Just the Facts
Year: 1957
Make: Ford
Model: Ranchero
Owner: Tim Tralongo
State: California

Personalized plates always confuse us. When we saw RST BKIT on this 1957 Ranchero's tag, we could think of only one meaning, but it had to be wrong. Nope, it was right. When Tim Tralongo started building his 1957 Ranchero it was a "rust bucket". After repairing the eaten-up floors, rockers, and lower quarters, Tim finally got to the fun stuff. He shaved the exterior sheetmetal and chopped 3 inches out of the top. Finish Line Body and Paint sprayed the paint. The RideTech air suspension drops the Ranchero way down, tucking the BFGoodrich radials on 16- and 17-inch Torq Thrusts into the fenders.

A Smeding Performance 347 Extreme crate engine powers the truck. The Ford small-block–based stroker is fired by an MSD 6AL ignition and linked to an AOD transmission, with a 3.50:1 limited-slip Ford 9-inch rearend out back.

Inside, the seat was lowered 3 inches and set back the same amount. Bascom Trim & Upholstery covered the seats in two-tone vinyl, and Sid Chavers added the headliner.

With help from his son, Joe, and Ace Cook, Tim had the Ranchero finished by 2007. In 2008, he took it to the San Francisco Rod, Custom, and Motorcycle Show, where it won First Place in its class. He was our Best Ford in a Ford selection in Pleasanton and has the jacket to prove it.

Painless Tech Tip
GM Computer Flashing

Did you know that Painless Performance Products will re-flash your 1998-and-newer computers at no charge? If you purchase a Painless harness for a GM 1999-and-newer engine, just go to the Painless website ( and fill out a re-flash form and send it and your computer in. A one-day turnaround is common.