Highly Valued Ranch: 1959 Ford Wagon

By Jeff Bennett

Well, this is one of those cars you just don’t see every day.  As most of you know, station wagons were once very popular.  While most ended up as kid and grocery haulers, some wagons were used for other things.  A lot of tradesmen, such as handymen, carpenters, and painters, used them as a convenient way to haul around their tools and materials.  Others were used for airport shuttle duty for hotels, and a few were even used on, you guessed it, ranches.  Ford started producing these unique wagons in 1952, and offered them in  some form or fashion until 1974.  This 1959 Ford Ranch Wagon has just the right combination of cool and quirky to make it stand out.  However, this wagon being sold here on craigslist is sitting somewhere in North Georgia with a price tag of $8,000.  Is that price realistic?

The seller tells us that the car was an Arizona car, and was shipped to North Georgia.  Supposedly, the Arizona life helped to keep the tin worm at bay.  There is still some rust visible in the usual places, but it is not unrepairable.  While it is a Georgia car, and Georgia doesn’t issue titles for cars over a certain age, the vehicle comes with an Arizona title.  It also is missing the ignition key, but a new ignition switch and, presumably, a new set of keys are offered with the car.

As evident in the pictures above, the exterior is a little weather beaten, and it has various dents and dings.  However, it is not hard to imagine how good the car would look with a fresh two tone paint job in turquoise and white.  The wheels are obviously aftermarket, and they could probably be sold for enough profit to replace them with some chrome aftermarket wheels in a sensible size.  A correct set of steel wheels come with the car also, but there is no mention of hubcaps.

Inside, you are going to need some money and help.  Seat covers, door panels, and carpets are likely not off the shelf items for this car, and having a professional upholsterer fabricate and install a new interior will likely not be economical.  Add to that the door and window rubbers that are obviously needed, and this project could get upside down in a hurry.  The good news is that everything else seems to be there and useable after some refurbishment.

Under the hood, it seems that a rattle can or two of clear coat have been used in a poor attempt to beautify the engine compartment.  If you are thinking of doing this with any car, please put down the rattle can and seek help immediately.  Other than the rattle can rejuvenation and the fuel line dangling precariously near the aftermarket Flex Fan, everything else looks to be there and useable.  The owner says that the car is equipped with its original 292 Ford V-8 backed by an automatic transmission.  There is no mention as to whether or not the car runs, but I wouldn’t bet on it.  The clear would have burned off the exhaust manifold by now.

You have to admit that it would make for a cool, distinctive car to cruise around in.  However, the $8,000 asking price is pretty lofty for a project car like this one.  Once you fixed the rust, upholstered and painted it, and made mechanical repairs, you would be far beyond the value of the car.  It could be cleaned up and made to run again fairly inexpensively, and would still be pretty cool.  It just seems a shame not to go all the way with this one.  There obviously aren’t that many left, and it would be quite the conversation piece at shows.  Just make sure you strip off all that clear, so your friends won’t be embarrassed to be seen with you.

Get Daily Email Updates:

Comments

  1. D

    $8000 does seem high, but they are coming back!

    7+
    • boxdin

      Wagons are hot, 2 door wagons are hotter.

      13+
  2. Andre

    Ya even as a GM guy this thing is great. I’d rock it.

    6+
  3. geezerglide85

    The way I read the ad is that you don’t get the mag wheels with the car. I think maybe that first pic is a little older and the others are as it sits now.
    Most of these were lost to rust many years ago, so where are you going to find another (especially a 2 door like this one). This would be a really unique project,
    maybe a big block 390 w/air, nice set of wheels, new vinyl interior (tuck and roll),
    new seafoam green paint, dual exhaust with glass packs ( gotta make some noise and the cops tend to leave us old guys alone now). Yeah you would be “upside down” but isn’t this hobby more about fun than turning a quick buck.

    11+
    • Mark S

      I can’t agree more, what is your end goal to have a rare car or to turn a profit. This is a unique car and I hope it gets a full resto. That fact remains that the current patina craze is driven by an unwillingness to invest in these old cars and a lack of skill on the part of the up and coming generations. Let’s face it us old guys grew up in a time where tinkering in our fathers garages was how we passed the time, we didn’t have computer screens to stare at. I remember well my older brother and I working on our bicycles, making go carts, firecracker canons, and model air plains was how we spent our summers. The truth is most of the classic cars you see around today that are restored have cost their owner more than they’d get back if sold, most cars have never been a good investment it is supposed to be about the passion for old cars, driving down the road in somthing other than the modern cookie cutter cars we see today. If you think these pre technology age cars ar expensive to restore wait 20 year years and see what a 2015 anything will cost to restore. There will come a day when you won’t see cars like this on the road anymore so again I hope this ends up in the hand of some one who will restore it enjoy it and pass it on to someone else who will to do the same……..Rant completed.

