We’re as shocked as you are when we found that a Ranchero-ish 1981 Ford Durango was sold through Ford dealers in the 1980s? That’s COOL!The Ford Durango was a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and National Coach Corporation in Los Angeles. Ford would ship new 1981 and 1982 Ford Fairmont Futura two-door coupes to National Coach’s facility, where the Sawzalls would come out in force.
The roof was removed behind the B-pillar, as was the entire trunk and rear seat area. The bed unit is constructed of fiberglass, and was inserted behind the front seats.
– This is a 1981, which indicates that it was one of the years that National Coach was actually producing Durangos.
– In this head-on rear view, you can see the functional tailgate, and the three-inch filler panel that the hinges recess into. That’s a National Coach design, and it’s indicative that this is an actual Durango.
About the worst you can say about it is that all of these car/truck hybrids had Ford’s antique 200-cu.in. six cylinder as the only engine available. This Thriftpower inline-6, good for about 100 horsepower was mated to a 3-speed automatic transmission. >We’re not generally fans of engine swaps, but if there was ever a vehicle crying out in desperation for a 5.0-liter conversion, this is it. Fairmonts and Mustangs share the same Fox chassis, so a 5.0 swap is about as easy as you’re ever going to find in a Ford.
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