Tom & Pat Hinote’s 1957 Ford Del Rio Wagon
(from Volume 21, Issue 257)

story by owners Pat & Tom Hinote • photos by Michael B. Kelly


This 1957 Ford Del Rio Wagon belongs to Pat and Tom Hinote of Branford, Florida. They acquired the car in January of 2015 with the idea to have enough room to include the grandkids, who share the same passion for classic cars as they do.

Pat and Tom have recently fully retired and when they aren’t attending car shows, they are actively traveling and seeing the good-ole US of A. Plans are to take the Del Rio on Power Tours and combine both passions. Tom is a retired US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician, a position he held for 28 years, who was fortunate enough to use this skill and experience in the civilian Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) field clearing formerly used defense sites for 17 years.

The car is perfect for hauling the groceries as well as the grandkids. Sporting a mildly modified 351W motor, C-4 automatic transmission, vintage air, power steering, front disc and rear power assisted drum brakes, and fully adjustable electric bucket seats, the car is a blast to drive.

When we started looking for a wagon, we were initially leaning towards a woody. After spotting this car online it easily swayed us toward her. The two-tone green paint, updated amenities, and the quality of the build convinced us that we needed to make an offer. The car was built by an elder gentleman (79 years young) in Ohio, and originally came out of California. It took him a little over four years to complete the frame-off restoration, and he enjoyed her for another four years. During that time, she was selected as a Summit Catalog cover car. After several conversations between the builder and us, we were sold. He did a magnificent job and we couldn’t be more thrilled with our decision.

The two-door Ford Del Rio station wagons were built to compete with the Chevrolet Nomads and Pontiac Safari’s. Buyers of the Del Rio were offered a unique two-tone paint scheme, better quality interior and exterior touches, including brightwork with gold anodized aluminum accents. Ford sold more Del Rio’s in 1957 (46,105) than Chevrolet did with it’s Nomads in 55 - 57 combined. Ironically, Ford terminated the Del Rio models after selling only 12,687 in 1958. -Pat and Tom Hinote