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Customs 1956 Ford Fairlane Club Coupe grille ideas...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1stGrumpy, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. A few weeks ago I purchased a mildly customized '56 Ford Fairlane Club Coupe with the original grille and tail lights...
    At that time, I had planned on going with the traditional chrome tube grille and a pair of '55/'56 Mercury Station Wagon tail lights...
    Well, after pricing the custom tube grille ($600.00 plus) and the Merc tail lights ($1500.00 & up), I have decided to change my thinking! Instead I opted for a pair of 1960 Dodge tail lights ($125.00 shipped).
    But I have no idea what to do for a custom grille! This is where you guy's come in... give me some ideas... what have you used or seen that you think would look good? Post me some pictures, please.
    loudbang and scrap metal 48 like this.
  2. Just me, but I love the original grille.:)
  3. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,599

    from Berry, AL

    Not just you, me too!
  4. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,073

    scrap metal 48

    If you weld, buy some small chrome tubing and weld strips on back to mount.. I would leave the parking lights and form the grille around them.. Very cool 56 by the way....

  5. lucas doolin
    Joined: Feb 7, 2013
    Posts: 422

    lucas doolin

    What lothiandon1940 said. Fomoco grilles from the 30s on are unusually attractive items and are rarely improved on (from an esthetic point of view) by changing them for something else. Your '56 has a '55 hood (to eliminate the hood ornament). It also has the rear bumper (with through the bumper exhaust) replaced with a station wagon version. Do what you want with the grille but it won't improve on the original. (Just our opinion and we know what that's about.)
  6. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,038


    Like lothiandon1940 says, you'll have to go a long way to do better than what the stylists at Ford Motor did when it comes to a grill that fits and doesn't make it look like a fish out of water, as does the tube grill (pictured). As to the '60 Dodge tail lights, they don't anything for me, except make me wonder why they don't look right. Save your money for a pair of the Merc wagon shiners. They are the classic solution to what Ford should have done. I know it's hard to do a mild Kustom and get it just right because there are only a few tasteful choices. The other element is paint. Tastes in the old days demanded darker colors, so that when you looked at them, when they were done, it looked like if you tripped you'd keep falling into them. Candies look good. I was never a fan of scallops because they compete with the lines of the car, but that's just me. For that super-duper double-throw-down 'beat this' paint job we're talking big $$$$$. Nice ride you have so far, though.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
  7. Thank you.
  8. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,642


    It already has the best looking grille in it now! Don’t change it!

  9. Thank you.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  10. poco
    Joined: Feb 9, 2009
    Posts: 428

    from oklahoma

    Do not change the grill. Original is very good looking.
  11. japchris
    Joined: Apr 21, 2001
    Posts: 312

    from England

    I retained a fair bit of the original grille on my old 56, but added some Corvette teeth. Guess you could do similar with drawer pulls or something, but others have said, the original takes some beating.
    I actually had a spare original grille that I put back on the car when I sold it and used the Corvette teeth in my Merc. ebay22413k.jpg
    Black Wagoon, 56don, alanp561 and 8 others like this.
  12. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 7,693

    jimmy six

    Even though mines stock I agree with keeping the surround and working inside it. I had a 55 Convertible in the early 60’s with a full bar grille and never really liked it. With the egg crate cut out it’s going to get flimsy and hard to handle without some 1/2 moon braces welded in before you start cutting away. They can be left when you find the right fill for you by painting them flat black.

    I’d try painting the verticals with flat black and step back and see what a thin bar grille would look like in the stock surround first.

    The best thing after it’s done any your not happy Carpenter will sell a new grill...:)
    loudbang, 1stGrumpy and Stan Back like this.
  13. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,321


    I've ALWAYS been a large fan of 50's Fords. (especially 55-56). I liked the stock rear tail lights too.
    I'd leave the grille as-is....maybe a little bit fatter tires....(shoot, I even like the stock hood onrament, or maybe a 58 Ford hood ornament?!)....concentrate on a killer paint. JMO
    ffr1222k and lothiandon1940 like this.
  14. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 3,552


    I'm a fan of the stock grille. However, you could try making your own tube grill by soldering copper tubes in your own design and then chroming.

