A Gift to a 10 Yr Old

Picture of the Ranchero taken Oct 21, 2020

This 1961 Ford Ranchero was given to my son in August 2007. We were sitting at dinner one evening when the mother of a friend of his called and asked if we wanted the car - free to a good home. We pulled up pictures on the Internet and my son fell in love with the "truck". We went to look at it the following morning and it wasn't in too bad of condition. This is based off the Ford Falcon and uses many of the same parts as the Falcon, except in the back end. The vehicle came home Saturday.

Original Tech Specs: 1961 Ford Falcon Ranchero, 144 cu, straight 6cyl, 3 speed "on the tree"
Tech Specs Post Restoration: 1961 Ford Falcon Ranchero, 200 cu, straight 6cyl, T5 5 speed transmission, 5 lug '65 Falcon V8 front suspension, '65 Mustang front disc brakes 4 piston Kelsey Hayes, 5 lug narrowed '94 Ford Explorer 8.8 rear end 3:73 gear ratio, Vintage Air air conditioning, GM CompetitionYellow with Nissan Pearl White.

Ok, my son was 10 was he was given this vehicle. First we worked on starting and stopping the vehicle, then had to stop work for awhile. We restarted this project when he was 13. The goal was to get it done around 16 1/2, so we had 3 years roughly to make this driveable. We had our work cut out for us - it needed floorboards and LOTS of sheet metal work.

Now at the start of 2021, we are not done. The Ranchero has been put on hold several times over the years to work on other cars and projects. The new goal is to finish by May 2021, for a June wedding. And we are very close!

icon for Motor section

Step 1 - Original Condition

  • Page 1 - Removal from location
  • Page 2 - Original condition and cleanup

Step 2 - Sheet metal work

  • Page 1 - Sheet metal work
  • Page 2 - Floorpans
  • Page 3 - More Floorpans
  • Page 4 - Dogleg and Rear Panel
  • Page 5 - Body Paint Removal
  • Page 6 - Water blasting and cleanup
  • Page 7 - Epoxy Primer, Rocker panels, and Tailgate
  • Page 8 - Drip Rail and Cowl
  • Page 9 - Front Fenders and Dash
  • Page 10 - Doors, Hood, and Bed
  • Page 11 - Rear Quarter Panels and Passenger Side Taillight
  • Page 12 - Rear Quarter Panels and Wheelwells

Step 3 - Drive Train

  • Page 1 - Original engine
  • Page 2 - Rebuilt 200 and T5 5 speed Transmission with Ford 9" clutch
  • Page 3 - Explorer 8.8 Rear Axle, Steering, and Suspension

Step 4 - Customizations

  • Page 1 - Mustang Air Conditioning conversion
  • Page 2 - Mustang bucket seats and Falcon console
  • Page 3 - subframe connectors; 63 backup lenses into 61 taillight lens; stainless exhaust and tube headers
  • Page 4 - Storage Boxes

Step 5 - Body Work


Step 6 - Paint and Reassembly


Step 7 - Custom Interior


(Note: the above icons will appear at the botton of the subpages for navigation ease, along with arrows that will cycle through the pages in chronological order.)


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