'73-'74 Ranchero decode needed - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums



'73-'74 Ranchero decode needed

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Old 01-10-2011, 03:06 PM
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'73-'74 Ranchero decode needed

I am about to start work on this car and I would like some help with the decoding. The "VIN" states a 1973 but the front clip is a 1974, any help is vary much appreciated.
VIN: 3A3OH300934
EMISSIONS: D6AE-9C485-VE
DOOR PILLER: 4A48S115839
DATE: 09/73
BODY: 97R
COLOR: 2B
TRIM: CA
TRANS: U
AXLE: 6
DSO: 71
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mach1god View Post
I am about to start work on this car and I would like some help with the decoding. The "VIN" states a 1973 Gran Torino but the front clip is a 1974.
This 1973 VIN is in-correct for a Ranchero: 3A30H300934 30 = 1973 body style 65D Gran Torino 2 Door H/T Formal Roof.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The following info is correct for a 1974 Ranchero GT.
DOOR PILLER: 4A48S115839 // DATE: 09/73 / BODY: 97R / COLOR: 2B / TRIM: CA / TRANS: U / AXLE: 6 / DSO: 71
If the 1973 VIN is located on the left corner of the dash, visible thru the w/shield...something smells and it ain't hay. If located on the door, the door was changed at some point, prolly due to damage.

The VIN on the dash is supposed to match the VIN on the Warranty Plate. If the dash VIN does not match, you may have a stolen vehicle. When vehicles were stolen, the dash VIN was altered.

Look for the hidden VIN, it was stamped either on the radiator support, or the left fender apron. There is another hidden VIN stamped on the frame rail.

4 = 1974.

A = Atlanta GA Assembly Plant.

48 = Ranchero GT, body style 97R.

S = 400 2V

115839 = 1974 Numerical Sequence of Assembly.

9/73 = 1974, assembled September 1973.

97R = Ranchero GT.

2B = Bright Red.

CA = Black all Vinyl.

U = C6 Cruise-O-Matic.

6 = Ford 9" Rear Axle / 3.00-1 / non Limited Slip.

71 = Los Angeles (SoCal) Ford District Sales Office, where the original selling dealer ordered the Ranchero from.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:32 PM
mach1god mach1god is offline
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thanks for the info. will check hidden vin.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:35 PM
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Is it possible that Ford made a running change on the later 73 Rancheros to the upcoming 74-style grille? I am seeing a lot of Rancheros that are advertised as 73 models with the 74-style grille and header. I know you can put a 74 grille/header on the 73 fenders, but I just think I am seeing too many of them this way that it is just happenstance that so many POs switched them over. Did Ford perhaps run out of 73 grilles or headers late in the run and just decided to switch over early instead of making more obsolete parts?
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jas88 View Post
Is it possible that Ford made a running change on the later 73 Rancheros to the upcoming 74-style grille?
No, absolutely not, this would have affected all Torino's, not just Ranchero's. It never occurred.

I am seeing a lot of Rancheros that are advertised as 73 models with the 74-style grille and header. I know you can put a 74 grille/header on the 73 fenders, but I just think I am seeing too many of them this way that it is just happenstance that so many POs switched them over.

Did Ford perhaps run out of 73 grilles or headers late in the run and just decided to switch over early instead of making more obsolete parts?
Both the grilles and header panels were still available in 1983!
Advertised as 1973 models but are actually 1974's. 1974 production began in August 1973 as new vehicle introduction time began in September.

Back then, some states registered vehicles in the year they were first sold .. not by their actual model year.

Look at the upper corner of the Safety Standard Certification Label for the production date. The VIN begins with the year.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:45 PM
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Thanks Bill! That thing about registering them to the year they were sold makes sense to explain what I am seeing.
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