The dumbest purchase I have ever made.

Discussion in 'New Member Welcome Center' started by EvilScientistMoose, Oct 24, 2020.

  1. EvilScientistMoose

    EvilScientistMoose In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Central Oregon
    ...so why was I giggling uncontrollably when I drove out to buy this?

    It's a '76 Ranchero 500, 460/C6, and it's in remarkably good shape. I actually sold a low-mile, mildly-modified, perfectly-running-and-even-kind-of-stays-in-its-own-lane, 1996 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC in order to buy this Wrongchero.

    I didn't even care that the steering shaft isolator (the rubber disc thingie, it had been replaced with that idiotic tan-colored replacement that fails almost immediately) was destroyed, giving me something like half a turn of slack in the steering, forcing me to herd it home instead of steering it, and that I think that my mileage was somewhere around 5mpg, but I really didn't care.

    It's not like I haven't owned ancient cars before (5 1970-1971 Ford Torinos, 1968 Impala Custom Coupe, 1967 428 Fairlane, '66 Ranchero, and some others I'm forgetting), but for whatever reason, I was the happiest when I pulled this gigantic POS into my driveway.

    Thanks for allowing me to come aboard.
     

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  2. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,839
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    Welcome! You should be able to at least double that mileage with little effort, and the steering coupler is a relatively easy fix...

    What are your plans for the car?
     
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  3. Huevos

    Huevos In Maximum Overdrive

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    3,434
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    That looks very clean, nice find.
     
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  4. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    11,174
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    Seguin, TX
    More pics, please. Pics are always welcome.
     
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  5. Buddy Porter

    Buddy Porter In Third Gear

    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    Rome, Georgia
    My 1st wife!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  6. Curtis

    Curtis In Second Gear

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    Western ,KY
    I'm beginning to think my 300 dollar Ranchero is becoming a WRONGchero. I never have posted pics of it. If I wake in time tomorrow before heading off to work ( 12 hour midnights), I will try to post one.
     
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  7. EvilScientistMoose

    EvilScientistMoose In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Central Oregon
    I'm waiting for a clearing in the weather. That, and I'd like to clean out the interior, as the carpet was pulled up so the previous owner could fab up a center console. Thankfully he didn't butcher that part of the interior. I feel a bit bad for saying this, as the previous owner has passed away and this was part of his estate liquidation, but the planned console was a bit on the hideous side.


    Well, the car appears to only have around 70k miles on it, and the previous owner had done quite a bit of work to the car (I got it from an estate this last Wednesday), the engine looks fresh (D3 heads and D9 block), the C6 transmission looks fresh, someone redid all of the weatherstripping already, it has aftermarket sway bars F/R, new KYB shocks up front/air shocks rear (I think the guy was setting it up to tow), FPA headers (Ford Powertrain Applications) along with a new dual exhaust system (of course it has Flowmasters as well), and other new bits and pieces throughout the car. The wheels and tires are also new, brakes have been redone (it stops really well).
    There is very little rust (a couple of small bubbles and a mildly coarse floorboard behind the driver's seat, easily repairable), and someone has already done some of the upholstery work, so all I'm focusing on right now is sorting out the car mechanically in order to see how it drives, and then cleanup begins.
    I am thinking of doing a new Borgeson steering box in order to clean up the steering, as I'd love to autocross the car for fun, the weight of the 460 be damned, although the factory bench seat and seat belts need to be tossed in favor of something that might stand a chance of holding me in place just a bit better, as it feels like I'm sitting on a mildly-upholstered park bench right now.

    And I should probably mention that I only paid $1950 for the car. I'm pretty certain that if I detailed the car, I could turn around and flip it for double the money (if not more), but I've fallen in love with this idiotic purchase, and I'm not interested in getting rid of it.

    I wasn't looking for a Ranchero, I just stumbled across it on Facebook Marketplace, saw the nice FPA header flanges, saw the price, and immediately contacted the owner (it was a guy that liquidates estates, he had no idea of what he had), I calmly but persistently verified price and availability. That was Tuesday night, and I drove it home the next day.
    Apparently I was the first buyer that had contacted him in the five weeks it had been up for sale, and then for whatever reason, a string of other people interested in the car began flooding his PM folder, but he stuck with me (thankfully).

    I was actually looking for a decent 1994-1995 Mustang GT/Cobra, and this car popped up during the search.

    Darn.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
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  8. 65restomod

    65restomod In Overdrive BRONZE MEMBER

    Messages:
    789
    Location:
    Danville,VT left NJ forever
    Looks like you have a "honey" there compared to my 1st sight unseen '63
    It's all easy fixes good luck with happy times
     
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  9. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    11,174
    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    Well, at least you didn't end up with a rustbucket. It sounds like a possible fun/very light work truck, or a fairly decent flip. Whichever way you go with it, we'll be watching with great interest.
     
