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Projects The Wagon Ford shoulda' built, so we did!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rocket's Hot Rod Garage, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. The Chevy Nomad has always been king of the 50's era wagons in my mind. "Sport Wagons" with there low roof lines, hardtop proportions & excessive amounts of the shiny stuff! We where lucky enough to have a customer take that concept & imply it to a Ford of the same era. The '56 Parklane was suppose to be Fords answer to the Nomad. No offense but it fell short in allot of ways. So it was decided, we'd build the car Ford shoulda' built! The end result being somewhat of a "Factory Concept Show Car".

    The concept seemed simple but oh man where we in for a tedious, confusing & challenging 6 1/2 ish years. What follows is the journey that made it possible.......

    +++++ Disclaimer: Yes, this car is now finished but I just want to document & share the build. We also didn't want to show our hand before its debut a GNRS. Please don't post any finished photos until the end. There's plenty of finished pictures on other threads. Thanks +++++++

    into shop wag..jpg Vicky Project.jpg

    We started with a basic '55 Ranch wagon I had bought for my wife & a pretty rough Crown Vic project car I found & couldn't pass up.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
    Spooky, brEad, Outback and 23 others like this.
  2. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,698



    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    brEad, scotty t and loudbang like this.
  3. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,744

    from Ok

    Can't wait to see this thread.
  4. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 12,743


  5. Jay71
    Joined: Sep 15, 2007
    Posts: 857


    One of the highlights of gnrs for me this year. Look fwd to seeing how it came together
  6. partssaloon
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 661


    Love the finished car!
  7. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 6,538

    from Oregon

    Thfffffffffffttttt . Come on a little more than that .:D
  8. I was wowed by it. I looked those pictures over and immediately started imagining the process. Not an easy process considering the differences in w/s height thus the tailgate, etc.

    About 25 years ago a local builder did a custom '54 Merc 2drht with a Crown Victoria band. I didn't happen to participate but did get to follow the progress on a weekly basis. It turned out well but I don't know what eventually happened to the car.

    A few years after that I donated a '55 Nomad roof and posts to a friend who wanted to make a Nomad-like wagon using a really solid "55 Plymouth two door post. I helped him with the chassis and drive-line and also did the Nomad roof modification after which he proceeded to almost finish the car.

    It went through several owners who continued to bring the car along. It got a long-ram equipped 440 Mopar with a torque flight and a set of Halibrand Sprints. Someone figured out the taillight and tail gate, got it in primer and made it driveable. It got sold 3 or 4 years ago at Nats North in Kalamazoo...and has subsequently went underground.

    Not to steal your thunder as you have done a masterful job on what looks like a pretty simple, let's just swap roofs, but in reality touches lots of other bits of the car. Well done!
  9. I have had this exact thought for years. lets see some more!
  10. ken bogren
    Joined: Jul 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,056

    ken bogren

    Love to see the photos during the build of this car.
    The finished car looked great in the GNRS threads.
  11. I love this car, one of my favorites from GNRS
  12. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 5,171


    So the metal working faeries showed up and voila, all done!
  13. For the sake of not making this thread to picture heavy I'll try to just touch on the good stuff & not bore with the rust repairs & junk like that. Tear down......

    PICT0708.JPG PICT0715.JPG PICT0975.JPG
    We removed the Crown Vic top & relevant parts at the factory seams/plug-welds. In the front It was a matter of just swapping the cowl top and windshield frame due to the fact that the Crown Vic has somewhere in the neighborhood of a 2"-3" shorter windshield.


    The wagon body & parts we knew we where going to use was totally dissembled & dipped at Metal Works in Oregon.
  14. alfin32
    Joined: Jun 20, 2006
    Posts: 1,588

    Member Emeritus
    from Essex, Ma.

    Outstanding, one of my favorites of the show.
    Can't wait to see the journey!
  15. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 3,023


    That was my favourite car at the GNRS and I was discussing it with my buddies for the last week! You did an outstanding job! I' ll be watching!
    Stogy, PoTaToTrUcK, loudbang and 2 others like this.
  16. Yep, one of my favorites from GNRS too. I suspected tons of work went into it to end up with a car that looked like Ford could have built it.
  17. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,358

    from KCMO

    Oh I love that you’re going to show us all this. Hands down favorite car I saw in coverage of the show
  18. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,386


  19. Next up was cutting the Ranch Wagon up!!!!! Well, before we replaced the front floor, rockers and filled some holes on the firewall & basically got the base of everything solid. Then mounted it on the chassis. You can also see we're running a Y block & had already started mocking that up.
    Shop etc. Oct 14 030.JPG
    We thought we might be able to re-use the Wag. roof skin & drip rails so we carefully removed them before cutting off the roof. IMG_3959.JPG
    We discovered in order to use the Crown Vic B-pillars & hard top doors we needed to swap the tops of the door jams along with the structure.

    Shop etc. Oct 14 225.JPG Shop etc. Oct 14 233.JPG
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
    lewk, BigO, brEad and 22 others like this.
  20. At this point we started wondering if a fancy Ranchero might be a better idea.

    lewk, Dave Mc, BigO and 27 others like this.
  21. and next up will be an Edsel Ranchero.......
    Stogy, winduptoy, loudbang and 2 others like this.
  22. OMG a ranchero version needs to be built
    Outback, brEad, Stogy and 6 others like this.
  23. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 2,430


    The had them in Australia already back in 56.........
  24. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 12,743


    Thought the same exact thing when I saw that!
  25. It's been done. I stumbled on these doing research. Glass roof & Mopar taillights too!

    18697264-1955-ford-ranchero-std.jpg 18697235-1955-ford-ranchero-std.jpg
    mgtstumpy, Outback, Deuces and 26 others like this.
  26. I am looking forward to watching this play out!! Thanks for showing us.

    Sent from my SM-G950W using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  27. raymay
    Joined: Mar 2, 2008
    Posts: 2,513


    Beautiful work on your Custom Wagon. The yellow Custom 55 Ranchero belonged to a gentleman named Bob Haas. I met him in 2011 on one of my trips to Michigan with my Custom 56 ElCamino. We had spotted each other earlier in the day and were cruising up and down Woodward until we both finally got to see each other again and stop to introduce ourselves and our cars. I thought his roof was glass too, but it was painted to resemble one.

    IMG_0540.JPG IMG_0541.JPG
    mgtstumpy, 40two, BigO and 18 others like this.
  28. You're kidding, right? TOO many pictures? A thread like this can't be TOO picture-heavy.
    lewk, brEad, Stogy and 13 others like this.
  29. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 14,185

    jimmy six


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