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Monday Shopper: 1971 Ford Ranger XLT

Monday Shopper: 1971 Ford Ranger XLT

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s Tuesday. Pipe down. And yes, we know that Mecum sold a Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible at this very auction for an absurd $3.5 million. The whole point of this feature, though, is to find cool cars and trucks — even at auctions with record-setting prices — that are well within the budget of anybody with gainful employment. That’s the deal with our featured 1971 Ford Ranger XLT, sold at just $7,500 at Mecum’s Seattle sale.

Every time I see my pals in the “Great Northwet” buying vintage cars, I curse my parents for not relocating there almost 50 years ago. In New England, something like this would be rotted right up to the door-handles, and it would be on its third set of cab mounts. My buddy Ken’s dad had a 1971 F-250, and every time you applied the brakes, the entire cab rocked forward. I’m pretty sure it was held on by nothing but gravity.


This one? Sweet. To be honest, if I bought it, I’d probably have those wheels and tires up on Craigslist before the day was out, making back a thousand bucks of my $7,500 in favor of plain white steelies and a set of skinny blackwalls, but that’s a half-hours worth of work on a Saturday.


The rest of this truck is super-clean, and the two-tone green and white finish looks great. I love the fact that when you bought a Ranger XLT in ’71, the tailgate trim was woodgrain.

Under the hood, aside from the teeny air cleaner, everything looks nice and clean and well presented. You could probably ship this truck back east and make $2,000 over what you paid to have it shipped. Early 1970s Ford pickups simply don’t exist here.


The truck features a rebuilt 390 and a rebuilt four-speed trans, with power brakes and power steering that would serve to make it a whole lot more pleasant on the road.


Mecum didn’t supply interior pictures, so we’re not sure what that looks like, but given the fact that the floor is probably covered in a rubber mat, there’s not a lot to worry about in there anyway.


We’ve seen a LOT worse, sell for a LOT more money, so we give it a thumbs up at $7,500. What’s your take?

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7 thoughts on “Monday Shopper: 1971 Ford Ranger XLT

  1. Jim Vogel

    I saw that truck on the Mecum coverage and thought the same thing as you did. It I had been there I would have tried to buy it, no doubt.


    Way too much for that truck IMO. I see them quite often for less than that and more often than not they need some spit and polish to be GTG…Dont get me wrong, its a nice rig, but someone with mrore bmoney than brains bought it

    1. Craig Fitzgerald Post author

      “I see them quite often for less than that”

      You need to be in the business of buying them and selling them at a profit.

      Even the 2wd Mr. Majestyk specials I see for sale anywhere it snows are either clapped out or close to six grand for a 2wd.

      1. Nevr Rong

        Correct. He could make money on Bangshift.com!
        A 3/4 ton 4×4 with this trim level and added options (dual tanks, bedside toolboxes, PS, PB, etc.), plus the cool factor of having the right equipment (390 4speed) for a cool 4×4 could net this truck over 10K. Plus, it looks solid as they come. Telltale sign of a rough truck of this model is rusted out hood hinge mounts. These look perfect. Hard to find a truck like this, definitely.
        Craig hit the nail on the head with adding some white steelies and correct dog dishes to bring this to perfection. Wonder if they still make Co-ops? 🙂

  3. Dave

    Plain white steelies in those days were 16″ split rim tube type. Not the hot ticket. I had a ’73 equipped much like this one. I switched it to the 16.5″ tubeless steelies with radial tires. Much better. And yes, in less than 7 years, the box rotted off and was replaced by a homemade flat bed. Those were the days……lol

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