Home Pick of the Day Pick of the Day: At first, Courier was a domestic Ford nameplate

Pick of the Day: At first, Courier was a domestic Ford nameplate

This station wagon-based 1956 Ford Courier has been restored


Like me, you might think of the Ford Courier for its most recent iterations as a model primarily sold overseas, beginning in 1972 as a Ford-badged but Mazda-produced compact pickup truck, and later in Europe as a Fiesta-based commercial van.

But Ford first applied the Courier badge back in the early 1950s to a station wagon-style sedan delivery, basically a station wagon with only the front seats inside, with sheetmetal rather than windows along the sides of its greenhouse, and at first with a side-hinged rear access door.

The Pick of the Day is a 1956 Ford Courier being advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealership in Lutz, Florida.

This Courier has been restored, and the dealer notes that it has been resprayed in its original factory color of Raven Black, but with a high-gloss finish.

“But what really makes this striking is the brightwork,” the dealer points out. “The Fairlane was having an iconic year in ’56, and this one borrows that front end. The full-width grille with bumper and turning lights both reaching around the sides really give this a 10,000-watt smile. 

“And there’s a terrific body trim line that encircles the upper-half, and even runs uninterrupted across the big rear door. Ford family crest hub caps, jet-inspired taillight, and even rear fender skirts come with the sale. So it has a true classic style, right down to the details. And that’s what makes this sedan delivery so impressive. It carries all the great chrome and style of a ’50s American icon, and it can also carry all your equipment, too.”

The interior, the dealer says, is “simple but clean” and true to the vehicle’s “commercial-ready roots.” The interior is done in dark brown.

The dash is padded and gauges are recessed, which the dealer notes was part of Ford’s Lifeguard safety package. 

The cargo floor — 6½ feet in length and 5 feet in width — has been carpeted.

A 272cid Ford Y-block V8 supplies power. When new, the engine was rated at 173 horsepower with a manual transmission and at 176 with an automatic. This one has the automatic. The odometer shows 44,689 miles.

The dealer notes that the electrical system has been upgraded to 12 volts and the car is equipped with an electric radiator fan that helps make it “a better cruiser.” The vehicle also has an upgraded dual-circuit brake master cylinder.

The first-generation Courier was in production from the 1952 through the 1960 model years. Its place in the lineup was taken by the 1961 introduction of the Falcon-based Ford Econoline van.

Back in ’56, Ford advertised the Courier as “the perfect combination of distinction and utility.”

With the looks of this one, you can underscore the word distinction.

The vehicle is being offered for $26,995. 

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

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. I honestly would enquire further on this vehicle if I had enough money. My very first car was a ’56 Fairlane. My parents knew my interest cars so they bought me ($35) the ’56 to “tinker” with. My parents were told by the owner it would never run. At 15 years of age with just intermit part time jobs, I got that old Ford running. They caught me driving it around the neighborhood so I had to park it till I got my license. Good memories ! .

  2. Whoever wrote about that grill is a true master w/ a great eye! Ya knowwho else can describe “good car” Maple Street Motors on Youtube. Watch him- He knows vintage cars.
    >> The engine just kills this. The auto trans is a 1/2 savior to the mess. I can’t imagine dogging it up the street in my $26,000 black beauty at 2 MPH. I can hear those gears>> now.30 seconds between shifts. Every stop light shear pain.
    After 3 months you would take out aloan to get a 350. Unless YOU ARE A GRANDPA- psycholigically or in reality.
    Sorry— an engine is worth $8k—

    • So you don’t like this vehicle? Then you recommend installing a BORING 350 in it? There was nothing wrong with the Ford Y-block, They put ’em in everything back then, even trucks. Heck, they even won a few NASCAR races with the 312 Y-Block. They had potential and could be hot-rodded. And no, I’m not a grandpa though I’m old enough to be one. Personally, I like this old sedan delivery.


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