1957 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon With A Hidden Surprise

When someone sets out to create a custom car, things might not be all that they appear to be. That’s the case with this 1957 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon, because under the skin there lies a bit of a surprise. The Ranch Wagon is located in Coweta, Oklahoma, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN has been set at $10,000, but the option is there to make an offer. While he doesn’t specifically say so, the owner does hint that he is going to throw in the canoe as well, which is a nice little bonus.

The Ranch Wagon is finished in a combination of Cumberland Green and Colonial White. However, I don’t think that this was the car’s original combination. Looking around the door frames reveals what looks to be traces of Seamist Green, suggesting that the car has undergone a color change at some point. There is plenty of surface corrosion present, but no signs of any rust problems. The owner doesn’t mention the state of the floors, but I get the impression that these are probably fine. As you will see shortly, the condition of the frame is also potentially pretty good as well. The owner also states that all of the glass is either good or has been replaced at some point.

That doesn’t look like a Y-Block under the hood, does it? In fact, that isn’t a Ford engine at all. The reason for this is that the Fairlane body has been grafted onto a Pontiac Parisienne frame, complete with all of the original Pontiac mechanical components. It isn’t clear exactly which engine and transmission his fitted to the Ford, and this is a close to a good engine photo that we actually get. If the gear selector is to be believed, then the transmission is a 4-speed automatic, while it appears that the Ford is also fitted with power steering and power brakes. The owner did not perform the conversion but has been using the car consistently since purchasing it as it currently stands. He states that it is smooth, reliable, and quiet, and will return 24mpg. He says that about the only item that needs attending to is the air conditioning. It currently has no belts, and will also need to be checked to ensure that everything operates as it should.

The interior is something of a mixed bag, and the next owner will probably want to do some work to get everything to match a bit better. The original Fairlane seats look like they are in good condition, as does the carpet. The door trims will require new upholstery, but the dash is a mismatch which would have been required as part of the conversion work that has been performed. I believe that it is from a Parisienne of around 1986 vintage, and features Pontiac’s gauges, radio/cassette player, and tilt wheel. The dash is good, although the pad is quite cracked. Given the amount of work that has already been performed, it would be very tempting to find a company who can dye vinyl and plastic, and have them dye the dash to match the colors on the seat. It wouldn’t be the perfect answer, but it might bring some continuity into the vehicle. The other option would be to acquire an original dash and modify it to house the Pontiac gauges and controls. I guess that either option would be viable, although, for me, the latter option might be the one that I would choose.

So, what we have here is a real “Franken-Ford,” and I know that there will be some purist who will be pretty upset by what they see with this car. I love my Fords, but I respect the ingenuity of any person who takes on a project like this. I would love to see someone complete the work that has been started because I do think that it is a project that has some potential. Do we have any takers?

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Comments

  1. Kenbone

    57′ fords have always been a favorite of mine. The fact that its been changed to a more modern vehicle only makes it easier to use as a daily or frequent driver. I would have preferred it had remained all ford but that isnt the case. I would still be interested do to its coolness and easy parts availability if i had that kind of cash hanging around, i’d want to paint it though. Someone put an awful lot of work into this i wonder why they would have sold it

    12
  2. Sam61

    I like the canoe as the surf boards are passe. Great project…all for driveability and easy maintenance with a stock look.

    8
    • Gray Wolf

      A surfboard is not pass√© if you use it! If you are on the West Coast and see a board on or in a vehicle, it’s probably going to be used!

      2
  3. CCFisher

    The script on the rear quarters reads “Country Sedan,” so this is not a Ranch Wagon.

    Parisienne was offered in the US from 1983-1986, so if the chassis is US-spec, the engine is a Chevy 305.

    20
    • Roger

      Actually they also came with the Oldsmobile 307,I knew a couple who owned one of them.

      1
  4. Bingo

    24 mpg on the highway downhill?

    8
    • CHARLES

      You forgot the tail wind, Bingo…….!

      2
    • Brakeservo

      Needs a tail wind too for that mileage! Whenever I see a seller make a ludicrous claim like that, I have to think everything else said is bogus too.

    • Throwinwrenches

      If it’s the Olds 307 under the hood, they would do 20-25 mpg with the AC on all day. They made no power, but as long as you kept them up they would get respectable mileage for that time.

      1
  5. Superdessucke

    It’s Alive!!

    9
  6. David Ulrey

    While I’m not a huge fan of cross breeding, I probably would be really good with this one.

    5
  7. Bob S

    The 57 is one of my favourite years. I like the styling of this car, but owning a station wagon would not be the best option for me. If this would have been the Ranchero, it would have been a much more attractive prospect.

