Junkyard Find: 1977 Ford Ranchero GT Brougham

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1977 ford ranchero gt brougham

Since we haven’t seen a Ford product in this series since this Fox Granada four months ago, and we just saw three GM cars in succession, I decided this week would be the turn of a once-plush Ranchero GT Brougham, now fallen on hard times in a San Jose self-service wrecking yard.

One of the hallmarks of the Malaise Era was the use of big, wild graphics and interior gingerbread on the kinds of vehicles that had powerful engines just a few years earlier. This Ranchero has some great stripes and dramatic-looking GT emblems.

It was already well into hooptie territory when it got into its career-ending wreck.

This cartruck is from the Ranchero’s final generation, which was based in the midsize 1977-1979 LTD II. GM kept making El Caminos and Caballeros until 1987, while Chrysler made front-wheel-drive Rampages and Scamps for the 1982 through 1984 model years. We’ve seen discarded 1978 and 1979 Rancheros so far in the Junkyard Find series, and it’s nice to have the complete set now.

Try to imagine this Ranchero a quarter-century ago, full of Raider Nation revelers beer-bonging Meister Brau, chain-eating Rel’s gas-station burritos, and vomiting a partially digested mixture of both onto the asphalt of the Oakland Coliseum North Lot.

Or go back another 15 years, and imagine the optimism of the original purchaser of this fine luxury truck, with its Brougham badges and in-your-face graphics.

The 1977 Ranchero GT came with a 351 Modified engine, rated at 148 horsepower. That’s about 26 horsepower per liter, which compares not-so-favorably with the 107 horsepower per liter of the 3.5-liter Ecoboost in the 2017 F-150.

The upholstery did a good job surviving the California sun.

I couldn’t find any 1977-79 Ranchero TV ads online, so we’ll watch the one for the version with no truck bed. Isn’t it you in an LTD II?

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3 of 32 comments
  • Maineac61 Maineac61 on Feb 17, 2019

    I saw one of these with a T-Bird nose and it was cool as hell looking.. I'd kick it up a notch and put a Lincoln Mark 5 nose on it along with the 460 posi rear end and 4 wheel disc brakes...

  • Heather s Heather s on Sep 04, 2022

    Anyone need a engine for this? I have a 351 for you. I have that car you can have the entire car lots of parts. Runs great body not so good

  • Ravenuer The Long Island Expressway.
  • Kwik_Shift A nice stretch of fairly remote road that would be great for test driving a car's potential, rally style, is Flinton Road off of Highway 41 in Ontario. Twists/turns/dips/rises. Just hope a deer doesn't jump out at you. Also Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Great scenery with lots of hills.
  • Saeed Hello, I need a series of other accessories from Lincoln. Do you have front window, front and rear lights, etc. from the 1972 and 1976 models
  • Probert Wow - so many digital renders - Ford, Stellantis. - whose next!!! They're really bringing it on....
  • Zerocred So many great drives:Dalton Hwy from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle.Alaska Marine Highway from Bellingham WA to Skagway AK. it was a multi-day ferry ride so I didn’t actually drive it, but I did take my truck.Icefields Parkway from Jasper AB to Lake Louise AB, CA.I-70 and Hwy 50 from Denver to Sacramento.Hwy 395 on the east side of the Sierras.