A complete vehicle overhaul goes further than chassis and
engine work. Here are some additional must-see upgrades Rick
made to his Ranchero.
Rick designed his interior with Kent's Upholstery in Beech
Grove, Indiana performing the work.
To match the paint, these 2002 Thunderbird all leather
seats with teal inserts were scored on Ebay.
Even though Rick had ran into a few hang-ups with body
and paint guys, the final result was topnotch.
Rick made these bass tubes for improved stereo sound.
Hey Rick, get your hand off the bass knob and shift into
Here's a killer mod. Fellow FCA (Falcon Club of America)
member Steve Roullier inspired Rick to create a circulating
cab exhaust system. A lexan rear window, two 3" shower
drains, two bilge blowers, and vent tubing from a boat
supply house made it possible.
Curry 9-Inch Nodular 3rd member with a Moser pinion support
and a Mark Williams knock-off billet yoke. 31-spline spool.
Rick used a master cylinder from an '89 Ranger and a slave
cylinder from Wilwood for the top loader.
Question and Answer with Rick Devito
FordMuscle took a few minutes with
Rick to get some insight on his build- up and other topics
indirectly related to the hobby.
Q: What specifically drew you to the square-bodied
1964 and 1965 Falcon and Ranchero?
A: The 64/65 body style is my favorite. I sat in
my garage many nights looking at my Ranchero dreaming up my
final look. The more I stared at it, the more I fell in love
with the body lines. They just don't make works of art like
that anymore. As my interest in Falcons increased, I delved
deeper into round bodies and the late models. I researched
changes that Ford had made through the years, and really became
quite a Falcon fanatic.
Q: What are the inherent challenges and limitations
in restoring and
modifying 1964 and 1965 Rancheros?
A: In my case, doing a modified restoration, the
challenges and limitations seemed to be endless. One modification
affected or required another. I can say that there really
were no limitations to what I wanted to achieve, except for
funds for each step in the restoration. After purchasing everything
for the rear suspension I realized it was going to be a long
process. But, I set short term goals and accomplished them.
This is where I really began to get satisfaction in the project.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence in the hobby
and what keeps you going when a modification or entire project
A: I would have to say a friend of mine, Jeff Thomas.
Whenever I was stuck or couldn't see the light at the end
of the tunnel, he always helped me by talking things out and
finding my direction again. Many times he made me say the
things that needed to be said to work it out. But he definitely
was there to make sense of it.
Q: What can you attribute your mechanical ability
to? When did you realize that you weren't like everybody else
and had an interest and skills in working with your hands?
A: Problem solving is what I really enjoy, so working
on cars was always part of my life. Growing up I always jumped
in both feet first into something I had no idea about. Once
it was all said and done, I usually came out victorious. That
is when I became interested. Small doses of accomplishment
go a long way.
Q: How does your family view your dedication to the
hobby and building
Nicole over the past 7 years? Are they involved?
A: My Dad thinks I'm nuts. On the other hand, my
wife is just about as crazy for these things as I am! She
truly holds a love and respect for the old cars and is not
in it because I am. I bought her a 64 Ranchero one year for
Christmas, and she was ecstatic! She drove it a couple of
years, and wanted to know when we were going to start restoring
hers? I said, "As soon as your done driving it!"
She made her mind up last year in the Fall that it was her
last car show. Next, she informed me that she wanted my guidance
but not my help totally disassembling her Ranchero. She completely
gutted the Ranchero with only my assistance pulling the motor
and tranny out. My kids are great about helping with projects.
They're thinking they might get Nicole one day. Maybe one
day, but not today!
Q: What do you consider your strongest ability in
A: To get stages of my project completed, and ready
for the parts or components I'm waiting on. Getting motivated
sometimes is rough, because I start looking everything I have
left to do, and it gets overwhelming.
Q: What automotive restoration and modification skill
do you wish you were better at?
A: I have tried and tried, but I can't do bodywork
and paint very well. I'm sure if I set my mind to it, I could
figure it out. There is quite a bit to be learned in that
realm of restoration. Hats off to the guys that do it well.
Q: If there were no more 1964-1966 Falcons and Rancheros
left to work on, what model would you turn to?
A: Since Falcons were produced from 1960 - 1970-1/2,
there are many that still need lots of TLC. I could restore
Falcons until the day I die and still not get them all. If
there were no more Falcons, I would have to say the 1966 Fairlane
would be my choice of Ford.
Q: What is the greatest intangible benefit of the
hobby for you?
A: Pride of what I have accomplished and the car
show circle of friends that I grown to love like family. The
closeness and quality time it has brought to me and my Family.
I feel so bad for the few out there that have to fight to
achieve and feel this sense of accomplishment in their lives.
I thank God I have been blessed with the love and support
of my friends and family. Don't get me wrong, there's been
some really rough times throughout this restoration, like
going without new shoes.
Q: What was your first car?
A: My first car was 1978 Vega GT. I bought it for
$300. I had big plans for that thing. I would lay in bed dreaming
of all the cool custom stuff I was going to do to it. Never
stop dreaming I say. What I have done with this Ranchero is
proof. If I can do it then you can too. Break it down and
don't always look at the big picture, it can be discouraging
at times. Short term goals are reachable and rewarding.
Q: Any concluding remarks on your Ranchero build?
A: Building a Street Machine is the most exciting
achievement a car lover can experience. Although I have found
it takes a lot of money and time, its well worth the
effort. One thing this Ranchero has taught me is that, Success
is a Journey, not a Destination.