Pre-Ranchero: Custom 1953 Ford Pickup


This custom Ford “Ranchero” was spotted here on craigslist in Maui, Hawaii as an interesting project made from a conjoined ’53 Ford sedan and ’52 station wagon. Said to be a resident of the Hawaiian island since new, the work is purportedly first-class and done by a local body man whose reputation is still known today (well, at least to the seller). I’m not an expert on one-off creations, but this Ford pickup doesn’t appear rusty and the body line from the B-pillar down to the truck bed looks high-quality. Listings like these usually end in disappointment when the pictures reveal a crudely assembled project, but this example may have been created by more of a craftsman than a bored teenager! It’s supposedly been barn stored since 1987 and is ready for a new motor, paint and interior, not to mention chrome and all the trim. The seller says some of these pieces will come with the car but doesn’t specify what. The price is right, however, even when you consider shipping it stateside. Does anyone remember seeing this custom Ford in a magazine spread back in the day?


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  1. Scot Carr

    ~ This car is historic. I can’t begin to know what to do with it.

    • Brian

      I live here on Maui, dry cars are nearly an impossible find with the salt and humidity. Luckily it was kept so many years hidden away in a barn in a higher elevation away from the salt air. I just bought it yesterday. It’s a real piece of hot rod history. Barely any major rust. We plan on restoring it and getting it back on the road soon.
      If anyone has any info or original pics of this car, we would love to see what you got!

      • Josh Staff

        Congratulations Brian! Keep us posted with your progress and be sure to send us more photos. If we come across any history or old photos of it, we will be sure to get them to you!
        Good luck!

      • Brian

        Thank you!

  2. Jim Capp

    Ford did make early 50’s Ranchero’s in Australia, could this be one? They were right hand right, you do see one coming up for sale every once in awhile in the USA.

    • JamestownMike

      They weren’t call a “Ranchero” in Australia, they were called a “UTE”. And the UTE’s would all be right hand drives.

    • Allan Kay

      Not Aussie, this is a pic of my ’52 Aussie Mainline ute.

  3. don

    cool, but would cost a fortune to get it the states, asking price a little on the high side.

  4. Cassidy

    Perfect! I was looking for a really good reason (excuse) to go to Hawaii…..

  5. Chris in WNC

    reminded me of an Australian Ute, but LHD means the build story is likely accurate…..

  6. Dave

    To bad, I just got back from Maui, I was island hoping for 15 days and spent 5 days in Maui. Had I known this car was there I would have gone and looked at it. Maybe shipped it home to Canada !!!!!!!!

  7. fred

    Definitely better than average body work for one of these beasts.

  8. JamestownMike

    I think they did an amazing job grafting the two vehicles together…….four years before Ford made the Ranchero (1957)! Shipping a RUNNING car from Maui to LA is about $1,100……..I’m sure a NON-OP car would cost more!

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