Ford Ranchero 1957





Road Signature

scale 1:18

Model number: 92208


Review of the model:

There is tucks, utility vans and estate cars; but the 1957 Ford Ranchero is in a liege of its own.
Road Signature came back in 2001 with the car in scale 1:18 and is still in their inventory today. It is today a rather simple model as the years is shown. This model still has the dogleg hinges in the doors and no option for open the tailgate at the rear. The list can go on – maybe to such a degree, that you may think I dislike the model car! This is not true in this case. Try to flip the issue regarding the missing details to a more positive attitude as I did.
My angle of attack was: A low budget model that can be purchased of a few bucks in the used model car market. And with a few days of fun work can be transformed to (in my eyes) a much better model – for only a small amount of extra materials and paint.

I sometimes put the old model cars, that first came to the marked back in the late 1990’s, Tough Road, Road Signature, Maisto and Welly etc. in a category; a model kit that just has to be dissembled and given some help, to go through a work process and end up with more details and looking more realistic.

The models is cleverly assembled and can easy be disassembled again, just start with the stirring wheel first. It needs a light press downward to be released from the dashboard. Here after the small screws on the bottom for the car can be released, just start with the front wheels stirring mechanism first – be aware; were the screws is located as they are in different length regarding were the need to be placed.

I always use an extended time on research on the inter-web of the real car. Only here I can fairly judge how well the model is compared to the real car. It also give me a “to do list” and start the work process in the right order.

Some 57’ Ford cars had the motor that was intended for the Ford Thunderbird and this Ranchero is no different. The engine room needs to be painted flat black as the plastic parts just look as plastic and not presented realistic. The motor block, valve covers and fan also got painted – this process is very easy as the motor parts can be disassembled too. The inside of the hood lid was given some black paint to show the sound insulation.

The most significant part of the model car is the white plastic flat bed at the rear – again, amazing how well it looked after a spray from a white gloss rattle can! In 1957 the Ranchero could be merged with a hardtop over the flatbed and wide trim steel parts can be seen around the bed itself and on the backside of the “wheelhouse”. This too can be highlighted by the chrome pen from Molotow. The front end of the model car is very basic as the grill is bare chrome with no mesh and black holes. But this is not a major problem as black paint will do the job. The pegs or pupils in the headlights can be toned down with white paint that blocks the holes in the metal die-cast body part. The little hood ornament was painted with a cocktail stick.

The rear end of the model is well made even the small Bull emblem is present. It only needed red paint to be realistic. This was applied with a cocktail stick. The bezels around the rear lights were painted in the grooves with red paint. The exhaust pipes were drilled out to look more realistic.

The interior is one of the things that show the model age as it is very sparse. But again it is only a matter of dissemble and paint the parts back. Sometimes it is necessary to remake the steering wheel ass the outer ring is way to massive. I choose to not do this in this model as the color is black and not to visible as in white steering wheels. The seats, dashboard, inner lining of doors were painted. The floor was covered with model-felt in matching Mouse-grey color.

So after some joyful days the model is finish and now I can call it my representation of the 1957 Ford Ranchero. Are the model been better now? In my humble opinion –Yes but this will never come up in quality like a Sun Star model car! But remember it was a low budget model with now some extra details.

If you will start to give some of your models extra details, this is the model to start with – after all if some fail, the money spent, will be at a minimum.

I will never hesitate to try because the reward, in fun work hours and learning is beyond the purchase price on this model.


I will give this model 2 out of 6 stars  ******

Below here are pictures of the model, historical description, old brochures, technical data and movie clips of the real car. So please enjoy!





Hoax Brochure frontpage



Ready in the showroom

  The hood ornament was painted by a cocktail stick  
Fine contrast with the yellow parking lights
The chrome trim gives the car some class
Old hinges on the doors
Black painted sound insulation on the backside of the hood
Lovely Thunderbird taillights
Space age even for a Ranchero
Big rear window for good visibility
Welcoming  interior
In profile
A beautiful car
An old mold and casting as the gabs around the doors and hood lid are pronounced by today's standard
The front grill was painted with black wash
Friendly Ford Ranchero
The two-tone Blue/white really suits the car well
Well made wheels and hubcabs
Beautiful design
Flawless paintwork is a hallmark on models from Yatming-group
The exhaust pipes were drilled out
I applied red paint around the chrome bezels on the rear lights
Note the Longhorn  and Ford emblems on the tailgate
Nice chrome parts are an highlight on models from Yatming-group
The steel rim around the bed was a feature on the more costly Custom  Here painted with Liquid Chrome pen from MOLOTOW
Note the spray painted bed in gloss white
Interior just like an ordinary Ford was a great selling point

The V8 Thunderbird special





1957-1959 Ford Ranchero

During the 1950s, exotic new body styles were the order of the day at Ford. Among them was the Ranchero, a novel car-pickup that was inspired at least in part by Ford's Australian "Ute."

