Mating an old Ranchero body to a 4X4 Ranger chassis seems so obvious, you have to wonder why aren’t there more examples like today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe contender running around. Will its price make this a match made in Ford heaven?
In George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion, later adapted in musical form as My Fair Lady, professor Henry Higgins attempts to transform a lowly street flower seller into a couth and cultured lady. Higgins had a lot to work with in his endeavor since his subject, Eliza Dolittle, is described by Shaw as ‘lovely’ despite her lack of polish.
A similar buargain faced car customizer Tom McBurnie when he took on the task of converting C3 Corvettes into Pininfarina masterpiece Ferrari 365 GTB/4s. The only difference between the McBurnie cars and Shaw’s Cockney girl is that nobody ever thought to sue Professor Higgins for turning his subject into into something she once was not.
That was the dilemma McBurnie faced, and hence fewer than 80 of his Faux-rraris ever saw the light of day. We had one yesterday, built on a 1976 Corvette frame and sporting a look that just was this close to passing. At $23,999, it also was going for what the wheels alone might cost you on a real Daytona Spider. Apparently however, that wasn’t low enough. In the end, the McBurnie car fell in a decisive 75-percent Crack Pipe loss, imbuing it with yet another disparagement.
Have you ever heard of the ‘Habsburg Jaw?” Once upon a time, a family called the Habsburgs ruled over what is now Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. To maintain their blood line, and keep political power in the family, the Habsburgs practiced interfamily-marriages. This had two obvious results. The first was a plus—it didn’t matter which side you picked during the weddings. The second was far less convivial, and that was the manifestation of genetic abnormalities that would otherwise have been muted by an appreciably deeper gene pool. One of those was an unfortunate facial feature that eventually became known as the Habsburg Jaw.
There doesn’t seem to be any such negative issue with the inbreeding that created today’s mad mating of Fords. More than just kissing cousins, this 1961 Ranchero sitting on the frame and drivetrain of a Ranger pickup of indeterminate age seems to offer up the best of both worlds.
It’s safe to say that the Falcon Ranchero has a much more interesting visual appeal than your run of the mill Ranger. However, Ford never built a 4X4 edition of the funky little car/truck. In fact, dropping it on an existing 4WD platform really seems the best way to reach that peak.
The alternative is cannibalizing one of the rare and desirable Ferguson Formula 4x4 Mustang prototypes and adapting the parts to the similarly underpantsed Falcon. Most of us would saw the hell with that and just agree to marry our sister. Wait, where were we? Oh yeah.
This Ranchero rides high on its Ranger frame, and shows a lot of polished diamond plate on its lower half to exaggerate the jump. Above that is paint that is… well, it’s mostly primer. There are some Eagle flames which are pretty cool. There’s also some rattle can artwork on the tailgate denoting the rat roddish car as the ‘Ratchero - 4XFORD.’ That’s both clever and linguistically topical so I guess it works on a couple of fronts. Ahead in the bed is a side-mounted spare, do-nothing roll-over hoop, and a small storage box.
Inside there’s more diamond plate and, lo and behold, almost the whole interior from a first-gen Ranger. That’s where this car gets a little Habsburg Jawian, but if it works for you I’m not here to judge.
The powertrain is comprised of a 140-horsepower 2.9-litre Cologne V6 and an automatic of unknown gear count. Four-wheel drive is facilitated via an independent front and live rear axle setup, and it all appears to work.
The title is clean and seeing as it is registered as a 1961 Falcon, you’d never have to get it smogged in California, where it apparently currently calls home.
Okay, you wouldn’t actually wed your cousin, but you might just marry the idea of this mad mashup of Fords, especially at its $6,800 price. What do you think, could this Ranger-chero be worth that kind of cash? Or, is that too much even if it’s almost two cars?
H/T to mehtastic for the hookup!
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