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History Redheaded stepchild

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. For years the '52-'54 Fords were overlooked by many although there were some that liked the body styles and they were the people that hounded the aftermarket manufactures,both big and small and they gradually started filling in that gap in their catalogs.

    The rise in popularity in the last 15 or so years is in part due to the most desirable cars already having a loyal following and their needs have been addressed by parts manufactures for many years.

    The '52-'54 Fords got a big boost in viability when so many Hamber's started buying them up and building beautiful cars out of what was the Ugly Duckling in the mid 50's Ford line up for so long.

    Having been a member of the '54 Ford Club of America since the early days of the organization I saw first hand all the work the late Tom Hoskins did to urge the manufactures to step up to the plate and offer those essential parts that seem to have been made of unobtanium, with his tenacity and never taking no attitude along with a host of other people desiring parts Dennis Carpenter was one of the first to start offering parts, many others have followed suit, EMS has stepped up and offers a wide range of sheet metal parts, which I have used and can only say they nailed the parts.

    Don Allen is the current president of the '54 Ford Club of America and I serve as the Administrator of the club Website, many Hambers are members there also including JeffB2 who oversees the '52-'59 Social group here and is a wealth of knowledge.

    We also have a large list of vendors on the site.

    I know had it not been for many of the vendors the Ranch Wagon would still be sitting in the barn. HRP

    wicarnut, mgtstumpy, lc1963 and 10 others like this.
  2. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,803


    7D2BF438-3DE7-40BD-9715-F3F4F7D00362.jpeg 7D2BF438-3DE7-40BD-9715-F3F4F7D00362.jpeg 94EEBADB-B358-4F23-BA3E-5DF46C2AF529.jpeg I be got a 53 Victoria, that I thought about bringing back, but like you said there was not a lot of parts available, for years. Hadn’t checked in a while. May have to rethink this!

  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,496


    I think that one issues is that a great number of them got scrapped years ago while the shoe boxes and the 55/56 survived in much larger numbers. We had a 52 with a 56 Thunderbird Special 312 in it in the late 50's and that car was already a bit rough then. I'd have to think rode hard and put away wet pretty well applied to those years.
    I sure wouldn't mind finding a Vicky from one of those years though 52 or 53 and the Model A Vic shell I have might be on the sales block.
    HOTRODPRIMER and Boneyard51 like this.
  4. I am a dye in the wool Deuce guy but I swear the older I get the more I can appreciate the comfortable ride and the roominess of these cars. HRP
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  5. I always liked the body style. The Vicky is my favorite. Guy back in high school hung out at the local burger doodle with a 54 ragtop custom with a 54 Chevy grille and some custom tail lights and just the right stance. Loved that car. I used to own a 54 coupe with the short roof. Had a 302 in it. I always like the coupe because it was kinda rare. But I had too many vehicles and decided to send it down the road to a gent in Georgia a few years back.
  6. My second car was a '54 Ford, first was a '32 - 5Wcoupe, but I would like to find a solid '54 coupe for a future project. HRP
    osage orange likes this.
  7. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,051


    Like most Fords of the fifties they suffered from body rot and even frame rot in some models so they got bypassed I guess. They were far from being the red-headed stepchild in my book, I've always like them, especially the 1954 two door post models. One of my buddies had a clean, mint green '54 with a 390 and cruiso, I always lusted after that car but it was never for sale that I know of. He moved away but knowing him, he may still have it!
    I've seen some tempting 2 dr wagons and sedans on CL over the last few years but I have enough projects to last me a while.
    osage orange and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
    Joined: May 5, 2015
    Posts: 613


    I remember a kid in high school bought a 1952 Ford 2 door from out back of the local Ford dealership, a 10 dollar special (back in 1967). Knowing nothing about 1952 Fords I just figured, without looking, it would be the same style as a 1952 Chevy. Well he got it running, repaired the brakes and painted it the same color as my 55 Chevy, competition orange. Put the two cars side by side, pretty much the same, only difference was that he had 300 bucks in his while I had close to a grand in mine.
    HOTRODPRIMER and Boneyard51 like this.
  9. If you want a red-headed stepchild, buy a similar-year Mercury... 'almost' the same car, but enough differences to drive you crazy...
  10. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 997


    Maybe it was just a regional thing, but a lot of them got cut up and turned into dirt track cars in the mid to late 60’s.
    HOTRODPRIMER and Boneyard51 like this.
  11. Right you are Don,there were only 10,951 business coupes and 33,951 club coupes in '54.

    That's a total of 44,616 coupes built, which was the lowest produced body style in the line up. HRP
    osage orange likes this.
  12. i.rant
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,751

    from Illinois
    1. 1940 Ford

    My first car was a 54 2dr Customline, It was an exercise in futility to keep it running or starting.:mad:
    Don’t buy a car thinking because the engine was clean it’s a good runner...........
    Lesson learned the hard way.
  13. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,803


    The 1953 Ford car was the very first car I can really remember. My folks bought a Station wagon , a Ranch Wagon I think, new and we used it to help move from California to Oklahoma in Oct 1957. It pulled a 1955 Shasta camper trailer on 66 highway. My Dad sold it in about 1963. I heard him say many times......” I shouldn’t have sold that wagon! “. It had the Flathead V-8 and three speed overdrive.

    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  14. I've had a soft spot for these cars since I first learned to drive in my dad's 54 Ford sedan. It's a blast to drive the 53 to cruises, shows and events, as I'm usually (actually almost ALWAYS) the only such car there. It's not the fastest or the prettiest, but it's MINE!
    53 ford 5.jpg
    Thanks for your efforts, HRP. Without the work you've done it would be a lot harder to find the parts and information I need for the 53's continuing evolution.

