1951 Ford Custom Convertible
It took a few years after World War II for automakers to introduce completely new postwar era cars. Most had been updates of pre-war cars, and with demand high, Ford had to respond. Their troubles began during the 1930's, as the Great Depression and increasing competition had slowed some of the company's success. Henry Ford's persistence on updating the antiquated suspension system had been another factor, and as the war came to an end, the Ford Motor Company emerged in declining financial health. They turned to designer George Walter, commonly known as the 'Cellini of Chrome' for a sleek new streamlined design to take them into the 50's, and the Ford brand was off and running again.
For consignment, known as a ""shoebox"" convertible, a Custom that retains its original exterior and interior look, but has had the benefit of a body off restoration. An AACA First Place winner and a fine example of Ford's postwar production ripe for the picking in our Hallowed Halls.
The beneficiary of a frame-off restoration, all body panels were taken apart, reworked, put back together, then painted in gorgeous light pea green hue. Panels are very straight, and gaps are well minded. At the front of the car, a bold grille houses dual rounded bullets between a guarded bumper, small inserted turn signals and a classy Ford crest. At the sides of that crest, rounded fenders hang chrome-cased headlights between aggressive hood trim and a chromed spear that runs around the beltline of the entire car. The spear flows to body-matched fender skirts, which parallel polished door handles and capped lock cylinders. The restoration even went so far as to include the not oft seen front gravel guards mounted to the lower fenders. Above those spears, black cloth centers a plastic backlight and makes up the near flawless new power canvas roof. A full array of stainless-trimmed glass resides below this rag top and at the back of the car, a second guarded bumper frame factory stretched oval taillights with the trimmings wrapping around and racing up the rear quarter panels. Matching light green steelies are capped with shiny F emblazoned hubcaps and are wrapped in wide whites.
Inside this Custom, a tasteful interior appears much more upscale than the car's age would suggest. Broad bench seats, which sport rich, 2-tone covers, in pale green and black ride atop of clean black rubber flooring and tan carpeted floor matting. In front of those thrones, a color-keyed dash, with a patterned aluminum insert houses clear gauges and a correct AM radio above the factory Magic Aire heater. At the sides of that dash and gracing the doors we see 2-tone door panels, matching the seat motif and framing correct chrome handles. In front of the driver, an artful Ford steering wheel spins a centered chevron design around a factory shifter. And behind the passengers, a fully restored trunk features a correct jack and full-size fully restored spare tire.
In keeping with tradition, this stellar classic is powered by 239 cubic inches of 'flatty' V8. Spinning smooth compression into roughly 100 horsepower, the throaty engine growls with the help of a roster of stock parts. Air enters through a painted and decaled oil bath air cleaner and, juiced by a small Ford carburetor, exits through correct, cast iron exhaust manifolds. Aesthetically, the block, which perches a pristine oil canister on 24-stud heads, has been painted a stunning gold hue. And overall, the car's glossy engine bay is a charming and 100% functional step back into a much simpler, and some would say better, period of American automotive history. And don't forget the 3-speed manual transmission with overdrive strapped to the rear of this totally rebuilt mill and the 3.73 geared rear axle.
Take a look under this roaring rag-top and you'll see just how much the automotive world has changed when it comes to ride, handling and structural integrity. The car's coated floors make a suitable backdrop for a black frame and factory-accurate suspension. In front of that drivetrain, control arms and coil springs remain just as they looked back in 1951. And the same holds true behind that drivetrain, where leaf springs and the aforementioned pumpkin add integrity and grip. Stops are provided by 4-wheel drum brakes. A dual exhaust suspends glasspack style mufflers in front of polished chrome tips.
Being a sucker for these early 50's Fords, I hopped in and had a great test ride. All was working famously, great acceleration with the 2bbl and Flathead. I rolled the windows down dropped the top and drove with the obligatory arm bent out the window cruise just for old time's sake. All went well on our drive save for a horn that doesn't beep, the radio not turning on and the heater slides being jammed.
With its elegant looks and proven running gear, this finely tuned classic deserves a future in the limelight. If you're ready to start enjoying Sunday drives and making tons of car show friends, it's time to park this buttoned up Ford in your garage!
B-239ci V8 100hp
KC-Kansas City Assy Plant
115961-Sequential Unit Number
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 650 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.