Ranchero/El Camino

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by 210eddiep, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. 210eddiep

    210eddiep In Overdrive

    Messages:
    711
    Location:
    boerne, texas
    Interesting cars meet irrational emotion™
    « 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300TD | Main | Ford Ranger »
    Ford Ranchero/Chevy El Camino
    by Anthony Cagle on April 09, 2009
    Ladies, you may stop reading right now. Avert your eyes, if you must, because this post is about men.
    Real men. Manly men. Who do manly things in manly ways, that only manly men can do them. Men who mow their own lawns, fix a leaky faucet, and change their own oil. Men who brew up a pot of battery acid every morning. Men who use after-shave, not "post-shave skin conditioner with aloe, seaweed extract and Vitamin E with a subtle scent of coriander." Men who wouldn't touch a quiche with a 10-foot fork. Men who only drink whiskeys that are named after animals or people. Men who only cry when their father or best hunting dogs die. Men who frankly, my dear, don't give a damn. Men who know every manly cliche from the last 30 years and aren't
    [​IMG]
    afraid to use them.
    These men drive a particular type of car. A car that drips testosterone like a leaky gasket. A car that says, "I know what I need, and this is it." These type of men know that they'll never drive the length and breadth of the Kalahari, but they will sure as hell be hauling 4-by-8s home from the lumberyard (note: not the "home improvement store"). Men who don't need fine Corinthian leather or a station wagon dressed up as an Urban Assault Vehicle. No, this is the Steve McQueen of cars: no entourage, no workout video, and no froufrou drinks with umbrellas in them.
    I jest, of course. The lack of a Y-chromosome doesn't disqualify anyone from appreciating these fine cars, let alone owning or driving one. There are no doubt many men who just don't have the ... um ... good taste to rate this kind of car, and plenty of women who do. It's far more about the mindset than which restroom door you come out of.
    Now, I know what you're thinking. "Is he talking about one car or two?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. Read on, but only if you feel lucky, punk.
    [​IMG]
    Custom sedan and was produced on the same factory line as the regular models, but sold through Ford truck dealers.You could get one in either a very basic trim level--marketed mostly to those who would ordinarily buy a pickup truck--or a fully optioned version. And despite its origins as a car, it actually had a slightly greater cargo capacity than the half-ton F-series pickup; no slouch when it came to hauling.
    The Ranchero was a hit with the press and the buying public and was so successful that it prompted GM to launch a ute of its own, the iconic El Camino. The El Camino ("The Street" in Spanish) was first produced for the 1959 model year and was based on the Brookwood station wagon. Like Ford, Chevy offered every option available on its normal car lines for the El Camino. Despite this, the El Camino did not sell very well, perhaps due to its rather flamboyant styling, which probably detracted from its utilitarian function. Chevy canceled the model after the 1960 model year after selling less than 37,000 units.
    The El Camino was re-launched for 1964, and went head-to-head with the Ranchero for a number of years. In its second incarnation the El Camino was based on the Chevelle; throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s it followed many of its siblings through the muscle car era. A Super Sport version was available
    [​IMG]
    using engines up to the 454 LS6. The Ranchero followed suit, though it was initially downsized in 1960 using the Falcon as its base, generally a much more utilitarian vehicle than the Chevy. But by 1968 the Ranchero was based on the Torino and received many of the muscle car options Ford was doling out, including the 428 Cobra Jet engine.
    The Ranchero and El Camino followed their sedan bretheren out of the muscle car era and into the Age of Visual Excess in the 1970s. The Ranchero continued to be based on the Torino until that model was phased out, and it then switched to, of all things, the Thunderbird/LTD-II. How much do I love this one? A lot, thank you very much. Like everything else, power went down while luxury options went up, and the
    [​IMG]
    Ranchero quietly ended its life after 1979 as Ford migrated its truck business to the light-pickup line.
    The El Camino stayed with the Chevelle through 1977 and then made the switch with the rest of the Chevy line to smaller designs, now based on the Malibu. It had the more sharp-edged styling of the New Chevrolet. Engines were generally small and didn't crack the 200 horsepower mark again. Unlike the Ranchero, the El Camino soldiered on until 1987, when it was finally laid to rest.
    What killed the Ranchero and, eventually, the El Camino? Most likely the CAFE fuel mileage regulations. Both of these vehicles were car-based and thus came under mileage regulations; since they needed the extra weight for their cargo-carrying roles, there was little incentive to continue building them. This was especially true for Ford, which had already started to transition over to a light truck with their Courier and eventually the Ranger lines which were not covered under CAFE.
    The El Camino is generally considered the archetype for this type of vehicle even though it wasn't the first. There were plans by GM to revive the type, though this time based on the Pontiac G8, itself an import of the Aussie Holden Ute, but these plans have apparently been shelved. At least one other manufacturer has had a go with this type of vehicle, in the form of the Subaru Baja, a utility version of the Legacy/Outback wagon. Generally, however, the market has concentrated on extended-cab small pickups which are not covered under existing CAFE rules ... yet.
    Were utes a good idea? Well, maybe. They certainly were popular for quite a while, and they offered a nice combination of occasional hauling capability with the day-to-day driving niceties of a standard car. They were probably the best combination for the suburban guy/gal who used it mainly for commuting but occasionally had a load of brush to haul to the dump. They had better ride and handling than a pickup but were still practical. I really have no idea why these came to be known as "guy cars", but such is the automotive life.
    Or should I say, the High Life?
    --Anthony Cagle
    Both of the El Camino photos come from El Camino Pictures and the Ranchero photo and poster are from MustangMonthly.com and Dream-Cars.org, respectively.
     
