1979 Ford Ranchero

1979 seems quite early for motor cars, but it is the year that marked the production of the last unit of Ford Ranchero, which was in its seventh generation back then. It had an inspiring journey of 22 years, leaving the automobile industry on a perfect note, leaving its last mark as the ’79 Ford Ranchero. Ranchero came from the Spanish word that means a person who walks on the Ranch; it was the best name this utility vehicle could get.

 It was powered by a 5.8-L cast-iron block engine that produced 151 horsepower and 270 pound-feet torque. One could choose from the four-speed manual or automatic transmission. The 1979 Ford Ranchero was Ford’s lucky charm, producing 1,835,937 of these models.


1979 Ford Ranchero featured the most extensive wheelbase it had ever produced in the category of passenger vehicles. Ford followed what General Motors did just a year ago and shrunk the wheelbase across the board. Ranchero considerably grew in size but still belonged to the intermediate-cars category. It is a coupe utility car with a two-door station wagon platform. People especially loved the body colors.

The doors were revised for the ’79 Ford Ranchero. It also featured a rectangular stacked headlight, crisscross pattern front grille, and changed quarter panels during its last manufacturing year. A tilting steering had a leather wrapping with full instrumentation, and dual-sport remote control mirrors came standard in this last Ranchero model. Power windows and power seats also appeared in all the models and variants.

Performance and Fuel Economy:

The average fuel economy of the Ford Ranchero 1979 was below 15 mpg, which makes its fuel efficiency low compared to most other cars. It was especially low for the low power its engine generated to run the car, I.e., 155 hp.

The front and rear drums had disc brakes that offered excellent safety to the passengers. The power could be enhanced to 162 horsepower by the amalgam of 351 cu-in eight-cylinder engine with three-speed automatic transmission. The front suspension collaborated with a solid rear axle and trailing arms on a 118-inches wheelbase.


The Ford lovers honored Ranchero as the model that was a complete package concerning comfort and economy. The owners also ensured it was a joyful experience to drive Ranchero with the Ford User manual, further enhancing the consumer experience. SelectShift Automatic gearbox was a feature of even the entry-level model for all variations. All of them featured the V8 engine as well. Besides these standard features, a lot came only as an option. For example, power steering, brakes, and steel-belted radial tires came only at the cost of an additional amount. The Sedan, GT model, Squire, and convertible came unmodified from the variation of the previous year’s model.

Limited Production Package:

The limited production package had additional features. The marketing team first tested the demand for such a model in the field, and later, a few of these were built and sent to dealers. This package features many luxurious and advanced features, including power driver’s seats, center-folding arm, air conditioning, dark red leather interiors, cruise control, power steering, and brake.

If we talk about the luxurious Mercury Cougar XR-7, it also featured many “ahead of the time” features that included door panel pod controls, full-length armrests, and power windows. Plastic rooftops covered each of these Rancheros, and wire wheel covers made the wheels complement the look of the whole vehicle.

The ’79 ½ Ford Ranchero was another model famous for its high price tag only for its exterior variations, including a vinyl top and a wide-wheel lip molding. Although the exterior was quite a great attraction, the price tag was a significant shortcoming to keep people from purchasing the car.

Dimensions and Specifications:

Engine Type: 90-degrees V8

Seating capacity: 3

Doors: 2

Drive Type: Rear wheel

Fuel capacity: 21 gallons

Length: 217.2 inches

Wheelbase: 114.0 inches

1979 Ford Ranchero

1979 Ford Ranchero Owner’s Manual:

The owner’s manual came in the cost of the car when the owners purchased it. It contains all the information owners might need to modify or maintain their cars. The manual contained information like safety instructions, car overview, introduction, maintenance, operation, troubleshooting, and maintenance record. The operational suggestions present in the 1979 Ford Ranchero Owners’ manual further enhanced owners’ knowledge regarding their vehicles, enabling them to take better care of their cars.

’79 Ford Ranchero Service Manual:

The vehicle’s purchase doesn’t include the service manual. The workshop owners or the car owners could find it online or buy it from physical or online stores. It details how this car operates and how people could repair the common problems. It contained the car’s introduction, instrumentation, safety restraints, starting and operating, specifications before driving, vehicle maintenance, servicing, capacities, customer assistance, and index.

This manual covers almost every aspect of the vehicle’s operation. To ensure authenticity, you need to get the original factory manual or manual from attested automobile experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What were the best years of the Ranchero?

1972 & 1973

What was the reliability rating of the Ranchero?

7 out of 10

What came first- The El Camino or the Ranchero?

The El Camino