As the compact truck segment is making a comeback in America, builders are taking things one step further smaller by introducing more and more utility coupes. And the latest custom effort in this segment, which has been OEM-abandoned for over thee decades, is the “RanchTang”, an all-Ford effort mixing a Ranchero with what appears to be a 1965 Mustang Shelby GT350 replica.
Back in 1957, Ford was the first American carmaker to introduce a then-modern pickup truck based on a car with the Ranchero, even though the Chevrolet El Camino that arrived one year later is arguably the most popular “car mullet”.
The Chevy outshined the Ford when it entered the muscle arena further down the road and this is what this build is trying to achieve. However, while it does pack a V8, this is a diesel, namely a 6.0-liter Power Stroke, an engine the Blue Oval built in the 2000s.
The motor works with a furious turbo and you can see it delivering a soundcheck in the Instagram video at the bottom of the story, albeit with the vehicle missing some plumbing for that shoot.
This is not a Ford Mustero, even though it does use the same base ingredients
By the look of the greenhouse, this is a third-gen Ranchero (1966-1967). Being closely related to the Falcon that was used as a base for the first-gen Mustang, the UTE, as Aussies would call it, has been used for such pony conversions before. Speaking of which, it’s difficult to figure out if this project is more likely to offend purists than vlogger TJ Hunt’s Nissan RB26-animated ’65 Mustang.
For the record, A Los Angeles-based dealership convinced the Blue Oval to allow it to build a 1966 Mustang-based truck using Ranchero parts. Created by Beverly Hills Ford, the resulting Mustero (the name is pretty much self-explanatory at this point) was supposed to be a 50-car limited edition, but the consensus is that fewer units were built, with only four said to be in existence today. However, the vehicle we have here is not one of them, as showcased by its B-pillars, which are significantly less beefy than those of the Mustero.
A collection of 1960s metal
Then again, as mentioned above, this transformation is a tribute to the Shelby GT350 that was offered starting with the 1965 model year, being one of the most hardcore first-gen ‘Stangs, years before the OG pony was revised to accept Big Block muscle.
And, as you can notice in the image gallery, we’re dealing with a complete makeover that involves the front and rear fascias, as well as the sides of the vehicle (think: scoops, decals).
The project comes from vlogger Matt Carriker (his Demolition Ranch channels is among the most popular gun-related YouTube labels out there), who took to Instagram to explain that the marriage between the ‘Stang and the Mustero had been done ten years ago, so his work involves the said diesel muscle, probably along with smaller tweaks.
Together with “El Dorado”, a 1964 Chevrolet Impala Hardtop Sedan older build that seems to have been recently refreshed, “RanchTang” is scheduled show up at this weekend’s Cleetus and Cars Indy, an event held by YouTuber Cleetus McFarland at the Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.