    I don’t know about the availability of the Parisienne in the US, but was the top of the Canadian line of Pontiacs ( with Chevy engines and built on the Chevy frame) for many years. I owned a 60 Parisienne, but I think the first year of production of the Canadian Parisienne model was 1959. I don’t know how long production continued, but know for certain that the name was still going strong in 1967.
    All the Canadian Pontiacs used the Canadian engines, so depending on the year of the donor body, it could be a 283, 327, 409, 396 or early or late 427.
    From looking at the type of alternator and the position, I am going to guess that it is a mid 60s donor.
    The early 4 speed hydramatic was not offered in the Canadian cars, so the possible transmission selections would have been the powerglide, turboglide, or the THM in the later cars.

    Bob

    4
    • Mike

      I’ve seen Parisiennes for sale that were from the mid 80s. Never really paid that much attention to them…

      1
    • Miguel Member

      Bob, if somebody had done this to a Ranchero, we would collectively put a bullet through his head.

      1
  8. JBP Member

    pos

    8
  9. Jamie

    Clear coat it. Make it safe. Throw some glass packs on it and beach bound.

    2
  10. ken tilly UK

    Fords are my favourite car manufacturer up until 1970 but I have owned a couple of Pontiacs, a ’51 Star Chief and a ’64 convertible, (Can’t remember the model) and found them to be great cars so this Fortiac is the best of both worlds in my mind, and I’m a purist!

    4
  11. Joe

    Why? Just. Why?

    14
  12. KSwheatfarmer Member

    Agree with CC Fisher, this i not a Ranch Wagon, that name was used on the two door wagons. I have a 61 Ranch Wagon, the last year Ford used this name I believe.

    4
    • rpol35 Staff

      Actually the Ranch Wagon moniker was used through 1974 and applied to both two and four door models. I was simply the bottom of the line Ford station wagon like a Chevrolet Biscayne or a Plymouth Suburban.

      3
  13. KSwheatfarmer Member

    1961 Ranch Wagon

    14
    • Marshall

      That looks like the same one that Tom Cotter recently had driver restored and donated to a college!

      3
      • Miguel Member

        Except for the year and number of doors. They were both red, though.

  14. KSwheatfarmer Member

    Ranch Wagon Script

    3
  15. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    As a huge canoe fan, still have 5 or 6 in the garage. This is the worst canoe I have ever seen. Fake patina maybe? I like my canoes nice and shiny, slicing through the waves. Pulled up on the beach they are a treasure to look at. OK, I will move on, you cats do what you want with the car.

    11
  16. Del

    Junk for 10 grand???

    Not worth 500 bucks

    10
    • Capriest Member

      Two $2000 cars hacked into one does NOT make a 10g car. Maybe if they used like an 89 vic or marquis chassis so it was efi and not crossbred.

      6
  17. Charlie

    It would be better to take it apart and sell the body on Hemmings part by part. Probably make a small fortune that way. Right now it is a Fordiac Fairisienne.

    5
  18. Benjy58

    Hey kids don’t forget your tetanus shots.

    4
  19. Patrick Farmer

    This is what it looks like to be up a “certain” creek without a paddle.

    2
  20. pwtiger

    So tired of small block Chevys stuck into a Ford

    7
  21. JOHN

    I like the concept of a more modern drivetrain, but the dash absolutely ruins it unfortunately.

    7
    • Miguel Member

      The only thing this car needed to be a good daily driver was front disc brakes.

      This whole switch did not make it drive any better.

  22. That Guy

    I think this is really cool, and it seems well done. There’s a huge amount of work gone into this, and the result looks way better than 95% of these kinds of conversions do. I agree with Adam about the dash – work on getting it somewhat color-coordinated with the rest of the interior but otherwise leave it alone.

    What a fun and unusual car.

    1
  23. Ken Carney

    Hi Mike! I’d like to see your canoes sometime. Me, I can really relate to this
    car as it represents what our hobby used
    to be like. Back then, you built a car out
    of what you could get your hands on. You should’ve seen my ’54 Studebaker
    Champion! Was 15 when I built it. I swapped in a 327 fuelie engine out of a
    wrecked Corvette. I also used the auto tranny that came with it. Had to have a
    new drive shaft fabbed up along with a
    set of headers. I left the body and interior stock and ran duals out the back.
    Used to take great delight in blowing the
    doors off some smart Alec kid in a brand
    new muscle car. Still glad to see that
    there are a few backyard builders still out
    there.

    3
  24. r s

    It’s a Foniac.
    It’s a phony – aack!

    3
  25. Glenn Schwass Member

    Interesting but I am not a Ford or Pontiac guy but can appreciate the work. I would have gone with a Crown Vic or Grand Marqis( my wife had one). But you use what you have. I would use the old Ford dash and interior, just the Crown vic power train.

