1972 Ford Ranchero Apparel and Accessories by Legend Lines
In 1972, a radical change occurred in the Torino and Ranchero lines. The sleek, pointy look of the previous year's model was replaced with a larger, heavier design. Most prominent was a wide semi-oval grille reminiscent of a jet intake and a new body-on-frame design. Three models were still available; the now-standard 500, the new Squire with simulated woodgrain "paneling" along the flanks, and the sporty GT. Engine choices remained basically the same beginning with the 250 cubic-inch six-cylinder and a selection of V8s that ranged from the standard 302 to Cleveland and Windsor series 351s, plus the new-for-1972 400. The 385-series V8 (the 429 for 1972-73; the 460 for 1974-76) was still available. However, all suffered from lower compression ratios to better meet new emissions standards and output decrease dramatically. The 351 cu in (5.8 L) Cleveland could still be obtained in tuned 4-V Cobra Jet form through 1974. A four-speed manual transmission was available on Cobra Jet-powered GT models. The design lasted for only one year, as Ford had to restyle the front fascia to meet new U.S. standards for front impact protection. Ford ditched the semi-oval grille and the wraparound bumpers, opting for a square intake and a simpler, but more massive apron. The fascia was revised once again for 1974 when a pointy grille and bumper were introduced. It’s the generation that marked the end of the road for the Ranchero as a muscle utility vehicle. It was also the last Ranchero based on the Torino, which ended production in 1976.