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Projects New family hauler- 1955 Ford Fairlane station wagon

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Chris, Aug 27, 2021.

  1. My wife has been bugging me to get a station wagon for years. Having two kids and a huge dog we take most everywhere, we could never all fit into whatever cars I had. I started looking pretty seriously a couple years ago for a neat wagon, but I had some criteria. 1) it had to be decent. I didn’t want a huge project. 2) it had to be cool. I mean, duh. 3) it had to be affordable. Number 3 was the killer. Man, station wagon prices are pretty insane. For nearly the same money, I’d rather buy a 2 door hardtop! So I kind of petered out on looking and life goes on.

    A few weeks back, I’m on Instagram and a friend of mine here in town list this 55 Fairlane wagon for sale. I knew the car, it was his dads for years, his dad sold it a few years back…that owner decided to sell it and had my friend Brian advertise it for him. It’s a killer color, and even being a 4 door doesn’t really bother me. Has a nice interior, decent paint. Nice running V8…it’s what I was looking for. I show my wife, she like “hell yes let’s go check it out”. So we load the kids up and drive across town. The wagon was restored in the mid 90’s. A nice car, not perfect, but a very nice driver. Has a stock 272/auto, modern PS and PDB. Nothing I’d really do but man it drives nice. So we pile in it, take it for a test drive. We make it about 1/4 mile and “BANG…thud, thud, thud…” Rear U joint came apart and drive line falls out of the rear end yoke. I call Brian, he drives down and is not super happy. He’s supposed to have the car for sale at the Goodguys show the next day. Naturally I ask “alright man, all bullshit aside, what’s the bottom dollar?”. The wagon was already priced fair but it went from a driver to not pretty quick. Brian calls the owner, explained what happened and hands me the phone. The guy was super nice, explained he really wanted to sell it and dropped the price 5K if I bought it as-is. Sold

    So I trailer it home (everything I buy comes home on a trailer). Get a U joint ordered and back on the road in a couple days.

    It had aftermarket chrome 14” wheels, Ford dog dish caps, and radial whitewalls. I knew instantly what I wanted to run and it wasn’t those. Today I got my 6.70-15’s mounted on stock Ford wheels and opted for a set of Mercury Monterey flipper caps.

    So here it is, the new family loser cruiser. The kids love this car, it drives super nice and hopefully brings us some years of fun.
    62A7781A-FB9B-441F-BEAE-DB6303493533.jpeg 201FBC93-DF94-4251-833C-0BC295C6A17A.jpeg AF11953C-CB96-43EF-9D57-658E7C327545.jpeg B1C46680-8104-47F5-84A2-2E3F6BD8B3ED.jpeg BB7ACE64-3E66-44C5-81AB-8E129675978D.jpeg 0A75FE77-2EB8-42F3-A2ED-FE1085161996.jpeg 72FF2085-EAA5-4568-A590-95D8FEA6E75E.jpeg 44742C06-F911-4DEB-87B5-5CE49A6233A2.jpeg 19A57182-E177-4A04-B09A-880C5879AEF9.jpeg 11B327B5-B1AD-48CF-AABC-F83AA48D1689.jpeg C3FF2698-AB20-41B4-B38A-973195017628.jpeg 4384C932-CC73-4D7E-9A40-5A34619C5D09.jpeg C0F88AE9-E5BB-4021-92D7-8E90992BDDC1.jpeg 145BD74A-5700-4F05-A169-29E9434C5293.jpeg
     
  2. Damn! There you go again, Chris, making the whole rest of the HAMB world jealous.:D...That thing is double-sweet. Happy cruising with the Family.:)
     
    bchctybob, alanp561, loudbang and 8 others like this.
  3. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 21,962

    Roothawg
    Member

    I love me some wagons. I've owned 3. Last one was a 57. Been on the hunt myself for another one. Great score.
     
  4. ken bogren
    Joined: Jul 6, 2010
    Posts: 931

    ken bogren
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    What a great looking wagon!
     
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  5. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 745

    cfmvw
    Member

    That was a really good score! The hotrod gods were smiling on you that day, even if you did have to trailer it home.
     
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  6. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 7,141

    BJR
    Member

    What a cool car, you must be pumped. Love the side trim.
     
  7. poco
    Joined: Feb 9, 2009
    Posts: 537

    poco
    Member
    from oklahoma

    Been looking for wagon for several years, but have nor found what i want for what i can afford.
     
