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Home/News and Feature Articles/*Featured Cars and Trucks/Ford Featured Cars/ 1970s Cars/


Dan Romanoski created something that Mercury itself might have tried back in the day ... a Montego version of the Ranchero.

The inspiration was primarily Dan's desire to keep the cost of acquisition of yet one more car to a minimum.

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Rather than buy a Montego, which was Dan's original plan, he took the '79 Ranchero he already had and turned it into something unique.

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1979 Ford Ranchero - Dan Romanoski has created something Mercury itself might have done
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By Society Staff – reprint with permission only

Dan Romanoski bought a 1979 Ford Ranchero back in 1989. It started as a Texas junkyard find, and, by 1993, he restored it back to original condition. After the driving the car for the next 16 years, Dan was ready for something else.

He wanted to buy a 1973 Mercury Montego GT, but after talking things over with his better half, they decided that there was no way they could swing the cost of adding another car to their "fleet," which then consisted of six cars, three of which were driveable. The Mercury would have made seven. But did this stop Dan? Nah!

The creative interchange juices started flowing. Dan knew a great deal about the interchangeabilty of the 1972-79 Ford/Mercury mid-sized platform, so he decided to create something that might have been a success had Mercury itself ever tried it: a Ranchero with a Montego theme. The more he dove into the project the more detailed it became, but one thing remained important throughout, and that was that the car be a reliable driver. As Dan puts it, "I don't build trailer queens!!"

The car was converted to the GT style interior (bucket seats, console, floor shifter, rally gauge cluster correct for the ‘73 theme) while the engine is a 460 built to stock 1970 specs mated to a C6 transmission. The car was not intended for racing, so he left the 2.75 rear gear in place to keep gasoline consumption reasonable. The carburetor is a Holly 650 CFM with a vacuum secondary.

Since finishing the car, Dan has driven it to Tennessee for the Forge Musclecar Show and to Springfield, Illinois for the Fairlane Club of America national meet. In keeping with its daily driver status, it has also seen many days in the parking lot of his workplace. And why not. Cars, after all, are meant to be driven.

Looks like an ordinary Mercury from the front, doesn't it? But looks can be deceiving!

This view has probably caused many scratched heads by drivers following right behind. What's that? A Mercury Ranchero?

A combo of Ranchero and Mercury parts grace the interior.

The 1970 Ford 460 engine is mated to a C6 transmission and mileage-friendly 2.75 rear gearing.


Dan's car is a driver and was meant to be from the start. In addition to, of course, driving it to every event where he's shown it, he takes it to work regularly.

Nothing like a Mercury with the capacity to haul stuff!