Mike Joy's Food Lion AutoFair Blog - Tuesday
I sure hope you are enjoying getting ready for this weekend's Food Lion Auto Fair. We don't use our '65 Falcon Ranchero for hauling parts now that we have a full-size pickup. So as cute as it is and as fun to drive as its always been, we are bringing the Ranchero to the car corral to sell, or may run it over the auction block this weekend at AutoFair.
Ford first made a Ranchero in 1957 by taking a two door station wagon and lopping off most of the roof and adding a pickup bed. They correctly reasoned that many people wanted the utility of a pickup without the ride and handling of a, well... a truck! By 1959, Chevy had joined the game with their ElCamino.
In 1960, Ford debuted the compact Falcon and the Ranchero moved to its lighter, smaller body. The early (1960-63) Falcons look much like a worn bar of soap but folks love them. Tim Suddard, publisher of a great magazine, "Classic Motorsports", recently sold his 1963 V8 Ranchero for over $20,000!
In 1964, Ford squared up the lines of the Falcon and added a "sweep spear" down the side. This style was used for two years, and our car is pretty much the way it rolled off the assembly line in September 1965.
The exterior is medium blue poly and the interior color is called "palamino", which sounds much better than "tan". This was a base model Ranchero, so it has a bench seat, crank windows, and no chrome trim down the side.
It still has its original 200 cubic inch, 120 hp inline 6-cylinder engine. The 3 speed manual transmission has a column shifter, and it drives through a 3.50:1 limited slip rear end. No power steering needed as its quite a light car by today's standards, and it has drum brakes all around and new 13" tires.
Its a great little car, always turns heads and gets a lot of interest from folks who dont remember the Ranchero and think its a one-of-a-kind custom.
Tomorrow I'll detail some of the things we've repaired or replaced as part of the get-ready process. Then look for the Ranchero in the car corral out on the 1.5 mile oval near the start finish line, or in the staging lanes for the auction, and I'll look foward to seeing you this weekend.