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The saga of the Cruzin Magazine Ranchwagon has been a long and not always pleasant one! The car was found in New Zealand not long after Cruzin magazine had been released. It was a 1955 Ford Ranchwagon, Ford's answer to the Chevy Nomad. Being a two door wagon with the advantage of a fold down back seat, it was not only versatile but very cool.
Numerous advertisers, suppliers, readers and friends were called upon to help in the build of the wagon, with the initial work taking place at Oz Rods and Restorations before moving onto Lindsay and Denise Houston at LDI Signs. Lindsay would oversee most of the cars construction including final panelwork and amazing paint job.
Despite being unfinished, Lindsay managed to get the car painted and onto the Cruzin magazine stand at the Brisbane Hot Rod Show in May 2004 much to the delight of many readers who had read so much about the car. The Ranchwagon was finally registered in August 2004 but plagued with teething problems, some of which kept us away from another big debut at the Rockhampton Motor Show.
In November 2004 the Ranchwagon would see its first interstate trip to Johns Rod and Custom Picnic in Melbourne. It would remain there for a few weeks when we returned and drove it to Adelaide for the Rods and Classics Party. Tragedy struck however when we were involved in a major accident the night before the event, essentially wiping out the front of the car. Fortunately there were no serious injuries.
Our insurers, Vigil, were on the job the next day and quickly processed the claims to ensure that the Ranchwagon would ride again as soon as possible. After major repairs the car would again be left in the hands of LDI for the finishing touches and a few months later the Ranchy was on the road again.
The Ranchwagon is used for both local and interstate duties, usually loaded to the roof with magazines and merchandise as we head off to the next car show or cruise. It's no slouch either thanks to the warm 351 built by Engine Tech and has been sited running the quarter mile at Willowbank Raceway at the Nostalgia Drags.
The Ranchwagon has been the culmination of the efforts and resources of many great businesses and individuals and we would like to thanks all of those who have been involved to date and no doubt will be in the future.