This Ranchero typifies why Ford almost went bankrupt in 1980: Henry Ford II was convinced that big cars were the only ones that Ford could make a profit on in the US, and so they just kept getting bigger, and uglier. No wonder I have a perverse or morbid attraction to these last of the Rancheros. There’s just something so…deadly about them. Never mind their decidedly un-utilitarian vibe, with that ridiculously long front end. But that all makes this grizzled survivor all the more appealing. It’s cheated death, and that’s intrinsically appealing.
I’m not sure of the exact model year of this example, but this generation arrived in 1977 and 1979 was its swan song year, so I’ll pick the midpoint. Speaking of midpoint, the cab on these is almost exactly in the middle, which intrinsically makes it rather unique. Center-cab, not exactly a common stylistic genre.
It reminds me of this.
Not surprisingly, this generation was the end of the road for the genre; too bad, as a Fox body version like the aftermarket Durango. Not only would it have overcome those objections and quite possibly have sold reasonably well.
I find this a bit painful to look at, so let’s move along. And never mind what was lost under its endless hood.
This one sports a Wisconsin license plate, so it must have been kept off the road in the winters to have survived this well. Good call, as these were notoriously bad in the snow, due to their relatively lightly-loaded rear ends.
I can only take so much morbid attraction, so it’s time to move on…