Text courtesy of Mecum Auctions
Well-dressed hardly describes this fabulous ‘50s Ford which has undergone a professional frame-off, nut-and-bolt restoration by Jerry Miller of Springdale, Arkansas—the nation’s foremost 1957-59 Ford restoration specialist. Painted in the striking, sharp and bold combination of coral over gray, it wears all the jewelry including the chromed rocker moldings, dual side-view mirrors, front wheel-arch stone guards, front Vee-Bar bumper, bumper guards, famous gold and chrome side spear and specialized exhaust tips. If that’s not enough, it rolls on wide whitewall tires and sparkling chromed wire wheels. Passengers will love the power steering and automatic transmission, air conditioning and power windows. The interior is handsomely restored in a brown and white motif with the requisite chrome and aluminum elements glistening in all the correct places. Not many Rancheros have been treated to such a painstaking restoration and fewer still have this fine an options list. Introduced in December of 1956, the Ranchero was built on the automobile assembly line but marketed and sold through the Ford Truck Division. Sharing most of its components with the full-size Ford Custom line, the Ranchero largely borrowed from the two-door Ranch Wagon, employing a reinforced steel bed instead of the wagon rear end. The idea was to fill a niche which had been untapped, hybridizing a car and pickup, a unique idea for the mass market which proved successful and popular enough that Chevrolet introduced its own version of the car-truck with the El Camino in 1959. Ranchero shared sheet metal and chassis with a number of Ford models until it was discontinued in 1979, enjoying 22 years of production. During that time, it was a full-size vehicle, a small vehicle and a mid-size vehicle, the latter proving the most popular. Most agree the Ranchero left the game early, but bowed out in style, retaining a lot of respect from the community. Today, enthusiasts and collectors alike appreciate and laude the Ranchero, particularly these first-generation examples which offer a remarkable blend of utilitarianism and inimitable 1950s style and panache.