One growing segment in the modern automotive market is for light-duty pickup trucks with sedan or crossover-based underpinnings. For example, Hyundai launched a new pickup in 2022 called the Santa Cruz that uses a unibody chassis from the company’s Tucson SUV.
Hyundai calls the model a “sport adventure vehicle,” but in the 1950s and 60s, a similar model might have been called a “coupe utility.”
“Nicely restored and upgraded Ranchero in very desirable factory red,” the seller states. “Being an original Western car with 60,000 original miles, it’s rust free. Body fit and finish is excellent, and all trim is straight with very little pitting noted.”
The Ranchero went into production for 1957 using a platform that was adapted from a two-door station wagon, touted for having the utility of a light pickup with the riding characteristics and ease of operation of a passenger car. A smaller second-generation Ranchero debuted in 1960, transitioning to the platform of the compact Falcon two-door sedan delivery.
The downsizing of the model was accompanied by a short-lived rename to “Falcon Ranchero,” with an economical Thriftpower straight-6 powerplant offered as the base engine.
Engine offerings grew over the subsequent years, with a 260cid V8 launching in 1963 and a 289cid V8 in 1964. This Ranchero’s 289cid powerplant is said to be smooth-running and bears the correct manifolds, valve covers and carburetor. A replacement top-loader four-speed manual transmission sends power to the rear wheels, and a dual exhaust system with new Glasspack mufflers “emits a fantastic exhaust note,” per the seller.
Modern updates have been applied to this Ranchero inside, outside and underneath. The body rides on replacement swaybar bushings and KYB shock absorbers, and braking power comes from a disc conversion. Inside the cabin, climate-control duties are handled by a Classic Air system, sound-deadening comes from Dynamat insulation, and the audio system is a modern Retrosound stereo. Aesthetics on the exterior are enhanced with a custom tonneau cover and chrome wheels.
The asking price is $30,000 for this lightly modernized Ranchero. Whether used as a show-cruiser or an occasional utility vehicle, it could make a worthy “sport adventure vehicle” with the bonus of classic styling.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.