      8+
      • Brad C

        There’s nothing “factual” in suggesting an appreciation for original paint is driven by frugality. For some? Sure – as you said, most projects cost more than they’re worth, so people who just enjoy driving old cars often don’t throw everything with four wheels onto a rotisserie. But there’s also an entire category at Pebble Beach for cars with the paint they were born with. Not everyone requires a facsimile of what their car looked like 50, 60, or 70 years ago; some of us find beauty in that imperfection… and pride in displaying a vehicle’s history, played out in its faded roof and dented trim.

        3+
      • Mark S

        So brad you think that leaving rust in the long run is going to be good for a car like this . So it can go from surface rust to small rust holes than large rust holes how is that preserving the car. Remember the primary function of paint is to protect the metal. I think leaving it looking like some trailer park trash bucket is not ok. At the very least if most of your paint is in good shape the rust (not patina ) needs to be repaired and new paint blended in. I think there nothing worse than leaving a car rusty. JMHO.

        2+
      • Jeff

        You are so out of touch with younger people. It’s nice to have a unrestored car so you can drive it everywhere and not worry about a stone chip or door ding. You sound like the old guy at a car show crapping on everything that you don’t like or understand. People like you will be the reason our classic and hot rods will be turned into soup cans. Look at the model T market. We need to get involved with our kids/ young people not push them away because of being close minded. Computers and youth are here to stay let’s embrace both and make our hobby the best it can be.

        2+
      • Mark S

        Jeff I fail to see how a car that is restored to a decent condition and I’m NOT saying a concours trailer queen but a good driver quality condition is going to end up a soup can before one of these rusted out patina buckets. As for young people I’ve volunteered at my sons school a lot working in the shop class teaching a variety of trade skills. That’s right I’m a licences mechanic and welder and I’m proficient at wood working as well, from wood turn to cabinet making to wood sculpturing. I have worked with my hands all my life and I connect well with young people. I’m raising a multiple amputie child and work with him all the time I even sew, so I know how to alter his clothes for him.So I think that your the one that does not know what your talking about. Frankly I couldn’t care less what you think of me.

        4+
      • Jeff

        Point missed Mark and I was not judging you. I think we have more in common then you might think as far as Job and Kids and volunteering at school we are the same. We need to encourage kids and computers. We might not like the styles or them adding fuel injection to everything. This excites them like us putting headers and blowers on our cars that our teachers or parents didn’t understand or thought the was dumb. I think that’s why they don’t seem to try. People crap on their ideas or style. That was more of my point.

        0
      • Jeff

        Point missed Mark and I was not judging you. I think we have more in common then you might think as far as Job and Kids and volunteering at school we are the same. We need to encourage kids and computers. We might not like the styles or them adding fuel injection to everything. This excites them like us putting headers and blowers on our cars that our teachers or parents didn’t understand or thought the was dumb. I think that’s why they don’t seem to try their ideas or style. That was more of my point.

        0
      • Mark S

        I have no problem with kids and computers my son blows my doors off he can type 50 words a minutes with a finger on his right arm and an elbow stump on the left. Jeff we my have missed each other’s point here. When you spend your adult life repairing building altering and maintaining every thing from bicycles to car to buses to industrial machinery and your understanding of things like rust you develope a dislike for anything left looking like that. A rusty car to me is simply a unmaintained car, no different then a bad ball joint or a set of worn out rings. This patina craze just seems so half assed to me. If your going to go to the trouble of fixing the mechanical side of things why not the body, a door is just as much of a part as a brake shoe so why fix one and not the other. It’s just how I see it.

        1+
      • Mark S

        Actually Jeff I’ve considered putting port injection on my 1951 flat head dodge in fact it my well boost the power and clean up the emmisons a bit. May still do it if I go to 12 volt I still haven’t decided yet. I think that the flattie would be a good candidate for some modern upgrades. Any thoughts on this idea.

        1+
      • Jeff

        I like your idea Mark do it post pictures

        0
  4. Kevin W

    The price might be on the high side, but than again, maybe not. The same can be said for many vehicles on here. Decent old wagons, especially 2drs, are getting hard to come by. As far as getting upside down in a restoration, it doesn’t really matter if you’re planning on keeping the car indefinitely. I’m upside down in one myself, but I have no intention of ever selling it, so I don’t worry about it. And restoring old cars for profit is certainly no guaranteed way to make a living.

    3+
    • Rod444

      Restoring old cars for profit is a lot like they used to say about being a farmer: “How do become a millionaire farmer?”
      “Start with 10 million”

      3+
  5. rough diamond

    That wagon is one cool ride. That styling is so over the top. Does anyone else think that glass is tinted? It would make sense being an AZ car.

    0
  6. Red'sResto

    I’d buy some material and cover those seats myself. You’d be amazed what you can accomplish yourself with a set of hog rings and hog ring pliers. Just take your time- you’d be surprised how well it can turn out.

    3+
  7. Brad C

    Sure wasn’t much chrome on these. Guess I’m spoiled with my early 50s Pontiac and Chrysler wagon… seems like they were covered in long spears, and little chrome bits. This has a nice, understated look – certainly not a caricature of a 1950s car.

    0
    • Kevin W

      Well no kidding!!! It’s a base trim level model!!!

