Between 1957 and 1979, the Ford Motor Company produced 508,355 Ford Ranchero utility vehicles for consumers. The Ford Ranchero line featured the comforts of a two-seat luxury car with the utilitarian cargo carrying capacities of a workhorse pickup truck. These popular half-and-half car/truck vehicles changed in styling and features many times during their 23-year manufacturing run; however, all styles of these unique-looking Ford Ranchero utility vehicles are equally popular today with vintage car enthusiasts.
The Ford Motor Company Ranchero changed body styles numerous times on the 5 basic versions of this utility vehicle. It was built primarily in the United States, with overflow and outpost assemblies done from time to time in Brazil and Argentina. The Rancheros used redesigned bodies from other popular Ford cars as their main body styles. Ford styled their Rancheros with Falcon, Fairlane, Torino, and Thunderbird parts and themes. It was possible to order almost any engine that Ford made to power these utility vehicles.
The original production runs of Ford Ranchero vehicles offered both standard and luxury versions of these cargo-hauling automobiles. The consumers were faced with choice in single-tone or two-tone paints, side panel decorations, interior luxuries, and engine sizes that included the sporty versions and large V8s. The Ford Rancheros were advertised in a manner that told the consumer that these new automobile-trucks were all about the ability to make choices. Cargo-hauling Rancheros were the beautiful Ford workhorses that could go to church on Sunday mornings.
The pre-1959 Ford Motor Company Ranchero car-truck vehicles were so popular with consumers that Chevrolet created their El Camino auto-truck vehicle to compete. The 1960 through 1966 Ford Rancheros in the Falcon body-style were ramped up to achieve 30 mpg from a 6-cylendar, 144-cubic-inch engine. The Ranchero hauling capacity was estimated at 800 pounds for the cargo-load area of these vehicles. In 1966, to keep up with the changing times, Ford added the options of sporty bucket seats, more glittering chrome, and upgraded racing stripe styles of two-tone paint packages.
The Ranchero multi-purpose utility vehicles by Ford were discontinued after the Fall 1979 sales period. The last models of the Ford Ranchero offered all leather seats, top-of-the-line stereo 8-track players, and a streamlined appearance that could turn heads on the highway. The downfall for the popular Ford Motor Company Ranchero vehicles came in the form of new U.S. government safety and fuel regulations for pick-up trucks and all vehicles designed to carry cargo. During the 1960s, the Chevrolet El Camino passed the Ford Ranchero in popularity with consumers. Today, all versions of the car-truck vehicles that were pioneered by the original Ford Ranchero vehicles are popular with collectors
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