Hot Deals On Hot Wheels: Volume 4: It’s Tailgate Time!

It’s that time again! we’re back with another “Hot Deals on Hot Wheels,” the segment where we highlight vehicles found on the internet that are interesting or worth buying. Last time we found a couple couple of cool offerings from the arrowhead brand and showed a ’64 Pontiac Grand Prix, and a very tough ’67 Pontiac Firebird 400. This week we’ve found some more great buys for you – a wicked ’71 El Camino SS, and a badass ’70 Ford Ranchero GT. It’s a virtual bevy of tailgates, and truck beds!

1971 Chevy El Camino:

First up is this bright yellow ’71 Chevy El Camino SS.

WHY ITS COOL:

Introduced in 1959, the El Camino ran until 1987. The Elco and fierce rival, the Ford Ranchero, sparked an age old debate – is it a car or a truck? Well, the El Camino actually started it’s life based on a two-door station wagon platform, actually. Obviously it was changed to accomodate a bed in the rear instead of storage compartment and seats.

The first iteration only stuck around for Chevy for a couple years, but made a triumphant return in 1964 using the Chevelle chassis. GM’s G-body is where the mighty El Camino would remain until the end of it’s days in 1987. The El Camino was meant to be a utilitarian alternative to a full size truck, and saw a multitude of accessories and options throughout it’s run. As such, the SS saw a few different variants. So, whether you wanted to toss an engine block in the back, or just hit the strip and light up some tires, there was an option.

WHY ITS A SMART BUY:

The link to the El Camino pictured above can be seen at ”https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/d/stockton-1971-el-camino-396-big-block/6834609714.html” Although, we can’t guarantee that it will be there when you read this. This is one cool Elco. It features a big block 396. The SS of ’71 were still badged as SS396, but they were actually powered by GM’s 402. As this is not a matching-numbers car, there’s no way to tell which it is based on pictures alone. Nonetheless, it’s got a big block. The seller has also gone to the trouble of adding some personal touches, such as the floor shifter, and digital gauges, which could save the new owner a few bucks. The car isn’t perfect by any means, but for the low sum of $7,000 for a running, driving, big block Super Sport El Camino, it would make a great buy for someone.

Photos borrowed from Dyler.com.

WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH IT:

The great thing about a car like this El Camino is that you can have a really sweet driver for a minimal investment. If you want to do a frame off restoration, there are probably better candidates out there, but if you want a nice, classic driver, this might be the one. Pictured above, you can see what we would do with this ’70s mullet machine. Nothing flashy or out of the ordinary. The yellow ’71 is so close to being a rad street machine, we would simply throw the included factory rally wheels on it and take our time cleaning and restoring everything else.

1970 Ford Ranchero GT: 

Next, we have a Ford’s take on the truck/car – the 1970 Ranchero GT 351.

WHY ITS COOL:

The Ranchero was introduced by Ford in 1957, and ran until 1979. Not unlike the El Camino, the Ranchero was based on a two-door station wagon. Over half-a-million Rancheros were produced during its run with the blue oval. All of those were based on a full-size, compact, or intermediate Ford stablemate, such as the Falcon and Torino. The Ranchero’s domestic and international sales did well for Ford. The Ranchero was such a success, it spurred the bowtie brand to come up with their own…you guessed it, the El Camino. In 1970 (5th generation), Rancheros were offered with a ton of options. If you really had juice, you could have ordered one with a 429 Cobra Jet!

WHY ITS A SMART BUY:

The link to the Ranchero pictured above is,”https://inlandempire.craigslist.org/cto/d/rialto-1970-gt-ranchero/6837775620.html” Just like the El Camino pictured above, this Ranchero isn’t going for a fortune. At $6,750, the seller isn’t exactly looking to get rich. In fact, the Ranchero seems really clean for the price. The seller hasn’t included much information, but we know it’s a GT 351. The paint seems relatively clean for a car of it’s age, and the interior is mint! Albeit not original. In fact, while many might assume it’s completely original, they’d be mistaken.

The paint and interior have been redone, which is less work for the buyer, but not ideal for a true restoration. Still, for a clean Ranchero of this year, we think this is a good deal. While the Ranchero isn’t as popular as the El Camino, nor does it carry the same aftermarket support, they have nowhere to go but up. If the rise in popularity of the C10, F100, and other truck models are any indicator, this Ranchero might be a good one to have in your stable in the coming years.

Photos borrowed from Mecum.com.

WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH IT:

The Ranchero is clean, and while we’d usually be tempted to modify it heavily, we can see this thing being a really cool cruiser in it’s stock form. We’d ditch the white steelies, and swap them for the original wheels. (Those might be hard to find.) We’d also find out what the original interior looked like, and put it back. Lastly, if you look at the graphic stripe running down the side of the Ranchero, you can see the trim pieces and GT badges don’t line up perfectly, as they do on our shining example above. Basically, the options are open on a car like this, but we’d opt to return it to factory spec. Ford got it right with this Ranchero GT.

What’d you think of the battle of the tailgates? Are you bow tie all the way, or is it blue oval for the win? Of course, let us know if you’ve found something interesting in your area via our facebook page or comment section below.

Until next time, we’ll keep hunting for rusty gold, and keep all of you up to date on some of the best deals the internet has to offer. 

About the author

Vinny Costa

Fast cars, motorcycles, and loud music are what get Vinny’s blood pumping. Catch him behind the wheel of his ’68 Firebird. Chances are, Black Sabbath will be playing in the background.
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