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Last Call: King Buick Edition

Robert Emslie June 12, 2017 All Things Hoon 11 Comments

Next to the Ponderosa of TV’s long-running Bonanza series, the most famous cattle ranch in America is undoubtably the King Ranch located down in Texas. It’s famous enough in fact, that Ford currently names a high-end trim level for its F-series trucks after the place.

That Ford King Ranch is not the first vehicle with which the ranch had an affiliation. That honor would go to Buick as in 1949 that company partnered with King Ranch on a wild hunter’s edition of the Buick Eight. Richard Mifflin Kleberg, Sr. was at the time both a U.S. Representative out of Texas and the heir to the King Ranch fortune. Kleberg had built a Ford-based huntsman’s car in ’46,   but recognized that his homebuilt efforts left a lot to be desired. That desire led to the representative reaching out to Buick and GM Styling leads in the commission of a purpose-built, no holds barred Ranch off-roader hunting vehicle. The resulting King Ranch Buick apparently did not disappoint. 

The car features a reinforced frame dropped more than five inches, and an extended booty where a pair of standard wheel/tires would sit. There are multiple gun mounts, including one for a pistol under the hood. No doubt that’s in case a rattler became entangled in the fan belts. Up front there are, alternately, a spotter’s seat and game mount, and a winch hidden behind the massive iconic Buick grille. Inside there’s a two-way radio, compass and cow-hide floor mats. Power came from a 152-bhp Fireball straight eight.

So, which Kind Ranch would you rather have, the modern F-series one, or this funky classic Buick edition?

Image:  Wheelsage