With the suspension upgraded to the performance category, Gorman realized that the factory brake system wouldn't be sufficient to stop the Ranchero at speed. So he upgraded it to a set of Wilwood four-piston calipers up front, and Wilwood two-piston rear calipers, matching them with a set of performance slotted rotors. With custom-built brake lines and a CNC dual master cylinder, the Ranchero was now ready to meet the requirements for a true performance ride.
While reaching a higher level of performance was key, Gorman had also given much thought as to the amount of comfort he and his wife would experience, sitting in this relatively small vehicle. Keep in mind this '64's original interior wasn't spacious or luxurious. This led him to toss out the factory seat and use a pair of Lincoln bucket seats with eight-way adjustability instead. They were reupholstered using dark gray leather, as were the custom-stitched door panels which are also now outfitted with billet arm rests. The factory dash was fine, but Gorman wanted to give a hint as to the Ranchero's performance. So he incorporated a JME billet aluminum bezel that houses a set of Auto Meter gauges that can be easily seen while the driver wraps his hands around the billet LeCarra steering wheel.
The heart of the Ranchero resides under the louvered hood. As mentioned earlier, the Ford 302ci V-8 crate engine sports the four Weber No. 45 side-draft carburetors and Moon aluminum intake. The air and fuel moves through the Ford Racing aluminum cylinder heads, while the combustion takes place with the help of an MSD ignition system. A set of Doug's Headers direct the exhaust gases out through custom side-exit duals that feature the same tip trim ring used on '65-'66 Mustang GTs. Approaching 400 hp, the small-block Ford is connected to a Tremec World Class T5 manual transmission, to which Gorman used an early style four-speed shifter to keep in tune with the Ranchero's classic appearance.
While some people appreciate the work and effort it takes to build a car from scratch, Sondra Gorman is lucky enough to realize that this particular Ranchero is more than just a cool little truck. She considers it a celebration of Rich's life and plans to showcase it at several shows this year in his memory. We can bet that she'll have many trophies to show for his work and for the effort of their friends that wanted to finish this unique vehicle just for him.
Sondra Gorman's '64 Ranchero
LeCarra billet steering wheel, gray custom upholstery, billet arm rests, Lincoln eight-way power bucket seats, Auto Meter gauges, Painless Wiring 18-circuit system
DuPont Mercedes Champagne Metallic basecoat/clearcoat, louvered factory hood, door handles and trim removed, frenched rear third-brake-light, bed wood floor kit