Hi everyone. Just found the forum last night and figured I'd check things out - looks like a great board.
I have a '71 Ranchero that I've owned for over 11 years, and that my dad and I have pretty much rebuilt. There are a couple pics on my Webshots account (click on "My Pics" in sig). It's no longer a daily driver but it does get (ab)used pretty regularly, including about 60 passes down the strip...so far.
The Ranchero is just a "basic" model (not a GT, etc.), and has a 351-Cleveland with two barrel heads. I'm running 9.5 to 1 compression (maybe just a little over - shaved the deck and heads slightly during rebuild) and a Blue Racer cam. Right now I have an Edelbrock Performer manifold and a Carter AFB....thinking about going to a Holley but have finally started to get the hang of the Carter.
I'm running a C-4 tranny with a TCI 2500 RPM converter, but after snapping a few bands I'm considering going to a C-6 or maybe an AOD...unless I can find the parts to convert to a 4-speed. The 9" rear has 3.55 gears right now, but I'm thinking about going back to 3.0 for highway driveability. With the short rear tires (245/60x14), it winds pretty tight at around 70 mph. I haven't had it to the strip in a while because I've been picking up a vibration that I haven't tracked down yet. So far, the best time has been 15.65 seconds @ around 90 mph - not very impressive, but that was with serious carb problems and the stock torque converter. The 2500 stall converter really lets the engine come up to it's peak much better.
The front brakes have been upgraded to Granada discs, as I prefer the caliper and pad set up to the stock '71 design....didn't like the pin and clip retainers, and picked up a little better braking with the upgrade. The power steering - if you can call it that - was ditched in favor of manual. It drives much better but is a real PITA to park.
The interior has been completely redone in tuck and roll (vinyl on the door panels, cloth on the seat). I'll try to find some pics and scan them in...
Even though the car was pretty much rebuilt several years ago, it's starting to need some updates. A few things I'm thinking about is a Vintage Air A/C system, custom dash and guages (thinking digital....), fuel injection, and possibly upgrading to a Mustang II front suspension. I'm also working on some custom taillights and a custom bed cover. It's getting due for a paint job again, and I have a GT hood that will be installed when the time comes. I'm also considering shaving the door handles and relocating the gas filler to inside the bed.
Here is another pic....the plate was for those who call it an El Camino (also for the running "battle" with the local 'Vette guys...all in fun, though):
That's right...make me feel old! I'm almost as old as my Ranchero.....
I'm not 100% up on Ranchero history, but they were introduced in 1957 and continued until 1979 (the El Camino was introduced in '58 and continued until around 1986....I think).
As promised earlier, here is a pic of the interior. It's not a good pic and kind of old - the shifter has since been relocated to the column (lousy cable-operated B&M piece of garbage) and the tach has also been moved.