Road Trip Outtakes: The Elusive Ranchero Squire

Finding CCs to shoot for this series has actually been quite easy. Getting to them with minimal interruption to our travel plans, on the other hand, has not. So unless I spot something really special, I’m limiting myself to cars for which I can quickly pull off, shoot and get going again with minimal eye-rolling from my wife.

Such was the case with this sixth-generation Ford Ranchero Squire…

I was only able to narrow down the model to something between 1973 (the introduction of battering-ram bumpers) and 1976 (last year for this generation). Perhaps a commenter will know what to look for and can pin it down more specifically.

Ranchero Squires are actually pretty rare birds. Peak production for this generation was 4,787 units in 1973, with volume dropping each year thereafter to a low of 1,172 units in 1976. This compared to over 25K units for the Ranchero 500 trim in 1973 and over 15K for the GT trim in the same year. By 1976, just under 10K units of the 500 trim and 4,942 units in GT trim were produced.

These appear to be original hubcaps, which were originally motivated by anything from the 260 (4.1L) l6 up to the 460 (7.5L) v8.

I believe this car would originally have had “simulated” woodgrain paneling (Di-Noc, I presume), which has here been replaced with a tastefully coordinated shade of brown.

That’s also quite the topper on this car… Gem Top still appears to be in business.

The interior was a bit worse for wear… There was a For Sale sign on the driver’s side, but it had slipped down inside the door most of the way. The car looks like it’s been sitting quite a while, but in the dry western air, it will probably last many more years before the tinworm really takes hold.