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Thread: Ford Falcon Ranchero

  1. #1
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    Ford Falcon Ranchero

    Ford Falcon Ranchero 1960-1966

    Introduced in 1960, the Ford Falcon was a small, economical car by the standards of 1960's America. It was designed to appeal to buyers who wanted a small car, but didn't want a foreign automobile. When its roomy interior and ease of maintenance are taken into account, it should be no surprise that the Falcon was Ford's bestseller in 1960, moving over half a million units and hitting the one million sales mark by the end of year two. It handily outsold its main competitors: the Plymouth Valiant and Chevrolet Corvair. It was available from launch as a two- or four-door sedan, a two- or four-door wagon, and the featured Ford Falcon Ranchero (a convertible and a sedan delivery were added to the lineup later). The Ranchero name, meanwhile, had first appeared in 1957, when it was applied to a pickup based off the full-size Ford Fairlane.

    Much smaller and cheaper than a traditional full-size truck and boasting an 800 pound payload capacity, the new, smaller Ranchero proved to be a success. Essentially a two-door Falcon wagon with the rear roof lopped off, it shared the sedan's engine, transmission, and wheelbase, but measured eight inches longer overall and was marketed as a truck. The Falcon Ranchero was more or less unchanged until 1964, when the entire Falcon range increased slightly in size and received updated styling. Bucket seats and two-tone paint were newly optional this year. The range was restyled again for 1966. The Falcon Ranchero was discontinued in 1967, when the Ranchero was returned to the Fairlane platform (now a midsize model). More than 140,000 Falcon Rancheros were sold between 1960 and 1966.

    Base engine was the 144 cubic inch straight-6, putting out 90 horsepower and capable of achieving 20-25 miles per gallon (some sources state 85 horsepower and 30 mpg). A 170 cubic inch straight-6 with 101 horsepower became optional in 1961, and a 260 cubic inch V8 was added to the options list in 1963.

    Pictured is a 1965 Ford Falcon Ranchero (one of just over 19,000 sold in 65) I photographed in a parking lot next to the Physics Building. I actually spoke briefly with the owner, and he even offered to pop the hood for me. It used to belong to his uncle, and still has the original motor and transmission. That motor is Ford's 289 cubic inch Windsor V8, which was the largest engine available in the Falcon Ranchero, and was only offered in this model in '65 and '66.

    The Ranchero Fan Club: http://www.ranchero.us/
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    UCP's biggest (only?) fan of the '74-'76 Mercury Cougar.
    UCP's proudest owner of a '74 Cougar

    My favorite color is chrome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Ford Falcon Ranchero #2
    Attached Images Attached Images
    UCP's biggest (only?) fan of the '74-'76 Mercury Cougar.
    UCP's proudest owner of a '74 Cougar

    My favorite color is chrome.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Falls Church (home), Charlottesville (college), Virginia, USA
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    Ford Falcon Ranchero #3

    These pictures were taken on a later, sunnier day.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    UCP's biggest (only?) fan of the '74-'76 Mercury Cougar.
    UCP's proudest owner of a '74 Cougar

    My favorite color is chrome.

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