Handsome compromise 1959 Ford Ranchero that’s ready to haul

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Ranchero
The sharp-looking Ranchero is fitted with old-school custom wheels

Ford originally produced car-based pickup trucks more than a century ago, first with the Model T, then the Model A. But the Ranchero, first making its appearance in 1957, was something else again, offering a stylish automobile that also functioned as a light truck.

The Pick of the Day is a 1959 Ford Ranchero Custom, which took the extravagantly styled full-size Ford and added a pickup bed to create an interesting-looking vehicle for bringing your goods to market, toting your tools or taking your sweetie out to dinner.

RancheroThe look works well for the squared-off Ford while retaining the long fin detail and huge taillights that set this model apart.  While a Ranchero would not replace the strength or capacity of a standard pickup truck, it did offer a practical compromise.

The 1959 model year was the most popular for Ford’s first-generation of Rancheros, and the first year that it had competition from the Chevrolet El Camino.

RancheroThis Ranchero is in “Absolutely Beautiful Condition,” according to the Lakeland, Florida, dealer advertising the ute (as the Australians refer to them) on ClassicCars.com.

The car is powered by its original 292cid Y-block V8 with headers and a dual exhaust, and hooked up with a 3-speed manual transmission that is actuated by a Hurst floor shifter, the ad says. The body looks straight and the paint looks good in the photos with the ad, and the dealer advises that the chrome is excellent and the car rides on a set of vintage Ansen wheels.

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RancheroThese pickups have looked cool since Day 1 and remain popular among collectors and street rodders.  This one in pretty-much stock condition is priced at $30,995.

I’d say the next owner should leave it be and enjoy driving and showing it as is.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

5 COMMENTS

  1. The ute (short for coupe utility) was conceived in Australia in the ’30s by Ford to fill a local need.
    The banks would lend a farmer money to buy a light truck and the ute was stylish enough to take his wife to church on Sunday.
    Vehicles are no longer made in Australia so today’s ‘utes’ are actually pickup trucks made in USA or Asia.

  2. Love every thing about it except the front end to flat looking . Other wise a cool car ! love the color combo . To bad a dealer has it . I would be a buyer at 20 k be fun at that price .

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