SEMA 2020: Ford Ranchero Stuns in Battle of the Builders

Ford Ranchero: pickup truck or car? Regardless of which way you lean in the debate, I think we can all agree that this classic Ford is a stunning example of a restoration gone right. The Ranchero was brought to our attention during this year’s SEMA 360 virtual show, and it would’ve been difficult for us to carry on and ignore its beauty. The SEMA Battle of the Builders judges agreed, with the Ranchero making it to the top 12 in the competition (one of three in the trucks/off-road category). But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The 1971 Ranchero belongs to Randy Borcherding who owns and operates Painthouse of Cypress, Texas. SEMA 360 didn’t give us every detail on this beautiful build, so we’re only able to share what we know, but we can speculate on a few of the parts included on the Ranchero. We know that it’s powered by a 351 Cleveland engine, and can see from the engine shot that it more than likely features Wilwood brake components. Judging by SEMA’s product list, we believe it to have a Holley carburetor. The exhaust is said to be made up of Doug’s Headers and a Pypes exhaust system. A Ridetech suspension system affords occupants of the Ranchero a smooth and comfortable ride.

Inside, customization is king, with leather bucket seats and a leather-wrapped console. An aftermarket steering wheel fits in seamlessly with Dakota Digital gauges.

Outside, Borcherding chose a stunning metallic red paint code with color-matched bumpers and a black grille. Several of the other details have been painted black as well including the hood scoop entry, tailgate, and rear body molding, and the taillights have been tinted to a nearly black finish. You’ll also notice that the headlights have been tucked behind the grille, and the exhaust exits through the rear bumper.

SEMA’s Battle of the Builders competition begins with 40 competitors before dropping to a top 12 containing four categories: Hot Rod, Sport Compact, Truck/Off-Road, and Young Guns. Borcherding’s Ranchero went up against a 2020 Toyota Tacoma drift truck and a 1964 Chevrolet C10 pickup (which eventually reigned victorious in the category when the results were announced on November 6th). Other Fords in the Battle of the Builders competition included a 1932 Victoria, 1936 Roadster, 1932 Phantom, 1972 Bronco, 1969 Bronco, and 1931 Model A.

While this Ranchero didn’t take home the grand prize, we’re insanely impressed with the obvious skill and effort put into this build. Do you think it should’ve brought home the win? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the author

Stephanie Davies-Bardekoff

Stephanie Davies-Bardekoff got her start in automotive media while attending Rutgers. She worked for Roush Performance for a while, before eventually landing here at Power Automedia. Her Coyote-swapped 1992 Fox-body drag car is her prized possession.
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