1958 Ford Ranch Wagon….The Journey Begins.

Posted: July 21, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

I have acquired this 1958 Ford 2 door Ranch Wagon. It has seen better days, and frankly should be crushed. This car is in the worst condition of any car I have ever bought to restore. However, it is rare enough, and it has just enough good about it that I have decided to start a quest to bring this wagon……back from the grave!!!

I have a soft spot for wagons. They were the work horse for the family for generations. They got no respect for years. Many family station wagons met their fate after years of faithful service through family vacations, hauling the kids around, camping trips, only to end up as a battering ram on wheels at crash derbies and county fair demolition derbies all over the country.

In fact, this very car was purchased from a gentlemen who was going to use this car in a demolition derby in Oregon. He didn’t have the heart to do it, knowing how rare it was. So he advertised it for sale. He didn’t sugar coat it. He described how bad it was.  My friend Bob (A Wagon lover, and ’58 ford owner himself) and I  just went to look.  Forget the fact that we took cash. But I made the terrible mistake of looking too long. My eyes painted over all the blemishes and filled them with invisible Bondo, the dents straightened out before my eyes, the interior healed itself into a beautiful ’50s two tone vinyl.  I sugarcoated it myself. Bob tried to pull me back but it was too late. I had suffered “Rust Madness” and there was no turning back.

A deal was struck and now the car sits in my driveway. I had to quickly cover it with a car cover as the neighbors were throwing daggers with their eyes. “What pile of rust did Don drag home this time” I imagined them saying.

This particular car was manufactured in San Jose, California in March of 1958. It has a 6 cylinder engine, 3 speed transmission column shift, and the optional Overdrive. The car has sat since 1969. It was under cover for a number of years, before the roof it was under dry rotted and collapsed on top of it. This allowed the car to get very wet and mossy. If this were a 4 door wagon, it would be going straight to the crusher. However the 2 door production numbers are very low, thus making this car rare. The wagon was originally a Tri-tone White and Yellow color.

This blog will be a  journey of how I get this hulk back on the road. I hope you enjoy the ride. Oh, make sure you get a tetanus shot before entering. I have a feeling your going to need it.

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Comments
  1. Argonne says:

    My dad bought a red and white, 2 door Ranch Wagon in February, 1958. 6 cylinder, 3 speed manual. It came without seat belts, but he later had some installed at a muffler shop. It also came with the old vacuum operated windshield wipers. Those were dangerous! The government finally outlawed them. Ten years later that was the car I learned to drive on. In 1972 I sold it to a neighbor who promptly burned the engine up by adjusting the valves himself.

  2. timsweet says:

    Reblogged this on Average Guy's Car Restoration, Mods and Racing and commented:
    I’m going to follow along with the progress.
    Very Cool.

  3. Mark soehner says:

    what is happening on your car?
    Mark
    Calgary

  4. I had a ’58 Red Ranch Wagon, in ’66 with a 352 and automatic, but the trans blew so I installed a 3 speed stick with a 390 and I fabricated the pedal assembly. But I still had the “automatic” differential, so it would shift into 3rd at 65 and break the tires loose that speed. I never reached its potential top speed, as “chickened out” at 127.

  5. marv says:

    I had a 58 2dr wagon with a 292 and a 3sd from 64 galaxy that had a 406, it would hit 80 before you had to shift out of 2nd. fastest clocked speed 156. it also had a 57 front end. Sold it in 1973.

    • My ’58 Ford Red and White Ranch Wagon, came with a 352 and Automatic. But I blew the trans while cruising State Street in San Barbara, in 1966, so I put in a manual 4 speed, with 427 bell housing, clutch and pressure plate, and built my own clutch linkage. But didn’t change the rear end gearing. So when I “mashed it” between second a third, at 65 mph, the back end would break loose. I got to 127 and got scared, as it had plenty left. I then got drafted and kept the car until I got home. But with a new wife, who hated the car, I ‘gave it away’. I have a photo, but can’t find the place to share it.

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