    Attached Files:

    catdad49 and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  15. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,937

    Atwater Mike

    I have had 11 '54 Ford coupes. (all Customlines, except the one I have now,'s a business coupe)

    Back in 1973, there was a nice light blue '53 Ford Victoria an old woman had, in Santa Cruz. One owner, her husband bought it new in Nov. of '53.
    Santa Cruz all its life, NO RUST!
    Ex wife hated it, hated my F100, my roadster, and and my O.T. '52 Porsche split-windshield roadster.
    This Vicky had been repainted once, in the mid '60s. It was straight, solid, 80K miles.
    Had an Automotive Engineering rebuilt 8BA in it, straight stick, no O.D.
    I commuted from Santa Cruz over the hill daily, to my high pay job.
    Never a miss, always dependable.
    Then wife left, (Yippee!) and my Vicky got a '55 DeSoto grille, frenched '55 Olds taillights, nosed and deck shaved, dropped rear, reversed eyes, flat springs, and 2" blocks. 1 coil cut each side in front...Foxcraft skirts, '55 Olds Fiesta caps.
    Lovely car. Girlfriend didn't see water leaking, warmed it up till it was bellowing out of the broken hose, cracked the block.
    Ron Dunn (lifetime neighbor/friend) sold me a flattie and I installed it at home.
    Made '50s nite, car drew a crowd, frenched headlights just done, some primer on them, taillight work, and hood and deck...but won 'peoples' choice', I was surprised.
    That engine warmed up also, so I parked it at my new shop. Dropped a 260 in it, (never ran it) and pulled it out for a 289, which I never ran either.
    Room was needed for jobs, so my Vickie went away....Miss her, she sure got the eyeballs!
    Good news was that I had a new girlfriend, a car crazy gorgeous long haired brunette, 13 years my junior. That was 1978.

    1990, My son spotted the '54 Coupe in a newspaper ad, a rainy day...we were visiting them, and he says, "Let's take a ride up there and see it."
    I said, "No...I don't have any money, after that last move. (We were on a ranch in Atwater, just moved from San Jose)
    We went to see this '54, up in the foothills by Lick Observatory.
    We pulled up, I spotted the green '54 on a trailer. I said, "I know this's from Aptos."
    Sure enough, the guy had bought it in Aptos, from the old man I had seen driving it. I chased it once, but lost him in Tourist traffic!
    Son Rich (rich son) bought the coupe for $475 cash, said "Happy Fathers Day!"
    I was floored. "Finally...a '54 Ford Coupe I can KEEP!"
    My wife Joey (the 'new one', we've only been married since '83...Together since a year after the old cruit left) loves the '54. I have a 406 F-E to assemble, and a heavy 3 speed top loader with Jeep tower, tall 'cane' stick. Yeah, like 'the old days'.
    The '54 is much desirable, as it has the heavy tube member that mounts every Ford engine from '54 to '76.(?) Mounts may vary, but they all sit on the mount flanges.
    Also the T-Bird suspension geometry, and ball joint suspension.
    I love 'em.
    williebill, weps, hrm2k and 2 others like this.
  16. Really? You have to love having your head up against the headliner of a 4” chopped deuce. Maybe you need to wear flat shoes!

    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  17. They have really grown on me in recent years. They are affordable and can make great looking kustoms too like this one posted by Mickey today.

  18. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 2,175


  19. Jay71
    Joined: Sep 15, 2007
    Posts: 853


  20. Yes! @Jay71 Here's a couple of my favorites

    Jimmie Vaughan's '54
    Alex Idzardi's '54
  21. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,308

    Bandit Billy

    All I know is I'd hate to meet the bird who doodied that roof, damn!
    nochop, Jay71, lothiandon1940 and 2 others like this.
  22. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,803


    We grow them big in Oklahoma!

    lothiandon1940 and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  23. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,235


    Was the 3 piece back window a one year only deal?
  24. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 5,398


    How about a '53 Pace Car? Last year for the flathead in the U.S.
    [​IMG]And a wagon brochure. This stuff is so cool!
    wicarnut and lothiandon1940 like this.
  25. Boden
    Joined: Oct 10, 2018
    Posts: 666


    [​IMG] my 53

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    wicarnut, rj143xk and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  26. rj143xk
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 2


    What kind of UTE is that?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  27. 47ragtop
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 659


    My 2nd car in 1960, a 1952 Customline, Paid $125 . Then Nosed ,decked, dechromed , frenched headlights and frenched 58 Plymouth tail lights , new paint ,and a Warshawsky tube grille and the cheapest rolled and pleaded set covers ever. Slower than a turtle with the Fordomatic trans and Mercury engine. It was my 1st real every day driver and I thought I was hot snot !! Later Bill

    Attached Files:

    i.rant, rj143xk and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  28. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,639


    00D0D_aYyEwwGu4ru_1200x900.jpg Caught the 2 door wagon bug when I was a senior in HS. Had a '65 falcon 2 door wagon that eventually ended up with a warmed over 289, headers, and a T-10. Had to sell it when I got drafted in 1971. Always wanted another but never found the right one. Then I found this '54 Ranch Wagon which is now taking most of my time and money as well. Never really thought about '54 Fords until I bought this one but its definitely a keeper this time.
    fol and rj143xk like this.
  29. With the front suspension sitting on square tubing I can't tell if it's pin & link '52 or '53, the '54 hac conventional ball joint front suspension. HRP

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