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AJ's Car of the Day '71 Ford Ranchero GT
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Car: Ford Ranchero GT

Year: 1971

What makes it special: The Ford Ranchero is a coupe utility produced between 1957 and 1979. Unlike a pickup truck, the Ranchero was adapted from a two-door station wagon platform that integrated the cab and cargo bed into the body. The Ford Ranchero sold well enough to spawn a competitor from General Motors in 1959, the Chevrolet El Camino.

What made it famous: While Chevrolet's El Camino used the same body from 1968 to 1972, 1970 had a complete restyle for the Ranchero, which had started with a boxy body style. Both the Torino and Ranchero featured a shallow-pointed grille and front end with smooth, more curvaceous lines influenced by coke bottle styling. Like in previous years, all Torino trim and engine options could be ordered, including a 210 hp 302 V8, 240 and 285 hp 351 V8, and all-new Ram-Air 429 Cobra Jet or Super Cobra Jet engines with the new "shaker" hood scoop, so named because it was directly mounted to the carburetor and shook with the engine at idle. Also available was a stylish grille that featured hide-away headlamps, as well as an optional hood with an oversized scoop which was standard on Torino GT's. The 1971 is distinguished with a grille divided by a center section. The  "Ranchero GT" was distinguished by a badge bearing that name.

Why I would want one: I've always been a fan of the Ford Ranchero. I once owned a 1974 Ranchero.

Fun fact: Rancheros are reasonably collectible, though they are nowadays often overlooked in favor of the later-arriving Chevrolet El Camino, which stayed in production eight more years.

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