    1
    • Gaspumpchas Hulsizer

      Ken and Glenn good comments. A traditional (I hate the term old school) hotrodder built his car out of what he had on hand, maybe he had the poncho sitting in the yard. I sure can appreciate the work and craftsmanship. POncho in a Ford is different, but being a Ford Nut its not my cup o’ tea. I would never criticize another guys work, as its his baby. Especially a car that’s roadworthy. Usually the guys who criticize have never finished anything. Sorry got off topic Lets keep it fun and friendly, Folks. The BF owners put a lot of work into this site for us to Enjoy.
      Cheers
      GPC

      2
  26. DougJ

    No. Just no.

    3
  27. Tort Member

    Chevy guy but overall I like it. Not a patina fan but the colors are fine if painted. Do not care for the canoe unless I was actually heading for the river. Only huge negative is the dash which is a real downer and should reflect on price. With all the work done the original dash would have improved it a thousand percent.

    4
  28. Bill Hall

    When I was in high school my Dad bought a 57 two door ranch wagon for 50$ iT WAS A 292 3 ON THE TREE OVERDRIVE. I learned to drive a manual trans on this car. It did have a couple of serious flaws that led to my totaling it out. The steering had an inch or two of play and the heater and defroster were next to inoperative. This led on a cold rainy night to my putting it in the backend of a 56 Buick. I was a STUPID TEENAGER AT THE TIME.

    1
    • 427Turbojet Member

      A 57 Ford wagon with a 3 speed and overdrive would have had a 9″ rear with 4:10 gears. My brother in law’s dad told us to go to the local junkyard and get a rear axle from a 57-58 Ford wagon with overdrive. We found 2, paid $15.00 each, welded the spiders and had a pair of racing rearends for our 57 2 dr Mainline dirt track car! This was 50 years ago, things were a little simpler then.

      5
  29. Ronald Tyler

    I love the 1957 ford, I have owned several of them. I currently have 1957 Thunder Bird, I have had at least 10 57 fords. I had a ranchero 1958 converted to a 1957, change front end no one could tell. I put a 390 cyclone engine in and bolted right up. Now to the wagon, I love it and keep it like it is, lot of good ideas. Good luck to who ever buy it. Neat car.

  30. Wayne

    I like it.
    I would have preferred to have a Pontiac engine.
    It should still have the original dash.
    Looks like good workmanship. $7,500 would be tops in my book.

    2
    • Arthell64 Member

      This is one of those projects that rarely get completed. Kudos to the person that completed it.

      1
  31. Dave

    Odd choice of swap, I would have stayed ford. Couldn’t care less about the canoe, but other than that it looks good. Just the right patina! There are some folks who just “don’t get it”. Oh well, neither does my wife.

    1
  32. Steve

    I suppose now you could put a LS in it to replace the 305. Would like to see how the ford body was grafted onto the donor floorpan though.

    1
  33. John G

    Where I’m from the identity sits in the frame, so to me (and the local DMV) that’s a 1986 Pontiac. But since the lights and such doesn’t fulfill 1986 requirements, it would probably be impossible to register here. So probably worthless, except as a parts donor.

  34. Ken Member

    Clear coating this car would be insane. And some people are spelling “patina” incorrectly.

    It’s spelled “R-U-S-T.”

    3
  35. Miguel Member

    If this was done to a 1957 Chevy wagon, would there be any positive comments here?

    • JOHN

      I like it, except for the dash, and I’m more of a GM guy. I would have tried to use an old Crown Vic police car for the drivetrain, but who knows, maybe he already had the donor or it was too cheap to pass up! As for the rusty canoe, uh, no thanks, either an old longboard or nothing.

      1
  36. Wayne

    John G, I don’t know where you are from. But here in Nevada (and is the case in most states) It would be titled (or still should be) as a 1957 Ford wagon. The key is two things. The original VIN tag mounted in the original place. And whether the vehicle is subject to smog inspection. Even in DMV crazy California (With Colorado emulating California smog and DMV when ever possible, and then taking it to a whole new art form!) They use this basis. Because of the age, I don’t believe there is a state in the country that would need to verify smog legalities on a 1957 model anything. Regardless of what’s under the hood. If it was a 1990 or newer vehicle, (again depending on the state) then you may have an issue when it comes to smog inspection and or
    registration. Here in Nevada, on vehicle years between 1989 and 1966, (vehicle body year) and only in Clark and Washoe counties, anything goes as far as engine is concerned as long as the DMV has been notified of any number of cylinder and fuel requirement changes and then it must pass a sniffer smog test. (Which any properly running vehicle should be able to pass.) 1990 and up, all original smog devices and engine must be present and working properly. Vehicle modifications on vehicles newer than 1990 must be presented to a DMV smog lab for testing and inspection. (usually a sniffer test and a California CARB approval sticker is all that is needed above the normal “all smog devices present and operational” check)
    I know, more info than you wanted to know. But normally older vehicles do not present registration issues as long as there is a “clean” title.

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