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Tiago Ranchero Clone


George Garcia from Bellflower California has been dreaming of recreating the Famous Dick Tiago 1957 Ford Ranchero for over 30 years.

For many years we have seen photos of an unfinished Ford Ranchero chopped at the old Barris Atlantic Blvd. Shop by Brad Masterson. The Dick Tiago clone, or very close recreation was underway, but progress was slow, and happened when funds and time became available. Janne Lepola, from Finland spend some time in California doing body work, and he worded on the front end of George’s Ranchero, modifying the headlights, the fender tops, rounding the corners of the hood and adding the ’57 DeSoto Bumper/Grille.

In early June, 2018 George picked up the car from the Star Kustom Shop where Dakota Wentz painted the car in a beautiful Candy Green and Gold. The original colors of the Tiago Ranchero were candy green and lime that had been mixed by Joe Bailon. Bruce Heather, the owner of over 40 years of the original Tiago Ranchero had supplied George with color samples of the candy green and lime gold he had found on the car at the A-Pillar. The colors were matched as close as possible. George has named his Ranchero “Hanky Panky”, and next up is the tuck&roll upholstery… we can’t wait!

Lets take quick look at the original Tiago Ranchero, (we will get back to that more detailed at a later date) and the gorgeous recreation fresh from the painter.

The original Tiago Ranchero is best known from the beautiful October 1958 cover of Custom Cars Magazine. The lime color appeared a bit more like gold on the cover.

Original (faded) color photo Candy Green and Lime. That is Dick Tiago’s wife posing with the car.

From the George Barris Collection. The original Dick Tiago Ranchero.

I took this photo of George his under construction Ranchero at Brad Masterson’s Shop in 2011. The work on the chopped top was mostly done by then. And the DeSoto bumper/grille has been fitted to the ’58 front end.

Janne Lepola photo of his work done at the front of the car.Adding ’57 Ford elements to the ’58 Front.

Peaking the top of the front fenders.

Headlight work.

Rounded hood corners.

Almost done, ready for paint.

Fresh Chrome, ready to be installed.

Fresh from the painter. STUNNING.

The freshly painted Ranchero was driven to George’s home, as photographed from Brian Neu’s Ranchero.

Really neat shot from Brian during the trip home.

One of the things George changed was adding vent windows, which were never on the original Tiago Ranchero. Therefor the original never had door glass. George’s copy will have fully functional door glass.

Paint detail around the rounded hood corners.

(This article is made possible by)




Rik Hoving

Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)

5 thoughts on “Tiago Ranchero Clone

  • That looks like the ultimate cool , Edsel instrument cluster , perfect topchop , paintjob to die for , big thanks for this ambassador for traditional custom cars !!

  • Very nice! I wish Dakota would post more of his work…
    I remember seeing this in Masterson’s shop then it sat unfinished…so cool to see it completed! Looks like the only difference is the lower portion of the front bumper…

  • Thank you to all those who chose to clone or re-create these fabulous customs. It gives us all the possibility of seeing the well known cars from our magazine collections. This one turned out superbly!


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