It’s Friday and I’m one day late! Time for another Restoration Nation post! As always there were some pretty great responses on last week’s post! That TWA Jeep was prett awesome all on it’s own and I think it wouldn’t take much work to make that into a sweet slice of preserved aviation history. Personal favorite this time didn’t even suggest doing anything to it, they just got me with a fancy photo (I’m a sucker for pictures); For Sweden nailed it with an illustration of what TWA used these guys for. So. Cool!

In review, I’m posting these articles because I like to hear what you guys would do with cars in need of restoration but are still capable drivers. They aren’t quite blank slates but they could be turned into something great! This week we’re staying American and right about the same time frame, but there may some flies in the ointment this time.

The “driver” status of this project might be a little up for debate as to the condition of it’s “new” parts, but what the heck, let’s check it out anyway. Today I present to you a 1966 Ford Ranchero!

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The other day, mayyyyyybe rightfully so, I got a little pushback from readers about my thoughts on the Hyundai Santa Cruz. *cough* Still not going to happen! *cough* I just happened to mention the Ford Ranchero in that article and lo and behold! Here is one looking for love! I hear Jalops like these sorts of things, it’s even brown(ish) and has a stick! What would you do with this American Ute?

“Aubrey” is looking to offload this blast from the past but she might have a problem, as she does “NOT HAVE THE TITLE” (emphasis hers). But that shouldn’t be an issue, right guys? Guys? Eh! There are ways around that so let’s take a look.

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Wait, is that what I think it is? No, no it isn’t.

Ignoring for a moment the “longhorn” outline that looks an awful lot like a certain phallic symbol on the hood, the Ranchero looks like it may have seen some better days. Missing a few trim pieces here and there is par for the course for partial restorations (ask me how I know) so that doesn’t set off too many alarm bells.

Unfortunately, beyond the words of our seller, we don’t get a look at the interior so we can’t confirm the veracity of her claims of “bucket seats” or a “stick shift on the floor.” As far as we know, that could mean the shifter is literally laying on the floor and you have to shift with a piece of pipe. WHO EVEN KNOWS, THIS IS SPAR- I MEAN CRAIGSLIST! She does say the interior needs to be redone and if the amount of dust on the exterior of the tru-car is any indication, there may be something living in there.

On to the engine bay! The amount of dust makes it tough to tell but it does seem like there are a few shiny new parts bolted on to this 289 workhorse. With a little work, these engines can be turned into something really special and it looks like the seller may already be started with the “High Performance” sticker on the air cleaner. I hear that’s good for 15 HP. Thankfully, since this is a California car-uck, we’re pre-smog so it looks like things are pretty simple in there. Once again, accesibility isn’t an issue with mid-century american classics, it’s almost like manufacturers did it on purpose, hmmm?

Now I haven’t spent too much time talking about the exterior because I think you can probably judge for yourself but, it seems like the paint may have a bit of a split personality. Is it white, is it burnt sienna, anyone’s guess really. What isn’t anyone’s guess is the totally awesome longhorn stencil on the hood. I mean, that’s fantastic.Could be a little rusty but over all it looks salvageable, Maybe even worth completing the patina, you tell me.

So, for $2500, what do you think? Is this Ranchero ready to head back out on the range? Or is it doomed to be the simply average spun-off Ford Falcon that its ancestors were?

Let’s get to it!

*Price is Right Voice*

Starting price is an affordable $2500! What might you like to turn it into? What kind of work would that take? Is it worth it annnnnd what would YOU do with it!?!