Archive for March, 2011

Well I removed the good windshield from the parts wagon.  It was going well until a I was cutting a chunk of old brittle windshield seal with a Razor knife and it jerked back and gouged deep into my thumb.  You know its deep when you see the white meat of your flesh split wide open, followed by an unstopping stream of Blood.  Luckily I had some black electricians tape in my tool box. I put a clean Kleenex over it and taped it in place tightly which stopped the bleeding. It now looks like somebody got murdered on the hood of the Parts wagon!

After cursing the razor knife, I continued on. The stainless trim around the windshield was really put up a fight, but eventually pried out. I then carefully removed the windshield.  These 50’s curved windshields are fragile and notorious for cracking if you aren’t careful. I learned this the hard way when I was 15, removing the windshield out of my ’58 Ford T-bird. I gave the windshield a good hit with my palm in order to get it loose, and cracked the whole corner of it.  That was a $850 mistake I would never make again.

The  Wagon I will be working on has a very badly broken windshield, so this is a good exchange.

I am actually thinking of cutting the parts wagon in half, and transforming the back half of it into a towable trailer to match the Wagon.  Here is a picture of one done on a ’54 Ford Wagon. They added a boat to the top, but I would keep the top the same, and maybe add a luggage rack.

Pretty cool, huh?  Now, where is my Sawzall?

The replacement wagon is in much better condition. The car has been off the road since 1988.  It was originally a V-8 car, with a 3 speed manual transmission.  It was originally sold at Phillpi Ford in Stayton Oregon in 1958.  It currently does not have an engine or transmission.

The floorboards are rusty, but are repairable. The structure of the car is leaps and bounds better than the yellow wagon.

The Rear tailgate is extremely rust free, as is the rear cargo area.

The car came with a good hood, it is laying in the back of the cargo area.

Nice 70’s orange shag carpet on the tailgate will be the first thing to go.  Yuck.

This wagon is a much better project to start with, and hope you all continue to follow along.

This Wagon has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. The thrill of purchasing it, cleaning it up, assessing the needs to restore it, and finally stockpiling and refurbishing parts to complete the goals set.

I have been going over the list of major repairs this wagon will need, and feel overwhelmed. The front cowl is completely shot from windshield down. The transmission tunnel will need complete replacement. The rockers (both inner and outer) will need complete replacement. The front portions of the frame near the control arms are very weak and will need repair. The Rear wagon compartment area is very rusty, and will need replacement.  Essentially, the whole car is a rusty mess and about the only thing not allowing the body to fold in half are the windshield and pillar posts!

So it is with a heavy heart, and extreme sorrow that I must report that I will not be continuing restoration on this particular 1958 Ford Ranch Wagon.  While I have stockpiled many of the parts to put the wagon back on the road (Which includes a newly acquired Parts car) it is just not economically feasible to continue.

I have gotten feedback from those who have followed this blog, and many wonder why I would be trying to restore such a rust bucket.  I guess it is for the challenge, and for the fact that I really liked the car.  2 door wagons have always had a soft spot in my automotive heart and seeing one this bad headed for a demolition derby made me listen to my heart, instead of my head.  I have only myself to blame.  Bob tried to warn me while I was looking at the car.  Bob has tackled many old cars, and when he passed on the chance to own this “beauty”, I should have known better.

However, this is not the end of my wagon project.  Because I have found a replacement ’58 2 door wagon that is 100 times better in condition!  I have purchased the wagon, and will be restoring it instead.  The rockers are solid. The rear tailgate area is solid. The rear wagon area is solid. The tranny tunnel is solid. The cowl is solid. The frame is solid.  The floors are……soft and will need replacement.  Strangely, all the glass in this new wagon is completely shot, which is the best part of the original wagon I started with! So, I will be taking the glass from the first wagon and using it to restore the second wagon.

The yellow wagon served a purpose. It got me involved in ’58 Ford Wagons and I will be forever grateful for having purchased it. No Regrets. Further posts will now follow the restoration of the second wagon.

Goodbye Rusty.  No Regrets.