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The 1225 Horsepower, Twin Turbo 1970 Ranchero Built For Quarter Miles

Rancheros are right up there on the list of cars we don’t see being restored very often. They’ve got a cool design right out of the box and are capable of incredible power, just like this one. The 1970 Ranchero we see here is the creation of Jerry Link who built it for the strip.

Massive Powertrain

When Jerry first picked up the car from an unplanned roadside stop, it carried a 302 with a two barrel intake. These days it sports a 598 cubic inch big block that was originally a 460 before it went under the knife. Balancing and replacement of the lifter bores was the first stop on making this the heart of a real drag strip competitor.

Jerry decided to go top of the line when replacing the rest of the internals as the build went on. New rods and a crankshaft came in right alongside fresh pistons, ring packs, and inserts. As the inside refresh was finishing up, aluminum cylinder heads and raised exhaust ports were prepped to be installed.

Custom fabrication was needed for the air box connected to the new single plane intake manifold. The new performance level parts go on and on in order to build a powerful machine for the strip. An increase in power happens because of the twin Garrett 2-GT4202-R turbochargers that work with a water to air intercooler. The end result is an amazing 1225 horsepower hitting the pavement while a huge 985 pound feet of torque backs it up.

Drivetrain and Transmission

All that power flows through a Turbo 400 from Germantown, Wisconsin’s Automatic Transmission Design. A custom converter with a 2750 RPM stall and a new flex plate went in before the transmission. These are complimented with the new trans brake and valve body as well as a shift kit. It all keeps cool under pressure thanks to auxiliary fans while a fluid cooler does its share as well.

Jerry opted for a 3.5 inch steel driveshaft to move the power backwards to the all new rear end. This includes a 9″ housing flanked by 3.5in axle tubes and filled with 35 spline axles. The differential comes from Detroit Locker and features a 3.91 gear ratio for super fast response.

Body and Interior

To fit the massive drag slicks into the rear end, the fender openings needed to be stretched out by a full 4 inches. These also have all new 35 inch wheel tubs hidden underneath. Beyond that, the body remains largely intact with few noticeable changes made.

Seating comes from an Oldsmobile Achieva that were reupholstered in cloth that looks great against the new headliner. These also have four point harnesses to lock the people in both seats into place for their own safety. The stock steering column is finished with a Grant wheel and flanked by new gauges in the custom dash insert.

Chassis Reinforcement

For all the power that was being packed into the Ranchero, the chassis needed to be reinforced. This is backed up with a ten point roll cage to make safety and rigidity top priorities. These two tie together for a rather seamless look that adds to the overall appearance of the Ranchero.

In the end, Jerry has made himself a beast for the track that’s capable of laying down serious smoke. Before getting to its current state, the car was raced regularly but has been for show since completion. Jerry has promised that one day it will be seen in its more powerful form on the quarter mile again.




James Murrell
About James Murrell

I love to research and admire all sorts of vehicles from restored classics to top shelf supercars, monstrous offroaders to weird concept vehicles. I absolutely adore any vehicle I can get behind the wheel of.

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