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Customs Show me your Shoebox grilles.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flatheadpete, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 4,132

    from Central IL

    I've since added 53 chevy teeth to mine I like it better now.

    I've also noticed that some of the Cal Custom smooth bars on Ebay dont seem to be correct for the shoebox grill they have too deep of a peak and the ends dont look to be correct to match up either. Maybe they are for a Merc but they are definately different that the one on a friends Shoebox.

    Attached Files:

  2. I have also noted that. Cuznbruice here on the HAMB had a Cal-Custom Merc bar on his car before adding the 53 Chevy and it peaked to much outwards and had a bad fit at the parklight housing when adding it to his 51 shoebox.
    Now I'm crossing fingers and hopes that the one I have on route to Sweden is a Ford shoebox based Cal-Custom smooth bar..
  3. mocked up "55 Chrysler new yorker bar and vw bumper guards
  4. 14" front, 15" rear For this summer we are putting on 15" all the way around and 57 Caddy caps with bullets and 1" wide whitewalls. Pat
  5. ytt49
    Joined: Oct 7, 2010
    Posts: 373

    from socal

    I think i going to go with the vw bumper guards. I like the look.
    thanks for the post
  6. cuznbrucie
    Joined: May 1, 2005
    Posts: 2,567


    ....see my avatar......

  7. austin514
    Joined: May 11, 2008
    Posts: 172


    54 imperial grill mercury cavity and 55 dodge fender lips as of now working on the 55 pontiac bumpers

    Attached Files:

  8. busajack
    Joined: Jun 16, 2012
    Posts: 67

    from wy

    Put some class under your ass.:D
    '49 Ford Coupe likes this.
  9. yblock292
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,937


    don't have pics of my 51, grill is off to the chromers, but took the stock grill, narrowed it and trimed it up to recess into the grill opening without the park lite pieces, grill now fits flush with the front fenders, removed the centers out of the stock "bullets" and replaced them with smooth chrome bullets. I think it looks really good!Will post when i get it back
  10. Changed my mind but similar to what i had. Meteor hood,Meteor grille surround, cal custom bar with original side bezels. Ford lower panel with molding.

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  11. sideswipe
    Joined: Sep 27, 2012
    Posts: 168


    it's actually my dad's car. two merc grille shells make the opening. i forget what the grill is made from. i think it is a55 chevy accessory piece.

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  12. jcs64
    Joined: Apr 25, 2005
    Posts: 528


  13. I'm looking forward on updates on this one. The meteor grille surround is like a merc moulding in simplicity? I'm also installing a Cal-Custom on my shoebox and it's interesting to see what others do with theirs
  14. chop32
    Joined: Oct 13, 2002
    Posts: 1,077


    A little late to the game, but I also used a '55 Chrysler New Yorker grille bar, narrowed 11" if I remember correctly.

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  15. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,669


    Not particularly original, but I used a stock '50 grille, parking lights, and hood on my '51. The spinner in the grille is unusual; it has no lines, no 6 or 8 numeral, and it came in a Ford box. The hood ornament is '49.
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
  16. roddin-shack
    Joined: Apr 12, 2006
    Posts: 2,413


    My 1949 Meteor, with 1950 Mercury grill with center tooth removed.

    The last 2 pics show the original grill, although similar to the Merc it is quite a bit shorter.

    Attached Files:

  17. Great looking car Roddin. I tried a meteor grille, i have 2 of them. One is stainless and the other is very heavily made but painted. I went with the bar but i do like the stock meteor grille as well. Especially with the center bar removed. for a cleaner custom look. Also the hood is different as many may know. After stripping my meteor hood you can see the factory lead work and the filler panel ford used to fill it in with. So Ford just modified a stock Ford hood to make a meteor. Note the factory holes for the meteor letters. Something our american friends might not be aware of.
    Pic is the 50 meteor i bought for a parts car.Also note the upper belt moldings which are realy rare.

    Attached Files:

  18. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,837

    from Burton, MI

    I used a stock '50. Btw....this pick was taken on a 30* night after we got home from a concert.....
  19. Kirby50
    Joined: Nov 4, 2012
    Posts: 14

    from san diego

    Someone should track down that cat that's on the roof of the car.. maybe he has some answers...
  20. Hehe! :D Just my thought
  21. merc-o-madness
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,544


    56 chrysler grill in 53 chev grill shell. best part is its stainless so no expensive chrome bill[​IMG]
  22. The modified Cal-Custom grille ready for the chrome bath and dressed up in copperplating


  23. Didn't Cal Custom and JC Whitney sell that center hood piece to make your '49 '50 ford look like a new 1951 Ford. Your friends will think you got a NEW CAR!
  24. 1949 Ford style grill on my '53 Chevy truck.
    Still in the build process. Need to fabricate the two lower pieces of the grill surround. Then remount the widened '49 ford front bumper.