      0
  8. MarkEd

    This would be a fantastic car to sink some cash into. A new interior, upgrade the suspension, engine and everything else mechanical, and a fresh paint job. You would be the envy of the cruise in and car show circuit.

    5+
  9. James "Cousin Jim" Mitchell

    Get rid of the stupid mags….Get the car back to 100% original, as it should be. Never butcher a good, solid American car like this…!!! It obviously served it’s previous owners well with that stock 292-rebuild it and run it…😉👍

    4+
  10. Z1rider

    Never cared for 59 Fords. The backup lights, which appear to be orbiting around the tail lights always put me off. But on this wagon, it works somehow.

    0
  11. Warren

    I do not think that in today’s economy the 8K asking price is that much off the mark. I just bought a 67 Squire and did not blink at the asking price. 5 years ago I would have laughed.

    5+
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Better lose that blue tarp. They hold in the moisture causing the car to rust from the inside out. I guess one less Squire will help those prices go even higher!

      2+
      • Dave

        I agree with Jesse. Get a breathable cover and you will be happy in the end.

        1+
  12. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    Offer 4k…then spend 20k.
    This sled is begging to be resto-modded.

    0
  13. Skip

    I love the ’59 Ford wagons. Ellis Funeral Home here in Midland bought one new that replaced the old ’54 Ford wagon. The ’59 was first out until Ellis bought a new ’61 Chevy panel truck in Sept. of 1960. It replaced a ’58 Chrysler wagon. I’ve told this on here elsewhere; but that ’59 Ford was the first ambulance I got to drive Code 3 in at the age of 15. You don’t see that happen nowadays, you know! The price on the one listed here is a bit high, seeing some of the work it needs.

    0
  14. Bruce Fischer

    I saw it offered on the H.A.M.B. How hard is it to replace a ignition switch and see if it really runs???? That’s why I passed on it.Bruce.

    0
  15. Bill McCoskey

    The N.A.D.A. price guide lists the low price is $4700, the average price is $8500.

    The guide says the low price is for a “Daily driver or an older restoration that now needs work again, “needing only minor reconditioning”. Usable “As-is”. That means it’s a running & driving vehicle you can drive away.

    They go on to say the average price listing is for a vehicle that is;
    “. . . in good condition overall . . . an older restoration or a well-maintained original vehicle. . . a ’20 footer’.”

    Based on the guide, I would say that it’s a little over priced, considering the possible problems with the drive train, suspension, fuel system, etc.

    0
  16. Bob

    Does the rear of the roof look higher than the front? Does it look like the roof is sloping towards the front? Or is that just an illusion?

    0
  17. Clay Bryant

    I get a kick out of people that talk prices on cars. I would rather pay more then pay 100 bucks an hour for bodywork on a massive rebuild…………….

    2+
  18. Gumby

    Nice car. But 8K is a bit much to put it in my drive. A Ranchero? Absolutely….

    0
  19. PAPERBKWRITER

    Ugly in ’59 and still ugly.

    0
    • Kevin W

      Best looking car in 59. Especially when compared to that “bat winged” monstrosity that came from brand X.

      0
  20. junkman Member

    Finally, one of the ones that got away shows up.I had a flesh tone 59 ranch wagon with the 6cyl, 3 on the tree with overdrive. Needed an engine and I found one at a local gas station under the work bench that I bought for a case of Miller Lite beer. Drove it every where. We took it to Maryland to my cousin’s wedding and at a gas station in NJ a mechanic came out to the gas pump and told me a few years ago they had the same looking car in for a freeze plug rusted out on the back of the head. The owner didn’t like the price to do the job because the engine had to come out to fix it. Mechanic remembered they cut a hole under the dash to do the job. We were in a hurry and didn’t think about it until later that weekend I had to put brushes in the generator and saw the cut in the firewall. Ended up selling it for $600 to a chick who was going to use it as a winter beater to go skiing.

    1+
  21. chad

    moved frm Baltimore to Boston in one in ’60/2.
    Did well till it was 10 or 12 y/o & mom slipped on the ice,
    hit a tree. She had bursitis on the dash/knee connection
    life long after that. Our buddy went to the grave yard for
    a Renault Daulphine. Simcas & Fiats after that, easier 4 her to handle.

    I’m lookin 4 it’s great grandson – Fox-bodied (’83 – 6) LTD waggy!

    0
  22. Alexander

    Fox bodied LTD wagons are really nice to convert into street rods. I used one for a catering business in the 1985-86 timeframe and got to appreciate them a great deal. As far as 1959..question about the roof slope–son, that’s how those wagon roofs were made with a little bump in the back to slap a luggage rack on! I restored a 59 Sunliner convertible back when Hemmings was the only place to find stuff and had a dickens of a time sourcing the cloth windlace around those knee-knocker windshield pillars, but I would guess kits exist for sedans now. With a little know how this car would be a great load of patina. But, c’mon, no start even with a new ignition? At 8 bills one still has to tow this thing home. No way….

    0

Leave A Comment

Rules: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Click here to list your car for sale.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.