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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

What If? 1997 Ford Ranchero | Hagerty Media

Welcome to What If, a new feature from imaginative illustrator Abimelec Arellano and Hagerty. We'll be taking you back in time-and possibly forward into the future-to meet alternative-universe automobiles. Even better, our time machine is working well enough to bring "short take" reviews along with the photographs and advertisements.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/what-if/what-if-1997-ford-ranchero/
27 REPLIES 27
MeJ
Intermediate Driver

Well, I mean to each his own and all that....but... that is butt ugly.
Figgy308
Intermediate Driver

Just leave utes to the Australians please. Ford for 1996 ( and this basic design came from 1972).

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.boostedfalcon.net%2Ffalconfacts%2Ffalcon%2Fxgfa...

MoparMan
Advanced Driver

Alternate reality or not, that is just so WRONG! It looks much worse than the late 70's versions, which some find to be quite awkward! I'll keep this reality, Thank you!! 🙂
Ragster
Intermediate Driver

That was just as wrong as the new Mach E .......!! FORD.....wake up......
RobertLLR
Intermediate Driver

Nice photoshopping! I particularly love the faux coffee-cup stain on the "period brochure." Very nice alt-reality touches!
Rk2plus2
Pit Crew

Fugly
RJ
Intermediate Driver

When I was stationed in San Diego in the early 60's there was a high-line body shop building p/u conversions from a variety of station wagons - all very high quality. My favorite was the '57 Mercury. They were not ugly, and had good leg-room.
GRP_Photo
Advanced Driver

I've owned pickups since 1984. There's no way I would buy this thing. I particularly dislike the sharp edges of the bed and rear of the cab. Besides that, there's no room for a gun rack. 🙂
ThumperUSMC
Intermediate Driver

Even IF that car had been available, in that rendering of a vehicle that started its life as an ugly car to begin with, it would have been an uglier step cousin, at best...The last really nice looking Ranchero was the 1970 model. based on the 1970 Torino.
SteveNL
Intermediate Driver

You can pretty much take it for granted that any article which makes fun of the Taurus will have a lot of agreement from the comments section. But someone has to be the contrarian skunk at the garden party so it might as well be me. I have always loved the Taurus. My wife and I have owned seven of them since the early 1990's through today. We have driven many hundreds of thousands of miles in Taurus/Sable cars with very little trouble.

When the Taurus first came out in the late '80's, I owned an old FJ40 Land Cruiser. My parents lived almost 500 miles away and the Land Cruiser was a terrible highway vehicle. Hertz rented the 3.8 liter Taurus for $25 per day with unlimited miles and I racked up many miles on those rental cars before buying my first one used. At the time, the Taurus had a ground breaking design. I felt special diving the new Taurus. Compared to a Land Cruiser, it offered extraordinary luxury. You could run a Taurus 500 miles and still feel human upon arrival.

Most of our cars had the bullet proof 3.0 liter push rod engine. I currently own a 1992 Taurus LX with the 3.8, four wheel disc brakes, premium paint and sound package. I bought it about 7 years ago from the first owner with only 25K miles. It's been a great car.

Some people criticize the Taurus because of reputed problems with the AXOD transmission. We never had a problem and I suspect that it's because we serviced our transmission regularly with a new filter and fluid change at 50K miles. Some criticize the 3.8 for head gasket problems. I owned a 3.2 liter air cooled Porsche that needed three upper engine rebuilds in 110K miles. A lot of air cooled Porsches suffer upper engine problems, but few complain about them.

With regular preventive maintenance, the Taurus & Sables were superior cars. I'm even beginning to like the looks of the 1996 models.

Sajeev
Community Manager

@SteveNL you are truly my hero

SteveNL
Intermediate Driver

Thank you Sajeev.  You are so cool! 

 

I'm the only guy you know of '92 Taurus #1.jpgwho puts his Taurus up for the winter. 

Sajeev
Community Manager

I am so jealous right now!  One day I will find a super clean 86-88 Sable LS so I can join your ranks! 

frankev
New Driver

Steve: that's a beautiful Taurus in a catching color, which looks like it's either Medium Aubergine or Dark Cranberry. I had a cool example of the same generation, a 1994 GL with the 3.0 L V-6 in Light Evergreen Frost, bought from the elderly second owner who had purchased it from Enterprise when it was a year old. Alas, by the time of my ownership, the car was beginning to succumb to structural rust due to the copious amounts of salt spread on the roads where I live, and I eventually had to donate it to charity.

The car rode smoothly--like piloting a couch on the highway--and it had a column shifter and a bench seat, which made placing one's bag on the passenger seat pretty easy. I'm sure if I lived in a southern climate I could've gotten another 100K or 200K miles out of it--certainly the drivetrain was capable. Nowadays I get to pilot that Taurus's spiritual successor, a 2014 Ford Fusion SE, when my wife isn't using it.

Thanks for sharing it with us!
MustangJim
Intermediate Driver

Beautiful Taurus! I would put that up for the winter also. I have owned 2 Taurii and a Sable . Great cars and the Ranchero probably would of sold like crazy. They should rename the upcoming Maverick Taurus!!!
SteelyDan
Pit Crew

Loved my 89 SHO hugely. The Taurus-derived Windstar we had was fine but for the 3.8L. Once a head gasket blown. Post-repair recurrence=connecting rod scramble.
Lovliest of the breed has to be the Merc Sable Wagon- sleek, agile, right-sized and comfy.
SJ
Advanced Driver

Wife had '96, great car(except for the steering column problem), went 234,000 miles original engine and transmission(with minimal maintenance). Ugly at first but learned to live with it.
mfp4073
Intermediate Driver

Love this car! Think in time, it will begin to show a real following. Its a very unusual look, and that's part of a vehicles collectability. I am not the only one looking for excellent condition examples.
SteelyDan
Pit Crew

Woof! As a Blue Oval guy and 89 SHO original owner, I still burn my eyes on the second gen Taurus.Man, this thing would only survive in a world full of Aztecs...........
CitationMan
Advanced Driver

Considering the extensive list of ugly or just plain dumb vehicles produced by GM or Ford over the past 30 years, I find it amazing that an updated Ranchero or El Camino was never made. I think it’s because the Corporate Lizards in Detroit consider them to be too low brow.

SJ
Advanced Driver

FWD, no, no,no, and it is FUGLY. I want my 63 1/2 back again.
jsfury
Intermediate Driver

Yeeeeah, that's really ugly. Alright folks, movie along. Nothing to see here. Movie on, movie on. Nothing to see here.
PRScott
Intermediate Driver

There are better ways to waste your time than building That!
OldRoad
Instructor

Ah, No
Geok86
Advanced Driver

Often times these articles really make you wonder “what if they really had”....this one though?!?! THANK GOD THEY DID NOT!
Billthecat707
Detailer

Yuck!
68GSS440
New Driver

how about another 'What-If' going back to 1987...
this is the last time it would've actually been able to have been factory built, although i almost made one in '94. I'm talking about a 1987 Buick Grand Natelamino.... El Camino back part - Grand National from the seats to the front bumper and everything in between [engine, trans, dash - everything].
i've seen pix of one/some but i don't remember where, maybe i should google it....