Classic Trucks: The 1957-58 Ford Ranchero
Dubbed as “American’s first modern car-pickup hybrid”, the Ford Ranchero was introduced for the 1957 year. According to sources from Consumer Guide- Automotive, Ford Rancheros are among the most collectible artifacts of the 1950s, with a far reaching influence.
So what was the Ford Ranchero? Basically, it was a two-door Ranch Wagon with the rear roof section cut off and a bed liner slipped over the floor pan. The concept for this vehicle was introduced much earlier, in 1932, in Australia. Ford of Australia called this vehicle a “Ute” (Utility): a roadster with the body section behind the driver replaced by a fleetside bed. In 1957, the open-bed Ford Ranchero joined Ford’s wagon lineup and was joined by the more wagon-like Ford Courier Sedan Delivery.
The Ranchero was first offered in two trim levels and was built on the corresponding automobile assembly line, but sold as a truck through Ford’s truck division throughout the model run. The two models were the basic standard model; marketed to traditional pickup truck buyers such as farmers, and the custom model; available with extensive accessories such as stainless steel bodyside moulding and two-tone paint. The custom model picked up most of its options and accessories that were available on the Fairlane line.
While the Ford Ranchero rushed into popularity in 1957, with 21,705 being produced, a year later Ford attempted a facelift on the model. Only 9,950 were produced this year. The Ranchero still lived on for many more years though, ceasing production in 1979. For many collectors, however, nothing compares to the first 1957-1958 Ford Ranchero.
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