-conditioned Ranchero GT is a nice two-owner example of that class of vehicle.
Please note that in the description that follows we have attempted to describe both the pluses and minuses of this vehicle that in our opinion would bear on a potential purchaser’s decision to buy this vehicle. In addition, while not intended to supplant a pre-purchase inspection by a buyer, we do a 50-point written inspection/evaluation of each vehicle in our inventory and would be pleased to furnish that by email upon request.
Nice in Every Way
This two-owner GT is a good example of a ’78 Ranchero that after a few hours spent detailing the engine compartment would do well at local/regional shows and would be a perfect Saturday evening cruise-in entrant.
• Paint and Chrome
The first thing that jumps out is the shiny silver finish with black GT accents. This is a respray in the original color that is a nice driver-quality finish.
The chrome is in very good condition, and complements the rest of the exterior of the vehicle
This Ranchero has a black vinyl “tonneau” bed cover that is in very nice condition. That cover easily snaps on and off, protecting both the bed as well as any cargo that you may be carrying.
The blue interior is in good condition. The front seat will accommodate two comfortably but has plenty of room for a third person. While the seat is bench-style, the backs are bucket-style and look/feel like buckets when the center arm rest is down. There is wear on the driver’s seat that extends through to the backing material and there is a seam separation on the passenger side. While perfectly usable in its current condition, for car show purposes, the purchaser would want to have the seat reupholstered. The door panels are both in good condition, as is the headliner. There are no cracks on the dash pad.
• Mechanical Systems
The V-8, a 351-2v Windsor engine, starts right up and runs smoothly and strongly, easily powering the car either around town or out on the highway. This is reported to be the original engine.
The transmission shifts smoothly, and also is reported to be the original unit in the car. Both the transmission and the differential have slight leaks but they are consistent with what we observe on almost all 30+ year old cars.
The brakes are power, disc up front and drum in the rear, and they work well. This Ranchero also has power steering.
In addition to power brakes and steering, our Ranchero has factory air conditioning that works properly but has a slow leak requiring periodic replenishment. The heater works as well. There is an AM/FM/8-Track radio—the radio appears to work properly and the seller tells us that the 8-Track works, but having no tapes available to us, we couldn’t check that feature!
In addition to a speedometer, this car also has a tachometer both of which work, as do the oil pressure and temperature gauges. The fuel gauge, amp gauge and clock will need attention.
All of the safety features (lights, signals, horn, wipers) are functioning. This vehicle has 3-point safety belts but the short ends of both belts need to be reattached to the floor/frame.
To a Car Show or Home Depot: this is the car to take!
These vehicles were made for versatility and this is one that will stand out at a cruise-in, a car show, the golf course or at the local building supply store. You will put both the Harry Home Owners and the contractors to shame when this Ranchero pulls into the Home Depot/Lowes parking lot—but you will want to protect the pickup bed because it looks almost as nice as the exterior paint.
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