Ford Ranchero Reviews

1972 Ford Ranchero 351 from North America

Year of manufacture1972
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership1990
Engine and transmission 351 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired80000 miles
Most recent distance89000 miles

Summary:

Was better looking than the 73 with big bumpers, until I crashed it

Faults:

The gear indicator did not tell you what gear you were actually in.

Seat material ripped and needed to be recovered.

Some rust started in the lower rear quarters.

General Comments:

This Ranchero was black with a green interior. 351 V8 was powerful and reliable. It handled well for a truck, and the disc brakes worked very good. Taking off quickly would result in tire spin because of the light rear end.

I mentioned the gear indicator didn't tell you the correct gear, well that led me to shift into reverse at highway speed because I thought I was in Low 1. The rear axle locked and it went into a skid and I crashed it into a ditch. It slid down the ditch, hit a culvert, flew through the air and into a tree. I was not hurt, but the Ranchero was badly crunched. Sold it to Owl's auto parts in Nebraska for $200 and they chopped it up.

It still ran and drove (not well) even with the front end bashed in the shape of large tree.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2011

1969 Ford Ranchero 500 302 cubic inch V8 from North America

Model year1969
Year of manufacture1969
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 302 cubic inch V8 Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired219000 miles
Most recent distance242000 miles

Summary:

The grunt of a truck with the class of a car

Faults:

I bought the truck with a blown power steering pump, swollen and leaking power steering hoses, and possibly a blown power cylinder. It also had a bad radiator and master cylinder. All have since been replaced.

I still need to touch up a few small items, including a loose driver's side window which has simply pulled loose from its track. The neutral safety switch doesn't work properly, so I have to be rather careful when starting the engine. Front end is a bit noisy, too.

However, we are talking about a utility vehicle that rolled off of an assembly line in Atlanta in April of 1969 and is still in service. For an "intermediate," this thing is a tank, pure and simple. The body on mine is straight and rust-free despite having spent a little bit of time in the Pacific Northwest. The dreaded "tinworm" eats the things in the Rust Belt like they're going out of style.

It handles loads like they aren't even back there with a combination of V8 power and station wagon underpinnings. Drives like the Torino/Fairlane it's based on, so there isn't an issue of it driving like a 1960's light truck.

I know of only two other vehicles like it in my area and one of a mere handful of Rancheros, period. Lots of El Caminos, which isn't a bad thing at all. A Ranchero sighting is a special event, however.

General Comments:

I wish to heaven above that an American manufacturer still made vehicles like this. Rancheros and El Caminos are sorely missed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th March, 2007

28th Feb 2010, 00:22

I currently own a 1969 Ford Ranchero and a 1969 Ford Torino Squire Wagon. I have owned the wagon since 1984 and the Ranchero for nearly 4 years.

Both of these vehicles are built on the same chassis, but the required brake pads are larger on the Ranchero. The Ranchero also has the extra parking lights in the front bumper, something that is only found on the 1969 Ranchero. This feature is not found on any other 1969 Torino, Fairlane or Mercury Comet. It is also not found on any 1968 Torino, Fairlane or Ranchero, the sister to the 1969 body style.

The wagon came equipped with the 302-2V (which I Still have), factory AC, PS and tinted glass. The Ranchero came from the factory with the 351W-4V and PS. I have replaced the 302-2V with a 351W-2V, and have rebuilt a 1969 351W-4V to 10.8:1 compression. I will also be adding a funtional reproduction Ram-Air scoop to the Ranchero.

If the readers haven't guessed yet, the Ranchero is my project truck. I plan on running it in Quarter-Mile runs at the dragway in Hagerstown, Maryland upon completion.

Another reader said that they wished Ford would make a vehicle like the Ranchero again. I agree. I also think they should produce a bigger wagon again, although the Torino/Fairlane wagons were considered to be mid-sized in their day. The LTD Country Squire, among other Ford/Mercury wagons were full-sized, the Falcon Wagon was the smallest Ford wagon in those days.

I have enjoyed my Torino wagon over the years. I hope to get just as much enjoyment, if not more, from my Ranchero once it is completed.

28th Feb 2010, 16:25

The above poster said:

"Another reader said that they wished Ford would make a vehicle like the Ranchero again. I agree. I also think they should produce a bigger wagon again"

I'm afraid that the day of any such thing being produced is past, and I wouldn't get my hopes up about anything so nice, comfortable, useful or interesting as your Ranchero (or your wagon) ever being produced again.

24th Apr 2010, 03:20

I am 23, and my first caruck (car truck) was a 1978 Ranchero with a 351 c and a c6. I however live in the rust belt here in Indiana, and between mother nature and the fool that built the motor, my caruck was lost forever earlier this year. The cam retainer broke, and the cam ate the block. I am not saying this is Ford's fault, but it is whoever was in there last. :(

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 3 reviews