1955 Ford Ranch Wagon
It's really a shame that SUVs and minivans have taken the place of the traditional station wagon, because everyone should have childhood memories of cruising the countryside in a wood-sided hauler like this 1955 Ford Ranch Wagon. With a smooth-running V8, A/C, and a 5-speed manual gearbox, nobody's going to complain about the journey or be in a hurry to reach their destination. The car was repainted recently in its original code KE Buckskin Tan and White combination, and it looks just fantastic. The paint is in excellent condition showing minimal signs of use and only very minor signs of age, which is inevitable no matter what kind of car you're driving, and we love the subtle period look. Without the wood of the Country Squire to get in the way, this 2-door wagon looks incredibly clean and sleek, but also very appropriate. Of course, with Ford, it was all about Jet-Age style, so you also get Ford details like the round taillights (which are actually a combination of '55 and '56 parts), that wonderful mesh grille, and a sleek aircraft-inspired hood ornament. We also really dig the Ranch Wagon script on the front fenders and the flip-down license plate bracket that still shows your plate even when the tailgate is down. The attractive two-tone interior is a fantastic complement to the tan and white bodywork and makes the handsome wagon feel very upscale, which is entirely the point. Ford's corporate dash should look familiar, with a hooded speedometer with a Plexiglas window in back to light it from behind, a tach on the steering column, auxiliary gauges under the dash and a big 2-spoke steering wheel that makes the wagon easy to maneuver. Three round pods in the center of the dash house the heater controls, a block-off plate for the radio, and the clock, respectively, and there are A/C vents discreetly tucked under the dash. And yes, that shifter manages a 5-speed manual gearbox, which makes this wagon a ton of fun to drive and an easy cruiser on the highway. The cargo bay is outfitted with heavy-duty carpeted mats and the seat folds down, allowing this wagon to swallow a shocking amount of cargo, so it's a hobby car that doesn't mind doing a little work on the weekends. Ford's "Y-block" V8 was a familiar sight throughout the late '50s, a smooth powerplant with enough power to make the wagon feel peppy around town. This is a 312 cubic inch version built by noted Y-block expert John Mummert, so it runs superbly. Not radical, it nonetheless delivers modern performance without looking out of place. There's a custom intake manifold by Mummert and an Edelbrock 4-barrel carb on top, Pertronix ignition system, and a giant aluminum radiator up front. The chrome air cleaner looks suitably old school and the polished Thunderbird valve covers are exactly the right touch. The 5-speed shifts easily and has nice clutch take-up, and with overdrive, it's effortless on the highway. Dual exhaust has been fitted, so it has a nice V8 burble that sounds great but never gets annoying and the undercarriage has been fortified with front disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, and an aluminum driveshaft. It has all been rebuilt, so it's reliable and it sits on fresh Coker wide whitewall radials with factory hubcaps. Nicely finished and ready to enjoy, this is the ultimate vintage family hauler, and from personal experience, a cheerful wagon like this is a great way to see the world. Call today!