You can guess what Ford’s Ranchero is meant to do, based on its name. The original description of Ford vehicles in this segment and body style, called the Coupe Utility, was to carry a load of pigs to market during the week, and the family to church on the weekend. The Coupe Utility is also what’s known as a ‘ute’ in Australia. What’s the difference between a Coupe Utility and a pickup truck? Well, with the Coupe Utility, the cabin and open rear bed are smoothly integrated, until the separate construction of a pickup truck. Coupe Utilities are typically adapted from a model’s Station Wagon, or Estate variant, as is the case of the Ford Ranchero, when it debuted in 1957 and was based on the 1957 Ford family of models. This 1971 Ford Ranchero is from the fifth generation, and bears just 76,000 miles since new.
An eye catching Grabber Yellow paintwork, punctuated by a yellow-to-red gradient strip running along either side, and five-spoke black and chrome alloy wheels wearing Cooper Cobra tires are what define this 1971 Ford Ranchero. It’s a sure-fire head turner. The chromework is retained and looks in pristine order judging by the photos. The black hood with broad air intake adds some contrast, as do the double headlamps. Badging also tells us that this is a GT spec variant. Inside, you’ll find a very Seventies interior with brown dash, and two brown leather seats. All original fitments appear to be in place, including the climate control panel, and push-button radio with what appears to be an 8-track player further down. You’ll also find well-trimmed door cards, metal kickplates with Ford logos, and a neat automatic gearshift with lighted indicators for gear selected. The steering wheel is another curio, with a two-spoked, slightly boomerang shaped rim connecting the thin-rimmed wheel to the column. Looking further, we can also see lap belts for the seats.
The fifth generation Ranchero offered four engine choices in its two years of production, and this 1971 Ford Ranchero is reported to pack a 351ci Cleveland V8. This is the H-code, 2V carburetor version, which is lower performance, but designed for better reliability. You’re looking at around 250hp of power, and 355lb-ft of torque when it was new. Drive goes to the rear wheels via a Ford C6 three-speed automatic transmission, a sturdy and long-lasting unit.
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