This Ranchero is back on the road after 30-year slumber

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Ranchero is a Spanish word, dating from the 1800s, used to describe someone who worked on a rancho. It was popularly used in Spanish California and what would become the southwestern United States. 

Beginning in 1957, Ford applied the term Ranchero to a succession of car- based pickup trucks, vehicles designed to drive like a family sedan but with a pickup-style bed in place of a back seat, trunk or cargo floor.

The first were based on the Ranch Wagon station wagon, but in 1960, the Ranchero moved onto the compact Ford Falcon platform. 

The Pick of the Day is a 1961 Falcon-based Ford Ranchero being advertised for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in La Verne, California.

“This 1961 Ford Ranchero was acquired by the previous owner two years ago after reportedly having been stored in a warehouse for 30 years by the owner before him,” the dealer reports. 

“A carburetor rebuild, dash wiring refurbishment, and replacement of the tires, battery, fluids, hoses and belts have all been completed. 

“The car is finished in gold over a tri-tone interior, and power is from a 170ci inline-six paired with a three-speed manual transmission.

“Modifications include Cragar S/S wheels as well as an aftermarket steering wheel, accelerator pedal, cassette player, and glasspack muffler.”

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The dealer adds that the truck was white, but was repainted to gold by the previous owner. It adds that the interior had been red and white but is now tan and beige vinyl with gold carpets and brown-painted steel dash.

The truck also has a Jet Sounds cassette player, aftermarket speakers and a “novelty foot-shaped accelerator pedal”

The odometer shows “just over 90k miles.”

Those Cragars are wrapped with new Maxxis MA-1 tires.

Ford produced nearly 21,000 Ranchero pickups for 1959. The VIN indicates that this one was produced at the company’s San Jose, California, assembly plant.

The Falcon-era of the Ranchero ended in 1967 when the pickup moved onto the mid-size Fairlane chassis, and later to the Torino platform. Production of the Ranchero model ended after the 1979 model year. Its place in the Ford lineup was taken at first by the Courier, a Mazda-built compact pickup, and then by Ford’s own compact Ranger pickup.

The asking price is $11,900. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Very nice $5,000 Ranchero!!! Now, if it was repainted in the original color, or, better yet, original paint (west coast seems to hold up better), and still had the red/white Interior, that would be spot on!!! The cragar kids wheels just don’t work for me on this one. Seems like non car guy trying to learn. Just my $.02 after 40+ years owning and refurbishing them.

    • Having owned a few Ranchero’s the last one being a 1979 the first being a 61 you could say I know something about these trucks. I’d say if ya want comfort and power that the last ones are best. The last one I owned was a 1978 with big power and fully load wow what a truck sadly to say I traded in on a new Chevy the Dealer/ship owner wanted mine badly and made me an offer to good to say no to. The 61 is and economy rig at best, later when V8 became available they became more fun. One passing thought if you are over 6 feet tall you won’t fit in one. If ya still want one look at the 68 thru 79’s or and early 57 thru 59. Ranchero has all way been a better buy than Chevy Elcamino though the Chevy gets higher prices Why ? ya might ask have I owned a El Camino and the answer is yes a new 69 and a used 87 so yes I can compare. and that all I’ll say on the subject…..

    • Can you eally buy one for $5000 ? What kind of shape at that price ? If I could find a decent diver for that price I’d jump on it ! I thought they were way more than 5 g’s……

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