Pack Automotive Museum

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1956 FORD RANCH WAGON

VIN: 59AEAZ27A687
Multiple Award Winning Custom Ranch Wagon, Under 25 Miles Since Thorough Restoration, One of the Finest Ford Customs in the Country

350 cid GM V-8, 425 HP, GM 4L60E automatic transmission with overdrive, independent coil spring Mustang II front suspension, four link custom rear suspension; wheelbase: 115.5”

The 1956 Ranch Wagon was Ford’s answer to the Chevy Nomad, and was available in five station wagon configurations. Styling was changing fast at both automotive firms, and the intriguing possibilities of Deluxe Station Wagons that go beyond utilitarian were just coming into focus. The Ranch Wagon offered all the comforts of a passenger car, and the practicality of a full-sized cargo compartment that was equally at home hauling kids or a 4x8 sheet of plywood.

Fast forward to 2010, and this lovely Ranch Wagon was a complete example that spent its entire life in the dry southwest, with a solid frame and body panels. Seeing the possibilities, the car was purchased and the body stripped to bare metal and removed from the frame. After powder coating the frame, the thorough restoration began in earnest. The drivetrain was completely replaced with only the best components, starting with a GM Ramjet 350 V-8 Crate motor, dressed up nicely with custom valve covers and some tasteful chrome. The transmission is a new 4L60E automatic with Gear Star overdrive, mated to a Ford 9” rear end. A full complement of the best modern components were used, including Fat Man suspension, a Billet Specialties serpentine system, and Sanderson headers with a custom Magnaflow 2-1/4” stainless steel exhaust. Of course, power disc brakes, power steering, and power windows and door locks were included, with a Flaming River tilt and telescopic steering column added for driver comfort. The car runs cool with a new Griffin Aluminum radiator, and it simply drives and stops like a new car, because it is a new car, with only 25 break-in miles since completion.
The engine bay is spectacular, and one that the new owner will proudly open over and over for all to see.

Inside, fine leather hides were used on the bucket seats, doors and the center console, and the bright red, black, and grey combination is elegant and perfectly executed. New carpets, door panels, and even a new suede headliner give a fully custom look and feel. The custom CRK dash is simply stunning, with flawless trim, a full complement of perfectly functioning Classic Instruments gauges, Lokar pedals, and polished bezels that reflect the red interior, creating an incredible effect. The beautiful Billet Specialties custom wheel complements the interior nicely, and the custom touches throughout the car are tastefully done. Top it off with a state of the art Pioneer sound system, and the car tips its hat to the stock Ranch Wagon, but takes the Ford design right over the top, creating a one-of-a-kind comfortable and practical ride.

Outside, the original window openings were modified to accept one-piece quarter windows and door glass. All factory trim was removed from the body, and new Bear Claw door latches are opened with 2005 Mini Cooper handles. In the rear, ’56 Crown Victoria taillight lenses were installed, and the freshly chromed bumper was narrowed and moved 3/4” closer to the body for a sleek look, with all the bumper bolts removed and smoothed out. With the period-correct American Racing wheels in place, the results are long, low, and sleek, and the flawless body and PPG paint work by Creative Rod and Custom is nothing short of spectacular. Any thoughts of your dad’s station wagon disappear as you slide behind the wheel, as the car is fast, smooth, and powerful.

With its flawless finish and stellar running gear, it’s no wonder the awards began rolling in, including GoodGuys “Slick and Smooth” at Pocono, 2011 “Builder’s Choice” at Rhinebeck, “Best Custom” at the NE Rod and Kustom Show in Philadelphia, and a Top 100 Choice by Street Rodder magazine. All told, the car won 10 national awards in 10 months, and is easily one of the finest custom Ford Wagons in the country.

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