It was neither the best of times nor the worst. Just the most trivial. Eddie Fisher still crooned. Young men mooned over Kim Novak, and Elvis Presley had the world "All Shook Up." One of the many films imbued with the boy-loves-girl, song-and-dance mood of the times was April Love, starring clean-cut Pat Boone and wholesome Shirley Jones-not to mention a nifty 1957 Ford Ranchero Custom. The movie and its songs are long forgotten, but the 1957-59 Rancheros remain among the best of Fifties collectibles, right up there with boomerang designs, far-out pink and turquoise furniture, and Philco Predicta TV sets. Unlike the Ranchero's companion new Ford body style, the 1957-1959 retractable hardtop-convertible Skyliner, the Ranchero's influence was more far reaching -- both Ford and Chevrolet sedan-pickups were built for another 20 years or more. High-style pickups remain trendy to this day.

In essence, the Ranchero was a two-door Ford Ranch Wagon with the rear section of the roof cut off and a bed liner slipped in over the floor pan. It was at least partly a replay of the old Hudson sedan-pickup -- or 1937-1939 Studebaker Coupe-Express -- an idea which dated back to the 1934 Terraplane, and probably had its beginnings in the earlier farm/ranch tradition of simply sawing off the back section of the roof of the old family Buick or Ford. Even further back, some "horseless carriages" had removable rear tonneaus (or none at all), leaving room in the rear area for small pickup boxes-many early Fords and other makes were so fitted by owners.

The roots of the 1957 Ranchero, however, actually go "Down Under" to the land of eucalyptus trees, koala bears, and kangaroos. Ford of Australia, it could be argued, introduced the first true Ranchero in 1932 -- the Utility. Sheep ranchers, meanwhile, affectionately shortened the name to "Ute." This was a roadster with the body section behind the driver replaced by a fleetside bed, which was flush with the doors and an integral part of the body.

It used separate rear fenders, which weren't eliminated until 1949, as on the passenger cars. Despite the Great Depression, the Ute caught on so fast in the Australian outback that in 1933 a coupe version was added. This model sported small, squat rear-quarter windows that remained a Ute trademark through 1958. From 1932 to 1934 the spare tire was carried in the left front fenderwell, and from 1935-1939 it rode just below the left rear-quarter window, in front of the rear fender. Beginning in 1940, the spare was moved inside behind the front seat.

The roadster was dropped after 1938, though the coupe soldiered on for another 20 years. After that, Utes became American-designed Rancheros with the unique small rear-quarter windows removed. Old Utes are fairly rare in Australia -- most were worked to death -- and are almost non-existent in the U.S. What's so amazing is that Ford never marketed the concept in this country prior to 1957.

To understand the 1957 Ford Ranchero, you need to understand the history of pickups -- which is filled with riddles. During the Thirties, the stylish Hudson and Studebaker sedan-pickups could work all week, and then go to church or the country club. Kaiser-Frazer tried something similar in the late Forties/early Fifties with its dual-purpose Vagabond utility sedans with hatchback-style rear openings. But none of them were terribly successful, so American pickups remained plain Jane commercial vehicles until 1955.

The breakthrough to high-style pickups came with the 1955 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier and its companion, the GMC Suburban. These were colorful two-tone jobs with lots of bright trim and chrome bumpers, plus interiors that were as colorful and fashionable as those in the all-new Chevy Bel Airs. The box was a slabside that came all the way out over the fenders flush with the cab, and was made of fiberglass.

While buyers didn't exactly flock to the showrooms like fans to a Buddy Holly concert, sales were encouraging enough to convince Ford management that there was at least a small market niche for a pickup in a Sunday suit. The most expedient way to answer GM, Ford reasoned, would be to give the Ute U.S. citizenship.

In discussing the 1957 Ranchero, it must be treated as an integral part of the Ford station wagon lineup. Included were three two-door models: Courier Sedan Delivery, Ranch Wagon, and the more deluxe Del Rio. Four-door offerings comprised six-and nine-passenger Country Sedans and the woody-look Country Squire. The two-door-based Rancheros were marketed through the Ford Truck Division, which had been selling Couriers all along. The wagons, and therefore the Ranchero, were built on Ford's shorter 116-inch wheelbase shared by Custom and Custom 300 models, while the more upmarket Fairlanes and Fairlane 500s rode a 118-inch stretch.

