Nomad Nemesis: 1956 Ford Ranch Wagon – Sold?

by | Dec 2021 | Classifinds, Wagon Wednesday

January 12, 2022 Update – While this “Classifind” expired recently, given the seller’s past history we suspect may not actually be sold yet.  For now, we’re labeling this ride “Sold?” However, we will keep an eye out for an updated listing. In the interim, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

December 5, 2021 Update – After a brief hiatus following the expiration of their last listing, the seller just posted a new Craigslist ad in which they’ve lowered the asking price from $26,000 to $22,000.

October 5, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” unless we come across a new listing.

September 3, 2021 Update – The seller just posted a fresh Craigslist ad for their two-door Ranch Wagon.  The price, description, and pictures all remain the same.

Two-Door station wagons were popular throughout the 1950s for consumers who needed to haul cargo more than people. Inspired by British “Shooting Brakes”, arguably the most iconic example from this period was Chevrolet’s original Nomad launched in 1955.  Taken by surprise that year, for 1956 Ford offered its one-year-only Parklane two-door wagon equipped with Fairlane trim that outsold GM’s Chevy Nomad and Pontiac Safari that year.  Meanwhile, Ford’s other two-door Ranch wagon remained the post popular two-door wagon sold in America in 1956, with over one hundred thousand units produced.

One of those examples preserved to this day in mildly modified form is this red and white 1956 model originally listed in August 2021 on Craigslist in Evansville, Indiana offered for $22,000 currently (the original ask was $26,000). Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Ranch Wagon priced between this guide’s #3″ Good” estimate of $24,000 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $37,200.  Similarly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the asking price falls between this guide’s  #2 “Very Good” estimate of $24,900 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $38,200.

Here’s Hagerty Insurance’s summary of why the 1956 Fords are popular among car collectors:

“The 1956 Customline’s major development was the introduction of a 12-volt electrical system. The car also received more of the Thunderbird’s styling, and air conditioning became optional. The optional V-8 became the 173-hp, 272-cid unit, though the station wagon’s V-8 choice was the 292-cid, 200-hp engine that was standard in the Thunderbird.

The Ford Customline was extremely popular, with nearly three million leaving assembly lines. Collectors usually seek out the 1956 models due to their 12-volt systems and the power options they can support. Earlier cars are interesting and affordable options as well. Any Customline is relatively easy to maintain assuming rust and rot are kept in check. All in all, the car is an affordable way to experience a mainstream 1950s American car.”

This 1956 Ford Customline commercial epitomizes how American consumers in the suburbs were quickly finding a need for a second car in the driveway:

In addition to the color combination, the fact this car spent all of its life in California up until only ten years ago means you’re likely buying a very rust-free driver-quality example.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1956 Ford Ranch Wagon, 292 V8 (said to be original), automatic, manual steering and drum brakes. This Wagon came from California about 10 years ago, Ford’s version of the Chevy Nomad, these 2 doors are getting harder and harder to find in this condition, it was purchased from an 80-year-old gentleman in the Chicago area where he did a partial restoration on it. I bought it last year after it was sitting for a few years, it has a new battery, new alternator, new belt, new spark plugs, rebuilt carb., updated ignition wiring, newer horn, newer AM/FM radio with CD and MP3 port, new front speakers, new rear speakers, new carpet and has been detailed and hand waxed. It runs and drives like it should and I have driven it about 100 miles around the local area. This is not a perfect vehicle, but is a good driver quality classic and is a fun great looking wagon. You can leave it as it is or take it to the next level, it still could use some TLC here and there. The last 2 pictures in this ad show the current NADA and Hagerty Values for this Wagon. You can email, call or text … texting is the quickest way to get me, I work a lot.  Thanks for looking

Show or go: what would you do with this Ranch Wagon?  Comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. Nomad Nemesis: 1956 Ford Ranch Wagon – Sold?

    Ford’s response to the Nomad was not the Customline, it was the 1 year only Parklane 2 door wagon which used Fairlane trim and was available in 3 two tone combinations. Even though the Parklane handily outsold the Nomad and Pontiac Safari combined, it was discontinued after ’56 and was replaced in the line-up with the Del Rio Ranch wagon for ’57.


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