1971 Ford Ranchero GT
I am a Certified Car Nut (CCN) and have owned over 200 cars in my life. I also had two sons that ran car restoration businesses for me for a number of years, so have some good experience about all kinds of cars. About 10 years ago I was driving down a side street here in Denver and noticed this Ford Ranchero pickup parked next to this house, I hadn’t seen one in a long time, but went on my way. I went by about a week later and saw it again with a “For Sale” sign in the window and this time looked at it a little better and realized that it was a GT, or at least had been painted to match a real GT. So I turned around, got out and looked at it in more detail, it had the original Orange GT paint on it including the original GT side stripes. In looking it over it was in very good condition with only surface rust in spots. I knocked on the door and the guy answered who was a farmer from Montana. He purchased it new in 1971 and used it for his drive to church on Sunday morning vehicle all these years. It even had no dents in the bed of the pickup, so I could see that it wasn’t used for hauling.
I didn’t need another vehicle, but couldn’t pass up such a rare find so purchased it and later drove it home. As I had time we started a 10 year long restoration project. First we pulled the original engine and transmission and had those both rebuilt by shops that specialized in this here in Denver. While they were doing this we stripped all the chrome parts and stainless steel parts and took them to two different shops that specialized in Chrome plating and Stainless Steel Polishing.
We then took off the fenders, hood, doors and tailgate and stripped them down to the bare metal, primed them & reassembled them for painting. While this was going on we located a number of restoration sources that had Ranchero parts and ordered new carpet, new door panels, all new trim, a vinyl hardtop material, new upholstery plus hundreds of small parts needed to really restore this correctly. Prior to painting it I checked with Painters Supply to see if they could still match the paint, they searched in some old books they had and found the original paint codes. Also purchased new GT Chrome wheels and tires.
The rebuilt engine and transmission were installed, a new dual exhaust system built plus a lot of aluminum and chrome goodies added to the engine compartment. The gages were also rebuilt by Denver Gage, plus a new steering wheel and dash cover added. New windshield and so many small items it is difficult to even remember.
Once all the individual body panels were worked to perfection it was reassembled and professionally painted, including the exact match of the GT striping which I photographed in detail prior to starting the body work. It was then color sanded and polished resulting in a like new condition. All new emblems and chrome were then installed.
It is basically new, looks like new and runs like new. Everywhere I go, people are stopping me telling me what a beautiful car that is and of course I hear all the stories about remembering them in the past. To me this classis design has always been one of my favorite advanced pickup designs ever, we all saw the Ranchero and El Camino racing in the old days and fell in love with them back then.
I am in the process of retiring so am getting rid of some of too many toys. I did go on Hagerty Classis Car Evaluator and found the value to be somewhere in the $25k to $30K area. I also found some for sale on the web in the $25,000 area so have priced it at $16,000 as a good deal for the right person, I have a lot more than this invested in it.
P. S. I also have all of the parts to convert it to power disc brakes.
Model year 1959 was the unmitigated height of rococo styling for American automakers, who produced imaginative creations with towering tailfins and loads of chrome details.
Unleash your inner redneck with this fine example of custom ingenuity that combines the streamlined grandeur of a faux-wood-paneled Ford Ranchero.
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We bought our Ranchero as a second car for my son Justin when he was in his second year of high school.
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