The reasoning behind the wide choice of wagons and utility vehicles was this. Beginning with the 1952 models, Ford set out to own the U.S. wagon market (like it had prewar), even though it was three years later than the competition with all-steel bodies, and hadn't offered a four-door from 1949-1951. Still, the division quickly overtook both Plymouth and Chevrolet, and by 1954 Ford was clearly America's wagon master. Production that year shot up to over 141,000 wagons, 112,000 more than in 1951 when only the two-door Country Squire woody was offered -- and two and a half times Chevrolet's wagon output.

Close to 60 percent of Ford's 1954 wagon production consisted of the low-end Ranch Wagons, and to that could be added the modest figure for the Courier. In any case, the bottom line looked attractive enough to spur Ford to add the Ranchero derivative to the lineup in the fall of 1956 as a '57 model.

Being a 1957 Ford, the Ranchero was part of the most changed Ford passenger car/wagon lineup in the company's history, with the possible exception of the Model A and the 1949 models. "The 1957 Ford does not look like much now," recalls veteran Ford stylist Bill Boyer, but "it was a highly advanced car at the time. It set a lot of new themes. It was not influenced by the Edsel. The Edsel, instead, was derived from both the Ford and Mercury, which was a mistake." While Boyer didn't style the 1957 Fords, he did work on the design of the Mystere show car-a dream car that predicted so many 1956-1957 Ford styling themes that its intended 1955 showing was delayed for a year.

Building the 1957, 1958, 1959 Ford Ranchero

Building the 1957, 1958, and 1959 Ford Ranchero meant drawing on the overall Ford look of the time and adding new twists. The 1957 Ford Fairlane/Fairlane 500 was the first of the long, low Fords, boasting the first deeply sculptured steel body panels and a major increase in passenger room. It was far more advanced than the 1957 Chevrolet, which is a collector's darling today -- but a three-year-old body design then.

The Ford was low, wide, and aerodynamic for its time, and the entire frontal design was functional, although the rather restrained rear fins were purely for effect. The huge round taillights, originally done by Boyer for the 1952 Ford, were enlarged for 1955 and again for 1957, becoming a Fifties/Sixties Ford hallmark.

The initial styling work on the 1957 Ford was done by Frank Hershey and Damon Woods, but Hershey was fired by corporate styling czar George Walker, and Woods was killed in an automobile crash. The late Bob Maguire then took over the project, heading up a team made up of Chuck Mashigan, A.J. Middlestead, and L. David Ash.

The frames of both the 116- and 118-inch-wheelbase models were identical except for length. Like the rest of the car, the frame was a radical departure from anything the Ford Division had done in the past. Its cowbelly design, inspired to a degree by the 1954 Oldsmobile and the 1956 Continental Mark II, was nearly a third stronger than the 1956 unit and boasted heavier siderails flared way out to skirt the passenger compartment. Rear wheel kickup started a full foot further back than in 1956 so that deep footwells could be pressed into the floorpan to increase legroom.

Semi-elliptic rear springs were mounted mostly outboard of the frame side rails and were lengthened two inches. A number of other suspension improvements provided a variable-rate effect and stiffer action, and the wagons, Rancheros, and Couriers received five spring leaves instead of four. The ball-joint front suspension first introduced on the 1954 Fords was redesigned for the first time, with upper and lower arms now a single unit and hinged with live rubber bushings. Meanwhile, the arms were swept back in a trailing-arm manner for smoother wheel motion over bumps. The new chassis and suspension design, along with 14-inch wheels, resulted in a four-inch lower silhouette than in 1956 with far greater interior room. This longer, lower look, however, required a change in driveshaft and axle design.

The 1957-1959 Fords had their hoods hinged from the front. This was a production advantage-not necessarily a design improvement. In some accidents, the hood could come right through the windshield rather than flying over the top of the vehicle. On the other hand, the wind tended to push the hood down in the event it became unlatched.

Though several firms had built car-based pickups before World War II, Hudson and Crosley were the only makers to do so postwar. But they were gone before the Ranchero made its December 8, 1956, debut at the New York Auto Show. It was successful enough to goad Chevy into responding with the 1959 El Camino.

About the only major components left over from 1956 were the engines. Even these, however, had higher horsepower achieved through improved manifolding and valve design and redesigned higher-lift camshafts. The 272-cid V-8, optional on the Ranchero, was upped to 190 bhp, while the 292, optional on the Custom, jumped to 212. The standard powerplant for all Rancheros was the 223-cid overhead-valve six, which got a mere seven bhp increase to 144. Any engine could be ordered with stick overdrive or the dependable but unexciting Fordomatic.

