Sporty Storage: 1957 Ford Del Rio Ranch Wagon Restomod – Sold?

by | Jan 2022 | Classifinds, Wagon Wednesday

February 15, 2022 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Fun fact: Chevrolet’s Tri-Five Nomad built between 1955 and 1957 may be more popular today, but the reality is Ford’s 1957 Del Rio Ranch wagon such as this example originally listed in January 2022 on Craigslist in Chula Vista, California (San Diego) actually outsold the former by a wide margin. Reimagined as a restomod featuring a 1993 Mustang powertrain, the American Racing wheels and gray-over-red two-tone paint provide subtle clues this Ranch Wagon is much more than a restored example.

Currently offered for $35,000, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Del Rio priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $27,700 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $45,100 when compared to stock Customline example.  Interestingly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool provides a different assessment as in this case the asking price is several thousand dollars above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $33,800. The premium here is for the modern touches the restomod treatment provides.

Ford produced the full-size, six-passenger, two-door Del Rio Ranch Wagon only for model years 1957 and 1958.  The impetus for the creation of the Del Rio was Ford’s desire to remain in the two-door sport wagon market started by the Chevrolet Nomad and Pontiac Safari and the decision to discontinue the company’s original attempt at a sport wagon, the premium Parklane, which failed to entice buyers during 1956, its only year in production. Four-way power seats were available.  While the Nomad was Chevrolet’s most expensive model, offering a premium vehicle with a show car-inspired body style, the Del Rio was strictly based on an existing product, the utilitarian two-door Ranch Wagon, Ford’s least expensive station wagon, as part of the Custom 300 series.

Beginning with the basic body, buyers of the Del Rio were offered a unique optional two-tone paint scheme, better quality interior and exterior brightwork (including gold anodized aluminum accents), and a higher grade vinyl upholstery. Del Rio buyers also had their choice of either Ford’s “Mileage Maker” 144 horsepower inline-six or its “Thunderbird” 215 horsepower, 312 cubic inch Y-Block V-8. Del Rios came equipped with 11-inch front drum brakes standard.

Like all other Ford station wagons at that time, the Del Rio used a two-piece tailgate – a feature that dealers emphasized was an advantage over GM’s steeply raked rear gate and self-storing window, which were known for water leaks in heavy rains.  While the Ford sold more Del Rios in 1957 (46,105) than Chevrolet did with its Nomad in its three years of production, Ford terminated the Del Rio program at the end of the 1958 model year after selling only 12,687 of its “sport wagons”.

The Old Car Memories YouTube Channel provides a nice history lesson about the Ford Del Rio Ranch Wagon:

This 1957 Ford Del Rio Ranch Wagon restomod is a nice update on what was likely a rust-free California car.  Based upon the modern Mustang powertrain and convenience items added, this Del Rio is a comfortable cruiser perfect for hitting the summer car show circuit.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“This wagon is in excellent condition has 1993 mustang 5.0 eng and aod trans, the trans was rebuilt 1 year ago resealed complete eng new high volume water pump and high volume oil pump, new alt,alum rad with shrouad and elec fan has power disc brakes new,has new borgeson gearbox,power steering replaced gauges with dolphin set,classic radio with elec antenna, new carpet,, tilt steering colum,power wipers will trade for 41 to 48 ford​

Show or go: what would you do with this 1957 Ford  Del Rio Ranch Wagon Restomod?  Comment below and let us know!

2 Comments
  1. Harry Harley

    I am interested in purchasing this Del Rio.

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      Hi Harry, thank you for reaching out. Unfortunately, it appears the Craigslist ad for this car just expired within the past couple of days. We will be keeping a watch out for a new listing to replace the expired one and will alert you if and when that happens.

      Reply

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