  2. ribald1

    ribald1 Banned PLATINUM MEMBER

    Messages:
    19,727
    Location:
    California
    Pretty much nails it.
    Ranchero owners tend to be a bit more macho than he describes, guess he had to tone it down a bit so the El Camino crowd could fit in.
     
  3. tertab28

    tertab28 In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    279
    Location:
    Middleburg, Florida
    I had a 70 El Camino once. Found myself looking at curtains for the windows so I got rid of it.......
     
    HuevosRanchero, Denny and RandyMac like this.
  4. throdon

    throdon In Second Gear

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Atwater, California
    "Men who wouldn't touch a quiche with a 10-foot fork" I do like a Ham and Brocolli pie every so often.
     
  5. ribald1

    ribald1 Banned PLATINUM MEMBER

    Messages:
    19,727
    Location:
    California
    Ham and broccoli pie is good eats. Real food there.
    Quiche is a gooey egg based pap made for infants and old toothless people with soft gums.
     
    210eddiep likes this.
  6. tertab28

    tertab28 In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    279
    Location:
    Middleburg, Florida
    "and old toothless people with soft gums"

    HEY!!! We old people are offended
     
    210eddiep likes this.
  7. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    12,150
    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    And French with absolutely no taste in their mouths.
     
  8. davis

    davis In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    1,873
    Location:
    Whittier, CA
    cafe standards? i'm registered as a commercial vehicle. so i wouldnt be part of that. DMV tells me every year for tags.
    remake the ranchero? tweak the Flex and put a new 5.0 in it. that would be a good start.
     
  9. ribald1

    ribald1 Banned PLATINUM MEMBER

    Messages:
    19,727
    Location:
    California
    Light commercial vehicles were added to the CAFE standards.
    A Coyote engine with an Eaton blower would be a good fit for a reintroduced Ranchero.
     
  10. RandyMac

    RandyMac In Third Gear

    Messages:
    159
    Location:
    Crescent City, CA
    I got pulled over by a city cop, for "littering", I had straw bales in the back and the loose bits were trailing in my wake. I instructed the cop to look up what DMV says commercial vehicles can "leak" in small amounts, the law states that clear water, feathers and straw aren't considered littering. He did so and said that I had been reported "covering" the roadway and gestured a a car parked behind him. Sure enough, a skinny prune faced young woman, in a Prius, who was arguing with him as I drove off. I was exactly 4 blocks from the feedstore, couldn't have lost more than a couple ounces.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,863
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    Had it been bales of marijuana and you'd "leaked" some of that she'd have been more than happy to clean up after you.
     
    Denny likes this.
  12. Denny

    Denny In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    8,834
    Location:
    near Jackson, TN
    Now that's a sad story. What's really sad is that she's allowed to vote.
     
    Hillbilly likes this.
  13. Huevos

    Huevos In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    3,434
    Location:
    Nor Cal
    Prius owner, Say no more...
     
  14. RandyMac

    RandyMac In Third Gear

    Messages:
    159
    Location:
    Crescent City, CA
    Only the over smug bicyclists are worse. I see them wobbling along 101 in little packs, there isn't much shoulder in a lot of places and yet they go two abreast. I make sure the 4-barrel is open when I go by.
     
  15. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    12,150
    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    As well as own and drive a motor vehicle. I believe that, in order to own and drive a Prius or other hybrid/electric vehicle, you have to know and be able to explain what 'hybrid' and 'electric' mean. I'd bet more pretentious Cali surfer dudes would flunk than pretentious Rodeo Drive strutter chicks.
     
  16. burninbush

    burninbush In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    8,438
    Location:
    near SF

    Be careful ... there's a new law in CA, think it goes into effect next month; you cannot get closer than 3' to a bicycle on the road.
     

Share This Page