The Heavyweight Book of American Light Trucks 1939-1966 also notes that "Actual Ranchero patent plates reveal 312s, including dual-quad and supercharged versions, were supplied." The basic 312 churned out 245 bhp, up 30 from 1956, while the supercharged unit soared with 300 horses.

Intermediate ratings were 270 and 285. These engines, which were not listed in the brochures, apparently came along later in the year and were special order units-and are now very rare.

Carburetors boasted Ford's new low-silhouette design, necessary to clear the lower hood, while the oil bath filter finally gave way to a more modern cartridge filter. A new two-barrel carburetor designed to give better performance in the low- and mid-speed ranges was standard for the 272 and 292. Surprisingly, it had more venturi area than the 1956 four-barrel unit. The 312 retained a four-barrel setup. V-8 distributors were improved and the crossover pipe on all V-8s with a single exhaust system was replaced with a more efficient Y-system. Dual exhausts came standard on the 312, optional with the 272/292. And finally, Fordomatics were water-cooled.

If anybody should get the credit for the Ranchero concept, it is the late Gordon Buehrig. Frankly, Buehrig has been given more credit for Ford designs than he deserved, but the Ranchero came out of his original 1952 station wagon designs. Buehrig did not design the 1950 Crestliner or the 1951 Victoria hardtop. He was only the body engineer of the 1956 Continental Mark II. He was the father of the all-steel Ford station wagon. When Buehrig joined Ford in 1949 his first assignment was to come up with something better than the 1949 Ford woody. This pleased him greatly because he despised the wagon that the surfers loved. Going from a 1952 sedan clay, he designed two wagons, a two-door Ranch Wagon and a four-door Country Sedan. According to Buehrig, the wagon he did was a two-door on one side and a four-door on the other.

The former then became the basis for the Courier as well as the Ranch Wagon. In addition, it became the Utility, but only marketed in Australia with the characteristic two tiny windows added at the rear. His four-door became both the Country Sedan and Country Squire. Buehrig's original 1952 lineup served as the basis for all wagon marketing throughout the decade, and evidence suggests Buehrig did the 1957 Ranchero later by adapting his original 1952 concept to 1957 Ford wagon styling.

The Ranchero came out two months after the introduction of the 1957 Ford line. It was formally introduced at the National Automobile Show, which opened at the New York Colosseum on December 8, and made its debut to the world in the musical motion picture April Love. Pat Boone sang the title song to Shirley Jones as they drove a blue and white Ranchero Custom through the Kentucky blue grass country. Actually, the Ranchero played a major role in the film, which had a host of 1956-1957 Fords in supporting roles.

Evidently, GM and Chrysler were caught off guard when the Ranchero came out. Dodge hastily cobbled the entire rear section of its two-door six-passenger station wagon onto the back of its standard pickup truck to create the finny Dodge Sweptside. Chevrolet and GMC merely continued with their Cameo and Suburban models, then Chevrolet caught up in 1959 with the El Camino, which was based on the same concept as the Ranchero.

The Ranchero was a beautiful camouflage of the Ranch Wagon, and with full parts interchangeability. A metal bed liner covered up the wagon's subfloor; it simply screwed in and could be easily removed. Many owners hinged the rear section of the liner so they could stow the spare tire in the wheelwell where it was kept in the wagons. On factory-equipped Rancheros, the spare stowed behind the seat, right where it had been on the Aussie Utes since 1940.

The 1957 Ranchero had 32.4 square feet of cargo space, considered sufficient in 1957, but no more than most of today's compact longbed pickups. The tailgate was the lower section of the 1957 wagon tailgate. The only addition was the chrome steer's head below the Ford logo, which identified the Ranchero -- as if it needed it.

The Rancheros came in two series, standard and Custom. The first was as spartan as a parson's Plymouth and was available in a limited selection of colors and interior schemes. It was priced at $2098. For a mere $51 additional, a buyer could move up to Pat Boone's Custom model with all the trimmings. These included chrome sidespear, dual sun visors, horn ring, and full custom door panels and seat (basically Del Rio wagon trappings). The Custom also sported bright metal trim that framed the rear window and then swept down and around the top edges of the bed. Contrary to popular belief, the gold anodized side trim (as seen on the Custom 300 cars) was not standard on the Custom Ranchero -- this was a dealer item in 1957. Taking a cue from the Australians, aftermarket suppliers offered tonneau covers and chrome guard rails.

