1958 Ford Ranchero: Rare But Rusty!

While it’s going to take someone with vision and a lot of time on their hands to get this 1958 Ford Ranchero back on the road, you have to admit with a price of $550, it’s pretty inexpensive (to start with)! It’s for sale in Richmond, Virginia and can be viewed at the Richmond Auto Exchange website. Thanks to Ian C. for this weathered but rare find!

The rarest model year of Ranchero was 1958, with only 9,950 produced. With the huge drop from the 21,696 sold in the launch year of 1957, I’m surprised Ford kept the Ranchero in the lineup for 1959 — when I researched that, most historians think it was due to the launch of the Chevrolet El Camino that year with Ford not wanting to appear as if they didn’t have a response. They were proven correct when 1959 Ranchero sales rose by about 50% over the 1958 model.

I’m generally not a fan of leaving light patina on a car that should be restored, but this is one example of a vehicle I’d love to get driveable and save and just leave the cosmetics completely alone. Of course, given the amount of visible rust (and visible air where there should be metal!) I’m not sure that would be easily possible. Since there’s no gold anodized insert on the side trim, we can further identify this Ranchero as a Standard rather than a Custom 300, meaning it’s actually one of only 1,471 produced!

As Ian C. said when he submitted this find, “what is holding this…together?”  But with all the emblems, trim and badges present there is still the air of originality — and it’s only $550! If only we could see under the hood (the seller states they cannot get it open). The 1958 Ranchero came with one of three engines: the Mileage-Maker 223 cubic-inch six-cylinder, the venerable 292 cubic-inch V-8, or the newly offered for 1958 352 cubic-inch V-8. As all were available in the Standard model, we don’t know what mystery awaits under the hood.

Can’t you see yourself sliding across the seat behind that great big steering wheel? Okay, remove the weeds first! Let us know whether or not you think this rare Ranchero is worth saving!

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Comments

  1. Classic Steel

    Just change the emblems to Dodge charger or classic Porsche and add a zero to price

    Seriously for 500 parts could be salvaged .

    I hope its on a ranchero forum somewhere to be put to good use or possible restored by odd chance..

    anyone on a ranchero or ford forum to
    post?

    I saw this on a quick google search and
    if no has a better one will post 👍
    http://www.ranchero.us/forum/index.php

    Like 4
  2. Carter T

    Put the Ranchero specific parts onto a car and make the car into a Ranchero

    • Carl

      Were it not for various elements, I’d be tempted. Why do I have the idea that the engine bay houses the base 6 ? Not all that bad, but…

      And, ugh, the grafted on dual head lights make it ugly. The 57 much sleeker..

      The first 352 was a “dud”. Heavy as all ((*&

      The 292, a really nice engine. A good one would run off and hide from a 283 SBC!!!

      Super tough as well. Used in trucks and even “chippers”…

      Like 1
  3. Steve

    I bought a 58 Sedan Delivery in this kind of shape and wound up trading it to a wrecking yard that uses it for yard art. There some pretty cool cars that are just too far gone. By the way, from the cowl back the 57 and 58 SD’s are identical. Is it the same for the ranches? I was thinking about swapping out the 58 doghouse for the prettier single headlight 57.

    Like 1
    • Barney

      I’m pretty sure the roof of the 58 delivery is unique and is one year only

      Like 3
      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

        Barney, I remember seeing that when I was researching the article.

    • Carl Hutchins

      Not that hard. Swap in a 57 front clip. If you can find one

      Like 2
  4. Joe Btfsplk

    As I recall, the hood on the 1958 Ford opens from the cowl and tilts toward the front, no?

    Like 9
    • jo6pac

      My thought also but could be wrong

      Like 1
      • sir mike

        You’re not wrong…opens from the cowl….57,58,59 all did this way.

        Like 4
    • Pookie Jamie

      Do a link on YouTube

      Like 1
  5. redwagon

    better description would be rare AND rusty.

    Like 1
  6. Patrick Geoege

    It is an inline 6 223

  7. local_sheriff

    Unless its greenhouse is beyond – maybe a cheap starting point for a 58 Edchero conversion for someone with the skills?

    Like 1
  8. Bill Hall

    My Dad bought a 58 Ford wagon new. Even though it was always garaged and in a mild climate it would rust through in several places by just looking at it.

    Like 1
  9. Bill

    Rancheros came off the production line rusted

    Like 1
  10. GaryT

    The interior shot is too dark to see the pedals but It appears to be missing an automatic gear indicator so I’m guessing it’s a manual tranny hooked to the 223 6. As far as rust goes, it’s not partial to any particular make or model, it’s the environment that they were exposed to and I think any ‘58 model year vehicle that spent the majority of its life in the Dakotas would have suffered from the tin worm. Of course it’s going to need metal everywhere that it was exposed to winter road salt. All of the lower panels on any 1958 vehicle would have taken a beating from it. From about 3 or 4 inches up from the bottom, the old Ford appears to be pretty solid. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to see the condition of the cargo bed and interior floors. Still, I’ve seen worse vehicles brought back to life and being a low production year, make and model, a guy that’s talented in metal fabing and welding would have a rare ride.

  11. Philip Bregar

    The front of the hood is so rusted, you should be able to open it from the front. LOL.

    Like 4
    • JBP

      that cant be the biggest issue

  12. TimM

    If I were closer I would own this at that price!! The dash board in my opinion is worth that!!!

  13. Rob S

    Sad to see one in this shape. These are kinda rare! I have a 58 2 door hard top.
    I bet the good release cable is rusted solid! Going to make getting that hood open a real nightmare! 58 roofs, hood and trunks are specific to that year. Definitely a 3 on the tree, pretty common.

    Like 1
  14. Little_Cars

    I went to an auction back in the early 2000s that was mostly Hudsons, Fords and Corvairs so I just had to go and take photos. If it wasn’t for a three-state distance between the auction and where this Ranchero is selling I would have mistaken it for the rough 58 I considered bidding on. Question–Why is it almost every 1958 ‘Murican car seems to have had parts cobbled on from the 57s? Think Studebaker/Packard, Ford, Desoto, Rambler, Lincoln. All had body components tacked on that decades later look horrible when left out in the weather. Fading fins, sad eyes.

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