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Abandoned 1960 Ford Ranch Wagon Gets Saved, Takes First Drive in 40 Years

Back in the 1950s, wagons were so popular that Ford was building a handful of versions. The Country Squire "woody" was arguably the most desirable, but in 1952 Ford also introduced a pair of all-steel grocery getters: the Country Sedan and the Ranch Wagon.
1960 Ford Ranch Wagon junkyard find 6 photos
1960 Ford Ranch Wagon junkyard find1960 Ford Ranch Wagon junkyard find1960 Ford Ranch Wagon junkyard find1960 Ford Ranch Wagon junkyard find1960 Ford Ranch Wagon junkyard find
The latter arrived as a two-door station wagon, but the nameplate expanded to include four-door models too by 1958. The Ranch Wagon was redesigned in 1963 and again in 1965. The nameplate was retired in 1974, after only 22 years on the market.

Come 2021 and these wagons are quite hard to find in mint condition. Many of them have been left to rot away in junkyards and it seems they are far less popular than the Chevrolet Nomad and other wagon versions of the Tri-Five. But this 1960 Ranch Wagon got lucky and is on its way to a better life. A great reason to celebrate if you're into classic station wagons like I am!

Saved some time ago by the folks over at Mortske Repair, this 1960 Ranch Wagon has been sitting for 39 years. That's more than enough time to render a car useless, especially if it's been abandoned in a field, exposed to the elements.

Given that it was parked back in 1982, this grocery-getter handled four decades of sitting around quite well, but its inline-six mill was no longer turning. Following an unsuccessful attempt to fix the 3.7-liter engine, the crew at the shop decided to go with a different unit they had lying around.

The transplant saw a slightly bigger 3.9-liter inline-six from a 1960s Ford truck find its way under the hood and, after a few hours of work, the Ranch Wagon was running again. Not only that, but the drivetrain was solid enough to take the station wagon out for its first drive in almost two decades.

The car obviously needs a lot of work to become safe for public roads, but hey, it's quite amazing that it can roll under its own power after so many years. I wasn't even born when this grocery-getter was abandoned in the junkyard.

And the good news is that this wagon has enough room for a V8 too. Ford offered a wide variety of powerplants in them back in the day in addition to the base 3.7-liter inline-six, rated at 145 horsepower. There was also a 4.8-liter V8 good for 185 horses and a 5.8-liter V8 rated at 235 horsepower. The latter was also available with 300 horsepower in range-topping trim.

And of course, there's always the option to drop a modern crate engine under the hood for extra oomph and proper reliability. But this wagon needs a lot of work before it can become a restomod. Watch come back to life in the video below.

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