Automotive enthusiasts are always dreaming of some ridiculous vehicle combinations -- lots of power, cargo volume, and of course, a manual transmission. Few people however, actually go out and order such vehicles. It seems someone in 1970 took these intentions to heart and ordered our Potential Purchase of the Week: a 1970 Ford Ranchero GT with a 429 Cobra Jet and four-speed manual.
In 1957, Ford introduced the unusual Ranchero -- a coupe/pickup truck built from its full-size wagon platform. Despite moving briefly to a smaller platform in the early 1960s, Ford always offered a number of different V-8 engines, which, coupled with the nose-heavy weight bias, were enough to light the rear tires. The ultimate power option, however, arrived with the fifth-generation Ranchero in 1970.
Based off the revised Torino line that launched the same year, the Ranchero was available with the same engine choices. Remarkably, the Torino's wild GT package, which threw in a number of sporty touches (including the reflective laser striping), was also ported over to the pickup. As a result, it was possible to order a Ranchero GT with Ford's wild 429 Cobra Jet V-8 underhood. The big-block engine gave the Ranchero roughly 370 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of power -- more than enough to go toe-to-toe with Chevrolet's El Camino SS.
Few buyers, however, actually ordered such a vehicle. Only 3905 of the 21,640 Rancheros built in 1970 were GTs, and of that, only 153 were equipped with the 429 V-8. This particular example, fitted with a four-speed manual transmission, is one of only 78 built in such a configuration. Even fewer were built with the shaker hood seen here, but the exact figure is still an unknown.
Why would I want one?
If so inclined, you could roast the redline tires and send smoke signals across the country. Without a doubt, this is one of the wildest muscle movers built by Detroit, and its unusual configuration will certainly make it desirable.
This particular example is also completely original, and comes with a Marti report testifying to the car's desirable options and rarity. RM Auctions expects this Ranchero to fetch between $60,000 and $100,000 this November at the company's Milton Robson Collection auction event.
Source: RM Auctions Photos courtesy of RM Auctions/ Darin Schnabel