1952 Ford Mainline Ranch Wagon / Photos, Specs, Model History

The 1952 Ford Mainline Ranch Wagon featured here is a true 1950’s classic. The two tone paint scheme on this model adds a lot to its outstanding appearance.

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1952 Ford Mainline Ranch Wagon

While Ford’s new postwar styling came out in 1949, the 1952 models did receive a refresh but still retained some of the basic appearance as the postwar models before them with some added trim. Ford’s Ranch Wagon was a two door, six passenger wagon. It has the same trim level as the entry level base Mainline and was considered the lowest price wagon on the market in 1952.

The Increased Popularity of the Wagon 

The term “Station Wagon” were given these vehicles because the original purpose was to transport people and/or luggage/merchandise from train stations to their homes. These vehicles, also first called Depot Hacks, have been around for a long time but it was after World War Two that they became mainstream.

The early 1950’s were part of family growth with the Baby Boomer generation. More suburbs were coming into being as well as shopping malls and shopping centers far away from the central city. The demand for vehicles to transport children and merchandise was growing along with everything else. All indications were that wagons would be in demand and, for 1952, Ford Motor Company offered three models of their all steel body station wagon. These were the Mainline models as already mentioned, the Country Sedan Customline mid priced models, and the Country Squire top trim level of the Customline series.

Two Door Wagons

Several other automakers than Ford produced two door station wagons at various times. The first two door wagon was said to be the 1946 Willys Jeep Station Wagon. Another story has Crosley with the first two door wagon prior to World War Two. In 1951 it was Nash, in 1954 it was Studebaker and in 1955 and 1964 it was Chevrolet. The two door styling gave the Ford Ranch Wagon both a sportier appearance versus four door wagons and also some added room for cargo.

Ford’s Ranch Wagon was known to have a smooth ride, similar to a sedan which is quite positive for a hauler.

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Ford’s 1952 Mainline Vehicles

Ford introduced all new models for 1952. This beat new Chevrolet models by a full model year.  The Mainline became Ford’s entry level model, but it did present a more modern style than the basic Deluxe model it replaced. New styling included a wrap around windshield, curved rear glass, a modified grille, and more trim and ornaments to break away from the earlier “Shoebox” Ford’s slab sides. These new 1952 Ford’s gave the new entry level Mainline a clean fresh look.

1952 Ford Mainline Ranch Wagon Specifications

The 1952 Ford Mainline came standard with a six cylinder 215 cubic inch that delivered 101 hp. Optional was a 239 cubic inch L-head with a two-barrel carburetor putting out 110 hp.

A three-speed manual transmission was standard and a Ford-O-Matic three speed automatic was optional. The automatic could be used with either engine.

Brakes are four wheel hydraulic drums.

Sales of Ford wagons increased from around 29,000 in 1951 to over 53, 000 in 1952. Two Door Ford Ranch Wagon production for 1952 totaled 32,560 vehicles. Ranch Wagon production for the 1953 model year totaled just short of 67,000 vehicles, a big step up from the previous year.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are on the links below..

1958 Ford Ranch Wagon

1955 Chevy Nomad Wagon

Reference material for this article includes..Ford Station Wagons 1929-1991 by author Paul G. McLaughlin..Ford Motor Cars 1945-1964 by Robert Berry and Alan Earnshaw…Fords of the Fifties by Michael Parris.

Ford Ranch Wagon Collector Vehicles

It’s not easy to find an excellent example of the 1952 Ford Ranch Wagon such as the example featured here.

ranch wagon

At this time 1952 Ranch Wagons in good condition might be found in the $19,000 to $23,000 range. An original example in excellent restored condition sold at auction recently for $42,000. 

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)