James Simpson was crushed in front of his wife after trying to stop his Land Rover from being stolen from his home.
Thief Christopher Grenfell, 25, was found guilty of murder at the High Court in Glasgow and judge Lord Burns jailed him for life, ordering him to serve a minimum of 17 years.
Mr Simpson's son Jamie said: "Christopher Grenfell decided to counter the actions of my father by committing the murder of a 76-year-old man when he had the clear option of simply driving away. In the wake of this choice he not only left a man dying in the street, but also left his wife absolutely devastated."
Grenfell, of Larkhall, was also convicted of breaking into Mr Simpson's house to steal the car keys and, along with a second man, William MacVicar, 24, was found guilty of car theft. MacVicar was admonished due to the time he had spent on remand.
The pair stole Mr Simpson's 4x4 from outside his home in Ashgill, South Lanarkshire, on November 29.
His wife Minnie told the trial that her husband ran out to the car and opened the driver's door as he tried to stop the theft. The car pulled away, then stopped and reversed back over Mr Simpson, whose spine was broken in two places. He also suffered multiple rib fractures and collapsed lungs.
In a statement issued by prosecutors, son Jamie said: "My mother was a happy, confident and independent woman. Now she is shattered, nervous and a lonely widow."
Jamie paid tribute to his father saying he was "filled with passion and compassion in equal measures. He met life with a positive and unquestioning optimism".
John Dunn, procurator fiscal for the West of Scotland, said: "This is a tragic case involving the needless loss of life of a man who was simply trying to protect his property.
"A family has been robbed of a husband and father for no reason other than selfishness and greed."
Detective Superintendent Robbie Allan, of Strathclyde Police, said: "This was a particularly callous murder where Grenfell put greater value on his acquisition of a car than the life of a man.
"I hope this conviction can bring some small comfort to Mrs Simpson in particular, who had to endure watching her husband lose his life.
"Strathclyde Police was absolutely determined to bring those responsible for this horrific murder to justice."