BAILON RANCHERO RESTORED
NEWS FLASH… The Davi Horace Joe Bailon 1949 Ford Ranchero from the 1950’s has been restored and debuts at the 2016 Santa Maria Show.
The Joe Bailon built 1949 Ford Ranchero for Horace Davi from the early/mid 1950’s restoration has been completed. The car debuts at the 2016 Santa Maria West Coast Nationals Cruising Nationals show. The last photos I had seen of the car were from the 2015 Grand National Roadster show when the car was in primer at the event. I had heard the restoration was completed, but had not seen any photos of it, until today Friday May 27, 2016. The car had arrived at the Santa Maria show host hotel parking lot, and Larry Davidson took a snapshot of it which he shared on his Facebook. It is really great to see the car back on the road again. First time I read about the car and that it had survived was in 1992. Then in 2009 I saw it in person at the Sacramento Autorama where it was displayed and offered for sale.
Joe Bailon created the car for Horace Davi from a wrecked 2 door sedan. The body was sectiond 4 or 5 inches (Several period magazine list different measurements for this) inches and the windshield chopped 3 inches. The top of the windshield was replaced by a section Joe cut from a wrecked convertible. Wheel opening were opened up and reshaped with a new round shape following the white wall tires. The rear of the body was converted to a pick up bed including a hand made tailgate. This needed a lot of work to get the body stiff enough. The front fenders were re contoured and now flow nicely in the front splash pan which is also the bottom of the much smaller grille opening. There is no real grille in the car, just a modified 1951 Ford grille surround at the top and the custom bumper at the bottom of the grille opening. A new removable top was cut and reshaped from a wrecked Ford coupe. Pontiac taillights were added to the rear fenders and the rear bumper was replaced by an modified Oldsmobile unit.
The car looks really nice, from what I see it is almost complete, only missing the stainless around the windshield. I do notice that during the restoration something was changed on the front fender lower corners. Joe Bailon had rounded off the front edge of the front bumpers to make them flow nicely into the bumper. It looks like the restored car had the front fenders replaced and the lower edge was not modified as Joe had done in in 1954-55. The car is now owned by Bob Dron.
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