It was Ford’s sedan-pickup rival to the Chevrolet El Camino and GMC Sprint. In 1973, the Ranchero was Ford’s ‘sedan-pickup’ version of the Torino, and it too was in the second year of a new generation. Throughout the Torino / Ranchero ‘marriage’, the two vehicles shared most of their options, including the (now) hard to find GT sports package. While the usefulness of the cargo bed on these “pickup cars” is debatable, it does add style. Rancheros are an great candidate for performance modifications and use many of exact same parts as a Torino, plus weigh less most of the time. The largest engine you could get until 1976, was a 460 V8.
In 1977, the Ranchero name survived as the Torino name was dropped in favor of the LTD II. It was still on the same underpinnings, but wearing the new LTD II metal. Ranchero was a well-equipped vehicle this generation. Engine choices were a 302 V8 or 351 V8, but a 400 V8 was on the roster until 1978. The last model year was 1979, but a little known fact is that there actually was a separate 1979.5 model year for the truck. For its finale, Ford produced a limited edition Ranchero with a full leather interior, and special paint. The exact number produced is unknown.