Got this update from Roy, contact him directly if interested, I am buying one...
Hello Fellow Ranchero Fanatics
Thanks for your interest in the Ranchero fiberglass bed cover project. I finally have some good news to report.
It is clear that the company Protect-O-Top that used to make covers for the early Rancheros is closed, out of business. The good news is that after much searching and with a little luck, I have located two former employees of Protect-O-Top who still have the molds for our bed covers. They are a couple of hispanic guys who were with the company for 40 years. They are able and willing to make the covers, one at a time. The covers come with detailed mounting instructions and all the necessary hardware like springs, hinges, brackets, and keyed lock. And of course, the fiberglass filler panel that goes between the rear of the cab and the front edge of the cover. The cost is $650. which I think is reasonable given the lack of availability elsewhere. And let's face it, they're not making any more Rancheros so the likelihood of a major manufacturer creating a Ranchero mold is non-existent. I picked up one cover finished in white gel-coat which I have ready for the first lucky owner. They have another that is nearly ready in primer finish which would need to be painted in automobile paint to match your car. The guys are having issues with the folks at EPA about their spraying so are having to develop a work-around for that. I am assuming that most people will want the gel-coat but if you want primer finish they will do that as well. The hardware is exactly the same as it has been for 40 years and works very well. The covers are secure yet come off quickly if needed.
Now for the bad news: Shipping.
The covers measure 60" x 66" and are a couple inches thick (raw dimensions, unboxed). We would need to allow a couple of inches additional for styrofoam packing. At about 25 pounds boxed (estimated), weight is not the issue. Due to the dimensions, they cannot be shipped by the regular UPS or FedEx package service. Both those companies will take them as commercial freight but the cost is astronomical at $600-$700. to the east coast. Boxes are also an issue as boxes that large are difficult to find and expensive. I may have a line on getting used ones from a furniture company that contained mirrors. I will know more on that soon.
So I need some help here. If any of you know of a shipper who can transport a cover without breaking the bank please let me know asap.
To be fair, I will accept orders in the order of responses to this email. Please don't send me funds until I let you know your cover is ready and we have solved the shipping issue. For the SoCal and AZ people, I do get down there from time to time so perhaps we could work something out there. But we have at least one person who is in NY (Ralph, that'd be you!) so I would ask each of you to do the research to find out how you would like me to ship it to you. It may be that there are multiple solutions for shipping depending on where in the country you live. In case you need it, I would be shipping from zip code 94566.
But I do have one cover ready in gel coat and another in primer that is about 2 weeks out. These guys are old and slow but they are willing to make the covers for us. But once these guys are done, I think the supply of Ranchero covers is gone as well. If all of you will help me out with the shipping method I will make sure you each get a cover.
I look forward to hearing from each of you soon.
Keep those Falcons and Rancheros running!
Roy [email protected]