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T-Bird Power: 1957 Ford Ranchero

1957 Ford Ranchero

The seller of this Ranchero believes that it came the factory with a 245 horsepower 312 V8! That’s possible because you could get your Ranchero with any of the car engines offered by Ford. This 4-barrel topped V8 found its way into Ford’s higher performance cars like the Thunderbird and although not the most powerful option in ’57, it came close. This one had been parked for 16 years before a previous owner pulled it out and did a bunch of work to make it drivable again. It’s now listed here on eBay and bidding is really starting to heat up.

Ranchero Interior

Ironically, there are no photos of said engine in the auction listing. The shots of the interior do show well preserved seats and door panels though. The seller states that it’s all original and I can’t find any reason not to believe them. The carpet and headliner are a little crusty, but not too bad considering that this car is almost 60 years old. The original radio is still in place too, but there’s an aftermarket temp gauge under the dash.

Bed Cover

Besides that engine, this Ranchero’s best feature could be the longhorn emblem on the tailgate! The styling of this pickup is great and it sounds like it could make a great driver. The rust that is starting to form around the rear fenders will need to be addressed sometime soon and hopefully it can be repaired without a full respray. I would lose the cat eye covers and 76 ball right away. Then I’d source some period appropriate rims and flip those tires around. After that, you’d have one heck of a handsome and capable cruiser!


  1. JW

    Yea I don’t like those headlight things, I have never seen one of these Rancheros with a bed cover like this one has, pretty nice. I would check out brakes ( dual master cylinder upgrade ) and suspension along with fuel system then drive it daily during the summer months.

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    • Ed P

      Those pop-eyed headlights ruin the ’57 Ford line for me.

      Like 0
  2. G 1

    A friend of mine had one. We painted it lime green with a dark green lace (remember that) racing stripe. One day, he reached over to give his girlfriend a little peck and totaled out three parked cars. Nobody hurt to bad.

    Like 0
  3. CarCrazy

    Plenty o’ pics at classiccars.com engine and detailed undercarriage included.
    Great find looks like it has some serious potential.


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  4. Gary K

    Back in ’65 my brothers best hi school friend had a ’57 ragtop same color combo, (my favorite by the way), and he would come by many mornings and gave us rides to school. This car was so cool back then, had the chrome reverse rims with baby moons and sounded so good with mellow glass packs. I was a couple years younger but would always be ready early and tag along for the ride to school also.
    This Ranchero is a nice sight to see, not many around even here in Norcal.
    I would also lose the light covers and the bed cover as well. Oh and the 76 ball is actually period correct, for late 60’s early 70’s cruisin’

    Like 0
  5. Yosemite Sam

    I analyzed the pictures on classiccars (thanks for the tip CC) detailed undercarriage pics on a lift tell the real story. A couple of holes in the floor pan but an accurate and honest description by the seller. Good Luck With The Sale…Nice Ranchero!

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  6. Howard A Member

    While a fan of the Falcon Ranchero’s, these are my favorite. Wiki claims, the “Thunderbird Special” was available in ’57 with a 292 or 352 ( or the in line 6), but no mention of the 312. I used to build models of the ’57 Ford. Those headlights were a bad spot for these, and have seen many with the headlights falling out. While Chevy got all the thunder in ’57, I believe Ford sold more cars than Chevy. Cool truck, for sure.

    Like 0
    • Eric Dashman

      Yes, the headlight eyelid held dirt and debris so that it’s a real cautionary place to look for rust. We had a 57 4 door with a smaller V8 and 3 on the tree. I learned to drive a stick with that car. Pop was a tool & die-maker so car maintenance was the last thing he wanted to do at home. He changed the oil on the 57 when the breather cap blew off and banged on the (rear-opening) hood. They did outsell Chevy in 57 and I still think that the Fairlane convertible is a nicer-looking car than the Chevy with its high fins. In 58 Ford ruined the look both front and rear.

      You mentioned the Falcon Ranchero and I laughed. Last week I had a chance to rewatch the James Bond “Goldfinger” movie. Oddjob has a suicide door Lincoln sedan crushed into a small oblong shape….a 5500 pound car, if I recall correctly. The electro magnet at the junkyard picks it up and puts it in the bed of a Falcon Ranchero and the vehicle doesn’t even sag. It should have bottomed out and broken the axles. I laughed out loud.

      Like 0

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