The 1960 Ranchero shrunk a lot compared to the ’59 model and is now offered on top of the Falcon two-door sedan frame. Ford wanted to test the market, with the rise in popularity of compacts in the late ‘50’s, the company wanted a bigger piece of the action and they thought a practical motorcar might be a good way to go. The lighter, smaller, and less costly Falcon version has an 8oo lbs load capacity. This car is a big hit for consumers powered by the base equipment 144 cu in (2.4 L) straight six engine. In ’61 a 170 cu in (2.8 L) straight six was added to the power arsenal and then in 1963 a still larger 260 cu in (4.3 L) V8 makes an appearance as a power option and with the three engine offers the transmissions could be a two speed Ford-O-Matic or the three speed C4 Cruise-O-Matic but the three on the tree standard is available if you like to shift.
Growing now; the Ranchero 1964-’65 is still on the Falcon frame but with a bit more room inside and the 260 is replaced by the more potent 289 cu in engine; as an added bonus Ford scraps generators and they are replaced by an alternator style charging system in every model the company sells.
Ranchero changes in 1966 with both the Falcon and the Fairlane redeveloped on basically the same platform and both names are put away for the new result with the new badging the vehicle is now identified as a “Ranchero.” In ’66 the body sheet metal is Falcon in front but Fairlane behind and many offered options of the Fairlane sedan are also available for the Ranchero. The large engine is still the 289 and the transmissions are the same as last year except the two speed automatic is no longer around.
Unique for 1967 only the Ranchero has lost the Falcon look; the clean lines, sheet metal, interior, all exclaim Fairlane Ranchero is back! This new version is popular and the car also throws its glove into the muscle car market, the base offer is the 200 cu in (3.3 L) straight six but the top end is a 390 cu in. (6.4 L) FE series big block V8 producing 315 bhp (234.9 kW) and you could choose the new C6 which is the big brother of the C4 automatic transmissions. The other engines offered include by special order the “thriftpower” 170 cu in ((2.8 L) and the Windsor 289 cu in (4.7 L) along with the three speed standard a four speed is also offered on most engines for a bit more get up and go. Trim level is also kicked up a few notches in ’67 with three different variations to choose from; the 500, the 500XL, and the GT editions are all looking for a home in a discerning consumers garage. Inside the Ranchero, but only for ’67, the three spoke steering wheel has a strange padded protrusion from the center as well as a more conventional but new style padded dash. The safety conscious public is also offered padded windshield posts and under the hood the master cylinder has two chambers; with all this offered as basic new safety equipment on the 1967 Ranchero.
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