Durango-the last Ranchero (Looking for other Fairmont Durango owners)

Discussion in 'Ranchero Vin Decoder/Production Numbers' started by durangodaddy, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. ribald1

    ribald1 In Maximum Overdrive PLATINUM MEMBER

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    e-mail them to me, I can reduce them
     
  2. Dan the ranchero man

    Dan the ranchero man MODERATOR Staff Member

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    from sources that I have read they where made for 1980 & 81 and there where aprox. 800 made from each year.
     
  3. EKP59

    EKP59 In Third Gear

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    I remember looking at one in the SF Bay Area around 1981. I had planned to buy one but could not reach a decent deal with the dealer. The one I was looking at had a turbo 6 cylinder, a pretty rare and not often requested option on the Fairmont Futura model and not the usual 2.3 turbo. It moved very nicely and handled pretty good. Just wish I could have worked a deal at the time.

    Eric
     
  4. fsant82026

    fsant82026 In First Gear

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    Vail, AZ
  5. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver In Second Gear

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    Honolulu, HI
    Ford Durango pictures

    Here are a couple I found on Flickr:

    Flickr member mountain_man_ny2 - his second photo shows why to not drive with the tailgate down (taillights?)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver In Second Gear

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    Honolulu, HI
    Ford Durango 1980-1982

    Flickr member Pintopower
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Flickr member Corvair Dude
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver In Second Gear

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    Ford Durango pictures (last one)

    Outsourced to "National Coach Corporation" in Los Angeles, CA by Ford Motor Corporation, the Ford Durango. Production numbers are vague, ranging from 89 to 220 units. The car was based on the Ford Fairmont Futura. Design weaknesses were that the cargo area was a fiberglass tub, and the taillights were in the tailgate, so it was unsafe to drive with the gate lowered. (info pulled from Wikipedia)

    Flickr member aldenjewell - nice scan of the original brochure:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Durango

    Durango In First Gear

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    Greetings! I think I may have given my VIN to you on the FEP or Ford-Forums but if not, I'll get it.

    I bought my '81 Durango a little over a year ago and have gathered what little information there is on these things. There was only *one* Zephyr converted and that was a 1979 that served as the prototype for the Durango.

    As you know, the production number estimates vary widely. No records were kept by Ford or National. Personally I think this is at least partially due to the common misconception that production of the Durango was the same time period as the Fairmont/Zephyr (1979-1983).

    According to the December 1981 article on the Durango in Pickup, Van & 4WD "A little over one hundred" 1981 Durangos saw production and at the time of the magazine publication, National was waiting for 1982 Fairmont production to start.

    Nobody has identified a Durango with a 1982 VIN. I don't think any were produced.
     
  9. Durango

    Durango In First Gear

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    Location:
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    The cars sent to National were fully completed Fairmonts off the end of the assembly line.
    [​IMG]
    My Durango still has one of the rear seatbelts installed - apparently the guys at National didn't think that one needed to be removed... :)
     
  10. Durango

    Durango In First Gear

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    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    [​IMG]

    *this* is not a real Durango. There are probably more clones than "real" Durangos out there. The number one indicator of a clone is the lack of a functioning tailgate. You can see that they retained a portion of the trunk lid but did not fill in the gap between the trunklid and quarter panel.

    The conversion added an approximately 3" filler panel at the end of the quarter panel to allow space for the tailgate mechanism. You can see it in this pic:
    [​IMG]

    The tailgate is one piece and does not contain any sheetmetal from the converted car. I do wonder what they did with all the removed parts... Probably sold or scrapped them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2011
  11. Durango

    Durango In First Gear

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    One thing that I could *really* use the help with is determining what the rear glass is out of. For the life of me I can't imagine that National wouldn't use an off-the-shelf glass if one was available.

    [​IMG]
    (this is not my Durango, but one that was for sale on Ebay awhile back that the seller was kind enough to send me some reference pics of)

    Can someone measure their 72-79 Rancheros rear glass for me? A rough measurement of the width across the bottom and a width across the top along with a height should quickly tell me if we're even in the ballpark.

    I honestly don't think it's a Ranchero glass as I think it would be too wide for the smaller Fairmont but this would tell for sure. If it is a factory pickup rear glass, then maybe I can find a slider that would work...

    (edit: just found a listing on ebay for new sliders for 72-79 Rancheros...)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2011
  12. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Trust me, the Ranchero backlight is too wide. My first five cars were Fairmonts. But producing glass for autos is not hard to do, including custom glass. Every piece, from the dawn of the auto age to now, has a specific number, and it references its production pattern. Now, if you check that glass, it should have its ID number in one of the bottom corners; you take that number to a glass shop and they can cross-reference it to any other vehicles, if it in fact was used in any other vehicles.
     
  13. occupant

    occupant In Second Gear

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    I will try to get some photos of the one white Durango running around Wichita Falls. Usually parked across from the Dodge dealer at or near one of the local tire shops.
     
  14. ribald1

    ribald1 In Maximum Overdrive PLATINUM MEMBER

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    If the Ranchero window is too wide, you could always cut it to size with a sandblaster.
     
  15. TestDummy

    TestDummy In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    It looks like a truck back glass to me. How about an F-series.
     
  16. Gene

    Gene In Second Gear

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    what i found seems real and some what 'rare"
     
  17. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

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    A coach company took some Fairmont platforms and converted them to the "Durango", Ford didn't make this variant on the production line. It would have been interesting if Ford had invested a little in the engineering and produced either these or had worked them in the Crown Victoria wagon line. I expect they didn't as the tooling would have been a lot of money. IIRC there were about 150 of these Durangos made in each of a couple of model years - perhaps about 300 total. Saw one on a dealer lot in Hawaii in 1981, looked pretty good.

    They didn't really catch on at the time although they weren't all that bad considering the times.
     
  18. 5.0 Chero

    5.0 Chero MODERATOR Staff Member

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    But Rare dose always mean worth a lot of money............. be carefull if you are planning on buying one thinking you will make some money on it.
     
  19. ForistellFord

    ForistellFord In Maximum Overdrive

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    Ain't it the truth! Those things are horrible.
     
  20. dave r

    dave r In Second Gear

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    Ford Durango was a car manufactured by Ford and modified into a Durango by National Coach Corporation. It was intended to replace the Ford Ranchero. The car was based on the Ford Fox platform, specifically the Ford Fairmont Futura. Reports of total Durangos builts is from 89 to 220 units. Ford Fairmonts were delivered to National Coach Corporation which modified the body
     

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