1958 Ford Ranchero With A 5.0 V8

When it comes to repairing a classic car, fire damage is one of the most difficult problems to correct. The heat can impact the integrity of metal, damage wiring and create a whole range of issues. We tend to recommend steering clear of flood and fire damage cars, but this Ford Ranchero could actually be an exemption to that rule. You see, it suffered a fire in the engine bay, but it doesn’t appear to have caused that much damage. It damaged the wiring, which is a problem, but the seller replaced the distributor and the engine fired right up. You can find this project here on eBay in Santa Teresa, New Mexico with a BIN of $8,500.

Here’s the engine bay, which does show some signs of the fire. You might also notice that this isn’t a V8 from 1958 and that’s because it’s a 5.0 from the 1980’s. The seller doesn’t state what engine this ute was originally equipped with, but chances are it had the 292 V8. When the engine was swapped, the transmission and steering assembly were also swapped, so this should be a comfortable vehicle to daily drive. That is if you can get the charred wiring sorted.

This clearly is an older restoration, but it looks to have held up alright. There’s plenty of overspray to be cleaned up and it looks like there might be some rust issues beginning to develop in the door jambs. There’s a lot to be done here to make this a nice driver again, but it sure would be cool once completed. So do you think the 5.0 swap hurts or helps the value?


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  1. Ian McLennan

    I wonder if this fire is another example of a gasoline leak caused by rubber gaskets and seals being destroyed by ethanol?

    • duaney Member

      Just what I was preparing to say!! And the culprit is the short hose from the fuel line into the fuel filter on the carburetor, a bad Ford design, made even worse when the ethanol blend destroys the rubber line and fuel sprays right onto the distributor, a few inches away. Seen this many times.

  2. Ohio Rick

    Someone apparently liked it. Gone!

  3. rmward194 Member

    Seems like lots of money for a fire damaged vehicle, but then I’m picky. Like the mismatched whitewall and blackwall tires. It just makes the vehicle look “off”.

  4. Troy s

    I think the 5.0 swap makes it easier to deal with since there are parts-a-plenty available, especially compared to the old Y block, like a new air cleaner and filter for example. Nice cruiser.🎅

    • KKW

      Anything and everything is available for the Y-block. Given the higher trim level it is, I would guess it came from the factory with an FE, 332, or 352. Whichever it was, I would put it back to original. But that’s me.

  5. Mountainwoodie

    I’d love to have a ’57 with the original drivetrain.

  6. OhU8one2

    I for one would look for a early millennial Mustang Cobra and swap over the complete powertrain and suspension. Including the rear IRS setup. It would be the 4 cam motor,T56 transmission and have the 13 inch front disc brakes. Then if there is room, a supercharger. With a stock interior and exterior,but I haven’t figured out the wheels yet………

    • JagManBill


  7. Dave Mc

    I had forgotten that the ’58 ranchero had the ’57 hind end. The wagon doesn’t.
    Best of both worlds, I like the ’58 front and the ’57 rear better.

  8. Keith

    If that had come up when I had some extra money earlier this year I would have grabbed it. But timing isnt right.

    The fire doesnt scare me one bit. I would pull the 5.0 thats in it and drop in one of the injected 5.0’s I have. Rewire it and at worst have to replace the hood. Repaint a couple things.

    But since I am in new england a nice sold car like that is worth it. Especially one that only needs minor work.

  9. Rex Kahrs Member

    I’d source an upper radiator hose before I drove it off.

  10. Rob79Malibu

    Well, looking closely at all the pics on eBay. That thing is a bond bucket. Since those cars are infamous for rust. I would want to see the underside. You can already yell the underside of the doors are rusting. The paint job id awful, look above the passenger door. Looks like a 90’s chevy with the paint peeling right down to the primer. Like transformers. There is more than meets the eye on this one!

  11. Petey

    That is a 57 .58 had square taillites

    • Z1rider

      The quad headlights tell the tale, it’s a 58. The 57 taillights were a carry over for Rancheros.

    • Terry Buchholz

      Look again 57 58 used the same rear

    • KKW

      Good lord, look at the front end, lol, it’s a 58. 58 Rancheros shared the rear end with the 57s.

  12. Henryfrederick

    Years ago, I came across a 58 ranchero. Had the 58 taillights same as the cars did. Needed restoring, looked very original. Owner said it was rare and wasn’t for sale. Has anyone ever seen one or heard of one? I have always been curious. Thanks.

    • JagManBill

      rare and hand made. I too have seen one. Guy I knew took a 58 wagon and grafted all the pieces onto the ‘chero. Why?…cuz he wanted to see what it would look like…I had heard a story that the 57 Ranchero was a poor seller. When the 58 model year came around they had so many left over that they swapped out the 58 front sheet metal on to the 57’s and sold them as 58’s…

  13. Bill McCoskey

    Fire damage like this is not difficult to repair. About 40 years ago I had a customer who had a small fire on his ’59 Cadillac Coupe deVille, almost identical to this Ranchero’s fire. After I was finished with the car, it took a first place trophy at the Cadillac LaSalle eastern national meet.

    However if the fire is extensive, unless it’s an incredibly rare and valuable vehicle, walk away from it. I had a barn fire in 1973 that consumed 6 cars. My 1956 Packard burned 100%. Since it had a dual 4 barrel motor, I decided to keep the intake manifold. Once the area had cooled enough for me to get to the car, I began removing the manifold. I was amazed to discover the nuts & bolts holding the manifold to the heads were only finger tight! Once I had the manifold off the car, I set it on a flat steel workbench, only to discover the entire manifold was warped, it would rock back & forth, one corner to the opposite corner!

    3 cars back, was a 1938 Alfa-Romeo 6C2600 coupe with an alloy body. The engine block, transmission & head were also aluminum, and my memory of the final resting place of this once great car was seeing a large solidified blob of aluminum with various steel parts sticking out of it. I never did any research on the Alfa, but it’s identical to the one that won the first Watkins Glen Grand Prix in 1948.

  14. timothy barton

    I think I have this exact 58 Ranchero. I’m not sure what the NE2 color code is could be two tone white and green. The trim code is V-Green Sof-Textured Vinyl and Green Whipcord Embossed Vinyl or Green Sof-Textured Vinyl. Have to use my wife’s email.

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