This 1953 Ford Customline sedan represents the end of the line for the venerable flathead V8, but Ford seems to have saved the best for last. This is an attractive car that drives beautifully, and proves once again that flathead Fords remain special vehicles that everyone should enjoy at least once in their lives. And at this price, there's really nothing stopping you from making this your next favorite toy.
Restored sometime in its past, this is a very stock Ford. With so many becoming customs with chopped tops and suspension-dragging lowering jobs, this 4-door sedan has a refreshing honesty about it. The black paint is an older respray but presents very well on the curvy '50s Ford bodywork. It's not perfect, but why would you want it to be? Instead, it has a clean look that looks like it's always ready to have fun and you can happily take this car anywhere because it fits right in regardless of the situation. The sheetmetal reflects nicely and gaps are good, suggesting that this car was never wrecked or seriously rusty. There's plenty of original brightwork to make it seem upscale, including a handsome grille that recalls the ""bulletnose"" Fords of just a few years earlier. The stainless side trim is in decent shape, the heavy chrome bumpers look big enough to go through a brick wall, and the round taillights are arguably the beginning of Ford's fascination with jets. It just looks great.
The multi-colored upholstery uses comfortable fabric and vinyl to reproduce the '50s look. Dark green carpets are a tasteful contrast that works rather well with the black bodywork and the low-gloss gray dash top and garnish moldings are handsome as well as functional. The simple instrument panel is a crescent of gauges atop a half-circle of speedometer, all surrounded by a big, black steering wheel. Ford had only just begun to offer an automatic transmission, and the 3-speed automatic transmission below is selected with a column shifter that works just fine here. The secondary controls are arrayed to either side of the main instrument pod, with a separate clock molded into the top of the dash. Underneath the clock you'll find the original AM radio, which remarkably enough is still operational. A spacious back seat looks inviting for two and the big trunk will easily carry all your luggage and includes a carpeted mat and spare whitewall bias-ply tire, just in case.
In 1953, the venerable Ford flathead V8 had grown to 239 cubic inches, which helped bolster torque output. It's easy to recognize wearing red engine enamel, which offers a great contrast to all the black under the hood. A correct oil bath air cleaner up top, reproduction hoses, a newer fuel pump, and a proper six-volt generator all make the driving experience very authentic today. It starts easily and runs so smoothly you almost can't feel it idling and the custom exhaust system with an original-style muffler has a traditional ""flatty"" sound that will bring back memories of your youth. The undercarriage is properly finished in satin black, so it's durable but doesn't hide anything, and the stock suspension really does ride and handle very nicely. Road manners are quite good, assisted by a set of 6.70-15 bias-ply tires wrapped around factory steel wheels that are adorned with shiny hub caps.
No surprises, just a clean, honest flathead Ford. If you've never owned one, you don't know what you're missing and if you're already one of the faithful, this is a fun, inexpensive way to enjoy an old favorite. Call today!