It’s A Car! It’s A Truck! It’s A 1957 Ford Ranchero!

1957 Ford Ranchero

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Normally I check out the local craigslist ads at least once a day. Unfortunately I didn’t get my daily craigslist fix in as early as usual, so I didn’t spot this find as early as I would have liked to and I’m sure it has a new home by now. I’m planning on calling the seller shortly just in case it is still around. As I write this article, this 1957 Ford Ranchero is for sale here on craigslist in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina for $1,000. And if you happen to beat me to it, I’m fine with that!

1957 Ford Ranchero Ad
Find this ad on eBay

The Ranchero was introduced in late 1956 as a 1957 model. Contrary to what you might think, the Ranchero was introduced prior to the Chevrolet El Camino, which followed it two years later due to the Ranchero’s success. Ford did its best to highlight that the vehicle offered the best of both worlds; built on an automobile platform and having all the creature comforts expected of a car but having the capability of a pickup truck. The Ranchero was marketed and listed by Ford as a truck, and surprisingly the original 1957 model had about the same carrying capacity as the 1957 F100!

Ford Ranchero Ad
Find this ad here on eBay

I love looking at the optimism and hyperbole in this period advertisements! I can’t help but wonder how the three folks picnicking got there, although I guess there was a bench seat. I suppose the novelty of a car-truck was new to the USA, however I found out that Ford of Australia created the first car-based pickup in 1934. It sure took a long time to get the idea over to the parent company! Those first “utes” didn’t have the flash of this Ranchero though: the upscale “Custom model” like the one for sale had most of the trim of the Fairlane models. My mom had a 1957 Fairlane in the same colors as the Ranchero in this ad that I’ve heard about for many years; I’ll bet she’d be surprised if I towed this one home!

I’m hoping this one is fitted with the larger V-8, displacing 352 cubic inches and similar to, if not identical to, the Thunderbird’s V-8. I hope I get to find out later today, unless one of you beats me to it! Go for it, guys!

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Jamie Palmer JamieAuthor

    BTW, it was there at 8 am, although someone (not me) was going to look at it at 10 am.

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    • Robert R.Member

      1:30 pm and still posted……

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  2. geomechs geomechsMember

    It looks like one of those deals: If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. The vendor is saying V-8 so I’d expect to see a 292. Sure would like to see more pictures. I’d be interested if it was closer to the Chinook region.

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  3. Off2hcky

    Wow, I’d be on that in a heartbeat if i didn’t have to work today. Hard to go wrong at 1000 bucks if its fairly solid. Although that passenger door looks like it took a good whack.

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  4. DolphinMember

    Risky, but maybe not too risky for $1K. The garage looks dry, altho with the look of the floor it might be a rodent hotel. But it’s a ’57 Ranchero and only $1K……

    If someone buys it I hope we get some photos.

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  5. Terry Johnson

    The ’57 Ranchero started what became a study in Industrial Giants in a market war. Ford introduced the Ranchero in 1957 and used lots of parts from the 2 door full sized station wagon. It was a hit and caught GM napping. It took 2 years for Chevy to catch up with the 1959 El Camino, but it used a lot of unique parts and was not as efficient (cost) to produce (1959-60). Ford was already planning another surprise and in 1960 out came the new Ranchero (1960-65) based on the Falcon which left Chevy in the dust again. The General didn’t respond to that until 1964 when it reintroduced the new El Camino on the mid sized Chevelle platform. It was a great truck, but I’d loved to have seen one on the Chevy 2 platform. Ford answered with the Ranchero on the Fairlane chassis. What a story! After they both become fat and oversized I lost interest, but the last version of the El Camino from 1978 – 87 was a great little truck to end the saga with

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  6. jim s

    listing is still up on CL. it would be hard not to be a deal at the asking price. great find

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  7. Jason

    This posting has been deleted by its author.

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  8. fred

    My dad had the salmon and white version seen in the ad above when I was about 5 years old (same age as the truck, I’m also a 57 model). He drove Rancheros right up until they discontinued them around ’79, owning a ’62, a ’69 and a ’79.

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  9. Vince Habel

    Studebaker and Hudson had them long before Ford.

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  10. Jamie Palmer JamieAuthor

    Ben (owner) seemed really nice when I talked to him this morning. Did a Barn Finds reader pick it up?

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  11. Tirefriar

    Good find Jamie!

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  12. Woodie Man

    One of my bucket list cars. For some weird reason I have a preternatural attraction to the ’57 Ford. One of these days………

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    • Denis

      I’m with you…I’m a GM guy but I will have a 57 Ford Custom 300 post or a Ranchero b4 I check out.

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  13. St. Ramone de V8

    A friend way back bought a’57 Ranchero which was hit in the front, and sat in the nieghbors yard for years. Paid almost nothing. He had a plan. Another neighbor had an Edsel with a good front clip. Yep, created the world’s ugliest Ranchero! Red and white outside, real ’50s look. Original engine survived a while, then it got a Cleveland. Then it was fast and ugly.

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  14. David G

    Nifty, and thrifty! Btw, couldn’t get a 352 in a 57 Ford so don’t hold out for one of those in a 57 Ford package, maybe look for a Y-block 312 ‘Thunderbird Special’ instead. Ford’s “FE” series engines (inc the 352 you mention in the writeup) weren’t intro’d until the 58 model year, during which i think they also built a 332ci version and maybe some truck variants. 1958 was a HUGE year for FoMoCo engine-wise, also being the debut year for their all-new ‘MEL’ wedge engines used in the Mercury, Edsel, and Lincoln division cars (thus the MEL namesake). MEL engines debuted in 58 as either a 383ci, 410ci (Edsel only), or 430ci. So lots of folks think the 57 cars were nicer looking (to which i nor the 57 public would argue since they snapped ’em up like barracudas), but 58 was the much-better year for FoMoCo engines, and how…

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  15. Bill

    This posting has been deleted by its author.

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