Ranchero Custom interiors gave buyers a choice of white bolsters with tan/brown, white/blue, red, or green vinyl facings, all in much more attractive patterns than the standard model. The most distinguishing feature of the 1957 Ranchero Custom was the choice of two-tones, 10 in all. The upper portion of the body and roof pillars were always Colonial White. The lower bodysides and roof itself carried the second color, which was frequently Flame Red, Starmist Blue, or Raven Black. The two-tone jobs were optional, as were the dressier full-disc hubcaps and whitewalls.

Ford's approach to advertising its new car/pickup centered around its double-duty nature: "LOOK ... a handsome caller. LOOK again ... a husky hauler." Billed as "an entirely new kind of vehicle," Ford asserted that "there's the big bonus that only the Ranchero gives you-profits plus pleasure. After the day's work is done, Ranchero's ready for the evening's fun. It's the only pickup truck that rides, handles and feels exactly like a car!" Among the other selling points were the availability of virtually all of the luxury and convenience options available on Ford cars (power steering, brakes, windows, and seat, for example), plus the fact that the Ranchero had more load capacity than many standard pickups, a six-foot-long pickup bed, a lower loading height than any pickup, and a "sizeable space" behind the driver's seat for small packages (the spare tire resided on the passenger's side).

For a specialty model, first year sales could be considered a success: 6429 standard Rancheros and 15,277 Customs, this in addition to total 1957 Ford passenger car production of 1,676,449 units. With or without the Ranchero, however, Ford clearly outsold Chevrolet in 1957 for the first time since the Thirties.

The Ford Ranchero was introduced in December 1956. The Ranchero was based on the standard full-sized Ford platform, specifically the 116-inch long utilitarian Courier sedan delivery Ford. The Ranchero was essentially a Courier with an open, reinforced bed, its own unique rear window and integrated cab and cargo box.

The Ranchero was initially introduced with two trim levels – 66A “Pickup” and 66B “Custom”.

The Ranchero was a useful vehicle with its pickup truck bed in the back, while maintaining the creature comforts of cars of that era. The carrying capacity of the Ranchero was equal to that of the Ford pickup trucks.

Ford’s print advertising played on the theme of the American southwest that the “Ranchero” Spanish model name was meant to evoke. If you look very closely at the red symbol on the Ranchero’s tailgate you can see an image of a Texas Longhorn cattle beast. The advertising proclaiming that the Ranchero was “More Than A Car! More Than A Truck!” The Ranchero was a hit with both the automotive press and the buying public, filling an untapped market niche for vehicles with the utility of a light pickup and the ease of operation and riding characteristics of a car.

The production numbers that I have show that Ford built 21,705 Pickup and Custom 1957 Rancheros. Compare this with 12,814 F100 pickup trucks built! the Ranchero was quite popular.

The Pickup and Custom Ranchero models could be ordered with any engine available for Ford cars. The base A-Code engine was the 223 cubic inch in-line 6-cylinder which produced 144 horsepower. the base V8 U-code engine was the 272 cubic inch engine that produced 190 horsepower. The optional V8 engine was the C-code 312 cubic inch engine with 205 horsepower. There also was a 352 cubic inch V8 Police Interceptor engine that produced 300 horsepower.

This particular Ranchero appears to have a special, quite rare E-code 312 cubic inch “Thunderbird Special” V8 engine. My information shows that this engine was not normally available in the 1957 Rancheros. And only a few high performance Thunderbirds were fitted with this engine. The engine has two four-barrel Holley carburetors, special heads, and a high performance camshaft producing 270 or 285 horsepower depending upon the information source.

While the Ford Ranchero was quite commercially successful as compared to the F100 pickup truck, it did that despite being more expensive than the F100. The base Ranchero Pickup model sold for $2,098, while the short bed F100 truck sold for $1,789.

1957 Ford Ranchero started a trend, but now that trend has completely reversed itself. The 1957 Ford Ranchero brought car creature comforts to the truck market – cars became more like trucks. Nowadays trucks have become more like cars.

Technical specification:


223 CID (3.7 L) OHV I6
292 CID (4.8 L) Y-block V8312 cu in (5.1 L) "Thunderbird Special"
352 CID (5.8 L) FE V8


Wheelbase 116–118 in (2,946–2,997 mm)
Length 202.0 in (5,131 mm)



Old brochures of the car















Video of the real car from YouTube




1957 Ford Ranchero and Trucks Commercial




1957 Ford Introduction




1957 Ford Ranchero



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Dealers are welcome to get their models reviewed too.






Aeronautic Apr. 2020


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