Wednesday, August 20, 2014

L.A. Rob returns with a SWEET Ranchero

I was away for a few days on vacation just beyond the reach of mother internet so the posts are lagging, but here's a spectacular Cali offering from L.A. Rob to get us up to speed quick!
Looks like Rob was pulling into a lot to park (which is an extremely L.A. thing to do) when he encountered this sweet Ford Ranchero. In the car/pickup hybrid world El Camino gets all the fame. However, Ford beat them to the punch by 2 years, releasing the first Ranchero in 1957.
There were several gray paint variations offered by Ford in '63 from Champagne to Silver Mink Poly, but I think this is a repaint in some other color of the owners choosing.
From the taillights we can see that this is indeed a 1963. Differences in appearance between '62 and '63 were few (and most noticeably located on the grill). However the '62 taillight surrounds were fluted whereas these '63 examples have concentric circles of chrome encapsulating the red lens.
Also visible on the back is the fact that the tailgate keyhole is located within a chrome longhorn steer head on the top center above FORD.
The rear bumper has the slightest haze of surface rust which leads me to believe that this is an honest veteran of the West Coast, needing just a simple repaint and not a full-blown restoration. The newer Cali plates are curious as this should have the coveted black plates of the era. Cars like this could leave the state and come back, be originally from somewhere else with a dry climate, get their plates stolen, etc. The condition is West Coast Perfect regardless!
On the front flank we can make out the classic V8 symbol first used by Ford in the '30s. This had me scratching my head a little as to its accuracy. The V8 was first available in the Ranchero in 1963, but all of the emblems I've encountered had 260 written over the V as opposed to this classic V8 design. I suppose this would count as a mild custom due to the sweet but non-original Cragar SS rims, V8 emblem, silver paint, and aftermarket steering wheel. Classy job though, proving you can customize your ride without going way over the top. 
I've always admired the fact that the dashboard mimics the rear end of these rides whether it was a Ranchero like this one, or the Falcon (which was the otherwise-identical car version). The wheel is classy enough to be cool without taking away from the original design.
The chrome band surrounding the bed is all the trim this clean machine needs to be dressed up. I think this little truck looks eager and ready to roll with its clean looks and pert stance. Since it's living in SoCal I'm sure it will be around for generations to come.

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