Custom Custom: 1957 Ford Ranchero – Sold?

by | May 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Truckin Tuesday

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June 27, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “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.

The holy grail for marketers in any industry is identifying a market gap and filling it with a product before your competitors do.  In the mid-fifties, Ford marketers determined that many consumers needed a light-duty pickup but wanted a car-like ride and features when they weren’t hauling anything.  From this, Ford launched the Fairlane-wagon-based Ranchero in 1957.  It would take Chevrolet two model years to offer the El Camino as a competitive response.

This mildly customized, driver-quality two-tone 1957 Ford Ranchero spotted for sale in May 2023 on Craigslist in Arvada, Colorado (Denver) features a 1958 hood and a more modern 302 cubic inch small block Ford V8. While the seller does not call it out in their description, this Ranchero appears to be a more upscale Custom model based on the Fairlane side trim. You’ll need to confirm that with the seller and the trim tag.

Last offered for $21,000, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is slightly below the one-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for 1957 Ford Rancheros of all trim levels and conditions.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the UTE featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #4 “Fair” estimate of $10,300 and its #3 “Good” appraisal of $21,800 before making adjustments for equipment and powertrain.

Ford launched its innovative car-based pickup, the Ranchero, as a late introduction for the 1957 model year.  The 1957 Ford Ranchero was a unique and innovative vehicle that blended the practicality of a pickup truck with the style and comfort of a car. Based on the brand’s all-new full-sized platform, the Ranchero was a pickup bed version of the Courier sedan delivery that featured an open bed and bespoke three-passenger cab. Ford offered Rancheros in two trim levels.  An extremely basic standard model was marketed to traditional pickup truck buyers such as farmers, while the “Custom” featured most of the options and accessories available on the Fairlane line, including stainless steel bodyside moldings and two-tone paint.  Upscale models were badged both as a Fairlane and Ranchero, with a stylized representation of a Longhorn as the symbol for the model located on the tailgate.

The 1957 Ford Ranchero featured a distinctive design that combined the front end of a car with a cargo bed at the rear. It had a sleek and streamlined appearance, with clean lines and harmonious integration of the cab and cargo area. The front end resembled the Ford Fairlane of that year, featuring a chrome grille, dual headlights, and stylish chrome accents. The cargo bed, which was integrated into the body, had a bed length of approximately 6 feet and a payload capacity of around 1,000 pounds.

Inside the Ranchero, the emphasis was on providing comfort and convenience. The cabin featured a spacious and well-appointed interior, with bench seats upholstered in vinyl or cloth. The dashboard was stylishly designed and featured a set of analog gauges, controls for ventilation and heating, and a centrally located radio. The overall interior design aimed to provide a car-like experience while still maintaining the practicality of a pickup truck.

The 1957 Ford Ranchero came with several engine options to suit different needs and preferences. The standard engine was a 223 cubic inch inline-six that produced around 144 horsepower. Optional engines included a 272 cubic inch V8 engine with 190 horsepower and a 292 cubic inch V8 engine with 212 horsepower. These engines were mated to a three-speed manual transmission as standard, with the option of a two-speed automatic transmission.

The Ranchero boasted several innovative features for its time. It featured Ford’s Lifeguard Design safety package, which included a deep-dish steering wheel, a safety dashboard, safety door latches, and optional seat belts. The Ranchero also incorporated styling cues from Ford’s passenger car lineup, such as the Fairlane, which gave it a more upscale and refined appearance compared to traditional pickup trucks of the era.

The 1957 Ford Ranchero was met with enthusiasm and quickly gained popularity among consumers. It appealed to a wide range of buyers, including those who needed a practical work vehicle as well as those who desired a stylish and versatile personal vehicle. The Ranchero was seen as a groundbreaking concept that pioneered the development of a new class of vehicles known as “car-trucks” or “coupé utilities.” It paved the way for future generations of car-based pickups and influenced the design and development of similar vehicles from other manufacturers.

Overall, the 1957 Ford Ranchero was a unique and successful vehicle that combined the best attributes of a car and a truck. It offered a stylish and comfortable driving experience while providing the practicality and utility of a pickup truck, making it a truly versatile vehicle for its time.

The Wild About Wheels YouTube Channel features Ford’s famous “It’s more than a truck. It’s more than a car.” launch ad for the 1957 Ford Ranchero:

While mildly customized, this 1957 Ford Ranchero appears to be a driver-quality example you can use for either work or play.  We would detail the engine and possibly ad a vintage air A/C system before the hot summer season starts, but that’s just us.

If you are serious about buying this Ranchero, you can start the conversation using the contact information provided in the seller’s Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their Ford Ute featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1957 ford ranchero. 302 ci. 4 barrel carb. 3-speed manual trans on the column. Dual exhaust. Am radio. Heater. 58’ hood. Great condition. $21,000 obo. Mark.

Show or go: What would you do with this 1957 Ford Ranchero?  Please comment below and let us know!

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