In August 2019 I started work on fixing up an old 1966 Ford Ranchero. There were a total of three of us that planned on taking some old cars on a cruise of Route 66 - the entire length, from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California - beginning around the end of March 2022 and ending up back home around the end of April 2022. When the car was close to being "complete", before the trip back to Chicago, we took a few short road trips to try and find any unexpected problems. After a couple of those small trips, we left for Chicago using the interstates on March 26, 2022, left Chicago on April 1, 2022, started driving Route 66 only, and arrived in Santa Monica April 15, 2022, 15 days total. We then drove back home (Phoenix) the next day, April 16, 2022, for a total trip time of 22 days and 12 hours.
The links below are places I have used when trying to get this car road worthy. Even though it can be fun, this car is rare and getting parts gets time consuming and expensive fast.
Before Paint (in Maaco parking lot)
Forums can be very helpful when researching a problem, how to fix something, where to find parts, etc.
Places To Buy Stuff From
Here are a few of the places I have used when buying Ranchero parts and fixing up my Ranchero in some way. Some are local, some are not, but they have all helped me get the parts, supplies and labor that I needed.
Maaco Auto Body Shop & Painting - Deer Valley, AZ
When I got this Ranchero, it needed some body work and paint done, even after I had done all I could in that regard. These guys took the sanest approach to my car. Instead of taking everything down to sheet metal and starting from scratch they thought that fixing what was visible and handling any issues that might arise while fixing those was a better way. I also switched to a two-stage, base color, and clear coat paint instead of the original single-stage enamel paint that was on it. I wound up with a paint job that gets me compliments when I stop at lights. I am super happy I chose these guys.
2222 W. Deer Valley
Phoenix, AZ 85027
NUS, Inc. (Upholstery) - Mesa, AZ
I was amazed at the door panels I got in less than one week's time! The attention to detail when placing the order, delivered in the time promised, and the very good quality of the product that was delivered. Top notch! I had the bench seat reupholstered several months after the door panels were finished. They matched the door panels and had the same attention to detail when ordering as the door panels. The seat came out looking great and working even better!
RhinoPro Truck Outfitters
It is totally cool when a shop puts a high priority on your vehicle. It makes you feel important as a customer. That is exactly what these guys did. There are quite a few spray-on bed liner shops in the valley but this is the only one that said they would block out their day when my Ranchero was in there so they could devote their time to it. They realize that older cars are difficult to work with and have certain things different than modern vehicles, so they allow the time it takes to make sure things go well. I am very happy with the way the bedliner turned out.
Valley Spring Service
Buying leaf springs over the internet is very costly. This company makes the leaf springs for your vehicle on location from the original factory specifications. It was way cheaper than getting anything online.
2542 E Jefferson St
Phoenix, AZ 85034
C&G Early Ford Parts
These guys were a lifesaver! I was able to find almost all my suspension parts here. I also found some very hard to find other parts as well, like visor clips, dome light assembly, door handle clips, etc.
RPS - Restoration Parts Source
I had a real hard time finding the right fuel tank for this vehicle. Everyone else tried to sell a Mustang tank or the station wagon tank. I bought the fuel tank and mounting straps here with no problems with installation at all.
Eckler's Automotive Restoration & Performance Parts
What I couldn't find at C&G Early Ford Parts I found here. They had a speedometer cable, glove box bumpers, transmission tunnel hump sheet metal, hose for my fuel filler neck, heater core, battery tray, etc.