Following its transition to the Ford LTD platform in 1977

Hot Car of the Week: 1977 Ford Ranchero GT

This week's hot car is part car, part pickup, and all Australian.

Last time on Hot Car of the Week we took you back to old England with a reminder of what true automotive class really is.

This time, we’re going Down Under to find something with more humble, blue-collar beginnings: a 1977 Ford Ranchero GT belonging to Pete Norton of Sooke.

Story goes that an Australian farmer wrote to Ford of Australia back in the late 1950’s protesting that he didn’t have a vehicle in which he could take the pigs to market on Saturday and that was appealing enough to take his wife to church on Sunday.

So, Ford responded — not with an apologetic letter, but with a car; they took an existing Ford sedan, stretched the chassis by a wee bit, tossed a pickup box in the rear end, and voila – the Ranchero (also known as a Ute in Australian-auto-lingo) was born.

This particular baby-blue Sookie Ranchero is a GT model, featuring a rebuilt 351 “vee-eait” engine, sport rims and tires, as well as special “GT” accents along the rear pillars and lower skirts – so it means business as much as it means hauling anything in your house and garage in style.

GM followed suit later with their own ute version, the Chevy El Camino, basically a truckified version of its existing Chevelle, though not to the same applause the Ranchero earned years prior.

Still, Chevy had the last laugh, because while the Ranchero ran its course into the early 1980’s, the ute’s spirit returned in 2006 under the Holden badge (Holden is GM’s Australian marque) with a a full-pickle, no-replacement-for-displacement Corvette-based LS3 V8 under the bonnet.

The only difference, of course, to the classic utes is that the Holden is so fast that it can take your pigs to the market and return them as paté… in the same day.

Next week’s Hot Car… it’s Japanese, turbocharged, has all-wheel-drive and spent much of its career going sideways on a race track…


Just Posted

Saanich teen helps save three people from the Gorge

53-year-old male who was submerged is expected to recover

Moving Trans History Forward conference aimed at more than LGBTQ community

UVic’s Aaron Devor: “We’re all here to learn from each other”

Large fire destroys home on McClure Street in Victoria

Fire crews dispatched to the 1100-block shortly before noon Monday

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

RCMP officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

Man dies in crash on Island Highway

Man thrown from his vehicle, alcohol believed to be a factor in accident near Parksville

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Privacy watchdog to explore Facebook leak

Canadian expert says his analytics company helped Trump campaign capitalize on private Facebook info

Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle

Ride-hailing company suspends all road-testing of such vehicles in U.S. and Canada

Spring snow melt uncovers dirty needles in B.C. city

Vernon residents are upset with number of needles being found around town with spring melt

Most Read