1965 FORD Falcon Ranchero- Ellensburg, WA- Connor Print
Written by Double Dragon
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 20:56

1965 FORD Falcon Ranchero- Ellensburg, WA- Connor D


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown except for Owner's Manual images copyright Ford.


The Ranchero chrome logo shown above resides in the middle of the rear tailgate.


Introduced in December, 1956 the 1957 model year Ranchero was a station wagon with a pickup bed grafted onto it. The full size Ranchero was the first US pickup based on a car chassis. The Ranchero had big car styling, ride and comfort and was nearly as large as the pickups it replaced. This changed when the Ranchero name was transferred to the compact Falcon platform in 1960. The Ranchero now nipped at the heels of the VW and Corvair pickups. The Falcon grew a bit in size in 1964 and 1965 as did the Ranchero, although it was still a fairly small economical vehicle. Take a look at the 1965 Chevrolet El Camino in the ONE FAMILY section to see how Chevy responded to the popularity of the Ranchero.

The OOCC 1965 Ranchero came with a straight six cylinder 200 cubic inch engine and a 'three on the tree' manual gearbox and few options which keep cost and weight down. Inexpensive to buy, maintain and run. The OOCC 1965 Ranchero was built early in the model year in Lorain, Ohio on Oct 8th, 1964. Below is the door tag with the significant VIN digits removed from the warranty number to maintain internet privacy.


The OOCC Ranchero was originally a Dark Blue Metallic car. Most of the paint has survived with some patches of primer where bodywork repair has been started. The OOCC Ranchero was shipped out to Ellensburg, Washington for sale at the Kelleher Motor Co. car dealership, one of the longest lived Ford dealers in the USA. The dealer is currently at 602 N Pearl Street, the same address listed in the owner's manual back in 1964. Kelleher Motor Co. was established in 1911 by Jack Kelleher and is still owned and operated by the Kelleher family. There is a story about Kelleher Motor Co in the DEALERSHIPS section of this website.

Below are images from the original owner's manual. For privacy the last sequence of digits has been removed for the Warranty number, Vehicle code and the key codes. The book records Joe Kelleher's signature as the family member in charge of the dealership in 1964. J. P. Cox, a resident of Ellensburg purchased the OOCC Ranchero.



The town of Ellensburg is located in central Washington which is drier than the notoriously rainy Seattle area on the coast. Starting life here doubtlessly boosted the Ranchero's resistance to rust. Aside from rusted out quarter panels, the body is fairly solid.


At the start of the 1960s Ellensburg was 8,000 strong with a lot of historic buildings in the downtown core. Population expanded to 13,000 by 1970, still a small city. The surrounding hay fields comprise an important part of the economy and may explain J. P. Cox's choice of a Ranchero rather than a regular car.

Connor enters the picture in 2008 when he was offered a trade for his totaled 1987 Mustang. The 5.0 engine was still useable. The guy he traded with waved his arm at the array of old cars filling the backyard of his house. Connor chose the Falcon Ranchero. The story was that it was owned by a woman for many years. It had been parked since she sold it to this car hoarder. It is unknown if initial purchaser J. P. Cox was a woman or a man. If J. P. was a female, perhaps J. P. Cox and the woman who last drove it are one and the same making this a one owner car until it wound up in the car hoarder's backyard.

The interior shot below shows that the seats were reupholstered at some point in the car's life. The gas pedal is missing. The hanging steel rod is all that is left. The passenger door is in decent shape, but the driver's interior door panel has gotten warped from dampness and bows outwards making it tricky to open and close the driver door.



Last Updated ( Friday, 04 March 2016 21:18 )