    Another option is the '56 Meteor grille.
  15. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,055


  16. I'm liking the Corvette teeth bolted to the original grill like japchris posted above. However, I am also a fan of the original.
    Budget36, ffr1222k, loudbang and 3 others like this.
  17. B Bay Barn
    Joined: Dec 27, 2009
    Posts: 423

    B Bay Barn

    50+ years ago my brother wrapped the vertical portions of his grille in his '56 Club Sedan with black electrical tape to create a low $$$ custom grille. I know time has probably affected my memory but at the time I thought it looked good. But what did I know as a snot nosed baby brother. ;)
  18. I planned on doing this but I'm just going to use some black tape to get a general idea. If I decide that I like it, I can paint the verticals later.
  19. straykatkustoms
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 13,362


    If it was mine I would run a 1955 Plymouth grill


    loudbang, jimmy six and 1stGrumpy like this.
  20. straykatkustoms
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 13,362


    What I did to my '55 Chevy was cut the vertical bars off the original grill. Kool, cheap and easy. Below is a quick photoshopped example

    alanp561, 1stGrumpy, catdad49 and 5 others like this.
  21. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,436


    IF you an find some '58 Buick squares, you could fill the grille with's a shot of my brother's '54 Caddy with Buick squares (with pin-up)...those would change the appearance of your Ford...

  22. TrailerTrashToo
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 777


    This Ford is now a mild custom, I very much like it as is. Tastefully modifying the grille would be a positive addition.

    We need to have a discussion of the era you want to be in. Pre-Angel-Hair era and Angel-Hair era are both pre-1965 HAMB friendly. In my mind, '58 Buick squares (a.k.a kitchen drawer pull knobs) are Angel-Hair era, right when louvered roofs and random non-functional vents became "Kool".

    I'm having trouble explaining this... Best I can come up with is subtle (gotta look twice to really appreciate the modification) vs direct eyeball assult.

    p.s. It was the angel hair, '58 Buick squares, random placement of louvers, that caused me to stop buying to quarter custom magazines in the late 1950's.
    alanp561 and 1stGrumpy like this.
  23. Dang it...all of the cool stuff we used to use for these sort of cars has somehow disappeared and returned made out of unobtainium. It's a bummer getting old ain't it?
    loudbang and 1stGrumpy like this.
  24. I like that.

    That right there looks good! It's cheap and easy, like me. lol But instead of cutting the verticals off, I think that I would prefer using black tape or paint them flat black. Thanks Mick...
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
    loudbang likes this.
  25. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,436


    I guess you'd have trouble with the "random non-functional vents" on my '55 Cadillac then, right...???


  26. Charlie, you are exactly right and if you do find something, they want a arm and a leg for it plus your testicles! That's the point that I was making in my original post, I love the look of the Mercury tail lights but $1500.00 plus is ridiculous!
    catdad49, loudbang and jimmy six like this.
  27. straykatkustoms
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 13,362


    Tail light idea.. 1960 Dodge, would look kool.

  28. Thanks Mick! I've got a pair of them coming, supposed to be here by Friday!
  29. TrailerTrashToo
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 777


    Tastefully done, just not my "cup-of-tea". Look familiar, can't place the source - custom made? They are not 1958 Chevy Impala.

    40StudeDude likes this.
  30. MrPhat40
    Joined: Apr 30, 2007
    Posts: 89


    Recently saw a 56 Ford coupe not unlike your neat new ride. It was sporting a 57 Buick grill ( does take two of them butted together) and it looked clean neat fabulous and very different. Good luck with her and post what you decided.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    1stGrumpy and loudbang like this.

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