  8. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 1,079

    Doublepumper
    Member

    Don't you love it when the stars align? Congratulations on your two scores....the car and the wife;)
     
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  9. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 9,957

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Looks great. Like your choice on the covers and the red wheels. Very normal for its time. Dash looks great too and the 12 volt upgrade is a nice addition. The stock 272 2 barrel was a snappy engine for the most part better for in town driving. If the distributor has not been upgraded to a 57 -up and you do it the carb is not comparable. You need to do both if it’s not already done. Great color combination too.
     
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  10. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,679

    6sally6
    Member

    WOW!!!!!
    First thing I thought of was...........lose the two 'extra' doors but, Man! it looks great like it is.
    Children look real happy in that 'totally unsafe' backseat!!!
    6sally6
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
  11. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 21,163

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I love opening your Threads @Chris, they always deliver a warm smile...Congratulations...that's a beauty and yes the new caps are the icing on the cake...you have a way with getting the look...
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
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  12. Wow, nice car, and you've already got it looking the way you want. Congrats!
     
  13. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,012

    51504bat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Need a picture of the dog as well. Wish my '54 Ranch Wagon was as nice as yours. Was the rear u joint a "mechanics/bat wing" one?
     
  14. What a beauty. A few of your very nice pics look like they,re straight out of a 1955 sales brochure :cool:. Long time since i,ve seen dust deflectors on a wagon rear window.
     
  15. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 2,233

    RMONTY
    Member

  16. That car is ugly as a mud fence, and you wasted your money. (Sorry, i couldn't help myself, i had to be different than everybody else :D it's gorgeous man, and yeah the wheel change looks way better:))
     
  17. Note to self: break the car when I test drive it...receive 5k discount.
     
  18. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,218

    jaracer
    Member

    Bought a 9 passenger Ranch Wagon back in the mid 60's. The guy who had it just had the entire front end rebuilt, all new dual exhaust, then got it stuck in his driveway (mud) and tore the transmission out. I think I ended up giving $35.00 for it. The engine was tired so I rebuilt it and gave it to my sister to drive. We had that old wagon for 7 or 8 years. At some point I traded for a 56 4bbl intake. I always liked that old wagon. 55 Ford Wagon.jpg
     
  19. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 21,884

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    great looking wagon
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
  20. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 2,395

    oldiron 440
    Member

    That was way to easy...
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
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  21. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,595

    gatz
    Member

    Super nice!
    That looks like it’s brand NEW !
     
    loudbang and VANDENPLAS like this.
  22. We need to get our wives talking…mine refuses to let me buy a wagon…she says no woman thinks station wagons are cool. Maybe yours can help a brother out? :)
     
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  23. @Chris do you know if the frames and suspension are the same with 55/56 compared to 54? I have a good friend who has a 54 with a bad frame and we have found a 56 wagon parts car that has a complete nice frame and suspension in it.
     
    loudbang and 41 GMC K-18 like this.

  24. Look closer….‍‍‍
     
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  25. Radial lookalikes... LOLOL...
     
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  26. They look like Cokers.
    Radials that is.
     
  27. Yeah they are radials. Which I know sucks. I’ve never bought a set of radials for an old car, ever. But, this car drives like a modern car and I didn’t want to chance ruining that. Plus they don’t look too bad on this thing. Flame on, boys.

    @Moriarity the size on them is 6.70-15
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
  28. 54 was the first year that Ford used ball joint suspension. My guess is some parts would interchange, but not all? Just a guess
     
    Hot Rod Ron, loudbang and 41 GMC K-18 like this.
  29. yes, the bolts backed out as whoever put that U joint in it didn’t use the little washers with “wings” you peen over the head to keep them from turning. My son found a U joint cap on the road, one bolt was gone, the other had about 2 threads left. Luckily the E brake cables marry under the driveshaft, and caught its fall. No damage aside from U joint
     
    alanp561, Stogy, loudbang and 3 others like this.
  30. The front end parts are the same. You might find some minor body mount differences, and the steering column will be too short because of the '56 dished steering wheel. Don't be quick to throw away the OEM balljoints and some other parts as they are nearly bulletproof. The usual problems are the steering box, rubber bushings and rotted front crossmember.

    I cut open a 200K+ miles balljoint once and it hadn't even worn the machining marks off... If it's tight after greasing, it's good.
     

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