Car of the Day: 1956 Ford 'Crown Ranchero'
Owner: Steve Keller from Edgewater, Md
What's it got in it?: Stock 292-cu. in. Ford Y block with a Ford-O-Matic transmission, spinning 3:10 gears in the stock 1956 rear end
What's been done to it?: The car started life as a two-door Parklane station wagon. Keller cut off the roof and windshield, and replaced them with the front half of a 1955 Crown Victoria roof and windshield. The rear window and panel are from a 1964 Ford pickup, modified to fit. The station wagon floor pan and seats remained in place. Stainless-steel bedrails from a 1957 Ranchero cap off the bed. The modifications were completed with the body on the frame.
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How long did it take?: Keller's "Crown Ranchero" was originally built in 1985 for $4,000. It was upgraded in 2013 with fresh mandarin-orange-and-white upholstery and matching custom-blended exterior paint. Over the last two years, Keller has invested $30,000 more in an overall refresh of his one-of-a-kind ride.
What brings you here?: This is the third year Keller has brought the car to Cruisin' The Coast. "This year, we brought four other couples," Keller said. He said what he likes most is the event's variety of venues. Each year, he puts 800 miles on it just in cruising the Gulf Coast.
-- Lawrence Wheeler, Special to the Sun Herald