  10. EvilScientistMoose

    EvilScientistMoose In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Central Oregon
    My initial thought?

    "Worst case, I strip the engine and transmission out of the car and shove the beast into a ravine."

    I now feel incredibly guilty for having thought about that.
     
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  11. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    11,174
    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    Dude, if you're gonna waste it, waste it into my back yard....
     
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  12. FordR500GT

    FordR500GT In Maximum Overdrive BRONZE MEMBER

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    1,327
    Location:
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    Or mine, we’re both in Texas
     
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  13. Curtis

    Curtis In Second Gear

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    Western ,KY
    I'm not a big Ford fan. The main reason I bought the car was it was my aunts. She sold it to my uncle a little while before she passed on. She always loved the big Ford cars, she had a 1977 T-bird she bought new off the dealers lot. She also had a 78 LTD 2. I learned to drive behind the wheel of that T-bird. To a new driver it felt like I was driving a whale. So I bought the car to have as a reminder of her and the days she let me drive her "baby".
     
  14. EvilScientistMoose

    EvilScientistMoose In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Central Oregon
    "My initial thought..."

    And then I saw the car in person.
     
  15. EvilScientistMoose

    EvilScientistMoose In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Central Oregon
    Oddly enough, I'm not too much of a Ford fan, either.

    However, after either owning, repairing, or even test-driving almost all of the competition, think of me as Rabbit in "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" after he attempts to take the bounce out of Tigger (and Rabbit gets himself hopelessly lost in the process), I returned to Ford products, a sad Tigger, a defeated Tigger, a humbled Tigger, a my-oh-my-am-I-glad-to-see-that-Ford-product-in-my-driveway Tigger.

    It was either this or get heavily involved in a Porsche 996-era 911, and I simply can't justify the cost of entry into that automobile, even though to me it's the best of the 911 range...and cheapest...of all the 911's (the first water-cooled engines, and also the ones that have the pancake headlights). But at twenty grand+ just for entry for a decent basic 911 Carrera...and pray to God that I don't lunch an engine (hooray for crappy IMS bearings!)...yeah, I'll pass for now. The only other car that I'd love to own is a 1997-2000 Lexus SC400, but I already owned a 2000 SC300 (cut the mufflers off, straight pipe it, and it sounds just like a sexy old Jaguar XK), and I had to sell the damn thing after going through a mild panic attack brought on by the claustrophobic interiors of those tiny-ass cars.

    ...aaaand here I am now, in this cartoon of an automobile, the mid-1970's Ranchero.
     
  16. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly In Maximum Overdrive

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    Location:
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    Guys, I must be older than dirt because I find it humorous that you think those mid size Fords are huge. Go back a few years and drive some of the full size performance Fords or Mercurys or Lincolns. Over time folks have been brainwashed as the cars shrunk in size gradually. I'm talking about everyday cars that were comparable to todays four door long bed F-350 trucks. Properly equipped, those aircraft carrier sized cars could hurt the feelings of the pony car drivers who thought they had a sucker on the line come race time. Do a bit of research, I think you guys missed out on a very fun era of American autos.
     
  17. HuevosRanchero

    HuevosRanchero In Maximum Overdrive

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    Location:
    Macon Georgia

    Kewl, I have the 76 GT version with the same running gear!
     
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  18. plumcolr

    plumcolr In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,454
    Location:
    Freehold NJ
    I think it all started with the slab-sided lincolns and the (literally) 19 foot long big 59 caddy. Love those monsters.
     
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  19. EvilScientistMoose

    EvilScientistMoose In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Central Oregon
    I am under no illusions that the 'boat' cars of the 1960's and 1970's were gigantic land yachts. Proportionally speaking, however, they were ridiculously inefficient concerning use of space, as a lot of 1970's cars in particular were sooo long that you would get tired while walking to the front to pop the hood, but interiors were uselessly cramped.
    In the end, the 'big' cars were actually pretty small, I sold my last Torino (1971 351c wagon) because the interior was too cramped for anything other than brief trips.
    Now? It's gone the other direction, everything is stupid huge, and don't even get me started on the 8000+-pound DuraPowerCummins highway locomotives that small men are using for...daily drivers.
     
  20. plumcolr

    plumcolr In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,454
    Location:
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    Dunno about that. The 60's in particular full size and station wagons had lotsa interior room. Wasn't until the 70s "personal" cars like the cordoba that the interior shrunk so much. You could carry a (small) cow in the back of a 63 4 do0r catalina (don't ask).
     
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