  25. LeClaire
    Joined: Apr 4, 2013
    Posts: 27

    from Minnesota

    I'm putting modified F-1 teeth in, kinda like this:
  26. heminh2o
    Joined: Oct 28, 2013
    Posts: 98

    from Tulare, CA

    Bought the car as a project like this and hope one day to actually do some work to it. Wish I had some of you metal guys close to me for pointers. I am so lost with body work....

    Attached Files:

  27. Rags To Richs
    Joined: Dec 19, 2007
    Posts: 390

    Rags To Richs

    Mine....... Widened Corvette

  28. John M
    Joined: Mar 11, 2006
    Posts: 62

    John M

    I’ve always liked the way a 49-51 Ford looked with a smooth style grill that eliminated the “bullets” in the stock grills. This was a bolt on accessory that changed the look of the Shoebox back in the day.

    Photo 007.jpg

    So, I’ve been gathering information about the Cal Custom style smooth grill for Shoebox Fords for some time now and thought this would be a good time to share what I know, or think what I know about the grills. There is a grill being advertised on the big auction site now saying, “1949 1950 1951 Ford Cal Custom N.O.S Grille Bar This is a very rare Cal Custom accessory that is impossible to find in this condition.” It ends on Tuesday April 21st and there is currently one bid of $100. This grill is, I believe, a Standard seamed grill, Cal Custom stock #6007 (read further below).
    These come up for sale periodically and I’ve seen some in like new condition and have bought two of these, one a deluxe for a Mercury and one, a deluxe for a Shoebox Ford. The Mercury one was advertised for a Ford and the guy even had two Ford parts cars and held the grill up to one for a photo he sent me and told me he decided to go with rechroming the stock grill. I spent a lot of cash on this piece only to find out that it would not fit or look correct in my finished car with the stock grill surround. I finally found the correct grill a couple of years ago. Maybe what I know will save some of you the headache I had learning about the grills. I think Cal Custom started making these grills in the 50’s and then later, Gene Winfield started reproducing them (maybe Gene will chime in on this). I found an ad showing Gene holding a Mercury grill saying it was an exact duplicate of the Cal Custom grill. Since Gene also reproduced fiberglass Mercury bodies, maybe he only did the Mercury grill. Maybe someone else can add some knowledge here.

    Photo 008.jpg

    These replacement grills came in a variety of styles. One style seemed to be just a piece that filled in the bullet area of the 49-50 stock grill. See post #4 of this thread for an example.

    Photo 004.jpg

    Then there were the pieces that replaced the entire grill. These came in two styles, the Standard and the Deluxe. The standard was made from two pieces that bolted together and the seam was covered with a strip. I assume these were easier to ship direct to the purchaser. The Deluxe was a one piece bar without the seam.

    Photo 002.jpg

    There was a smooth grill advertised for just 49 Fords and then another one for 50-51 Fords. Then there was one grill advertised to fit all 3 years. The caveat was that 50-51 parking lights needed to be used on the 49 to make the universal grill work. Also, no matter what which style was used, the 49-50 cars needed a filler piece for the hood (or a 51 hood) and a filler for the chrome molding piece below the hood.

    Photo 003.jpg

    The grill advertised for 49 Fords had notched ends to fit around the chrome grill surround molding. It appears that the stock 49 parking lights could be used with this grill in the photos below. Also see the Eastern Auto catalog page above for their stock numbers 6001 & 6007.

    Photo 001.jpg

    As I mentioned earlier, Mercury grills come up periodically on the big auction site. The problem is, I have seen them advertised for Shoebox Fords but they will not be a bolt-in based on my experience. Also, the “V” shape is much more pronounced than the one for Fords. In addition, the ends of what I believe is the one advertised for 49-50 Mercurys are too short to tuck under the curved end pieces of the stock 50-51 Ford grill The Eastern Auto catalog page above shows a different grill for the 51 Mercury that tucks behind the stock parking lights of the Mercury. I do not have experience with this grill as the one deceptively sold to me looks to be the Deluxe 49-50 stock #6003.

    Photo 005.jpg

    If you have a 49-50 Merc grill surround molded into your Shoebox Ford, then the Merc grill would be the way to go (or if you actually have a 49-50 Mercury).

    Photo 006.jpg

    I also looked into using a 54 Chevy grill bar but discovered it was too short and two grills are normally used by cutting one up and using it to fill in the ends of the other one to make it long enough. Then you have a visible seam. This would work if you plan to use the Chevy teeth on the grill which would hide the seam

    Photo 009.jpg

    Hopefully, what I have learned will help some of you out there if you, like me enjoy seeing the smooth look of grills like this when used with Shoebox Fords. If anyone has anything to add to this or correct me on any points, feel free to respond. This is what makes the H.A.M.B. such a great resource. I admire you guys that fabricate your own grills or heavily modify your surrounds and use other car grills. But I believe for a great many of us without the time, talent or cash to pay someone else, bolt in is the way to go, just like we did in the 50’s and 60’s.

    Installing my grill did require a little fabrication. Even though the grill was long enough to tuck under the end pieces, it was a little short to bolt directly to the surround. I made up two 1” spacers, one for each end and made up a support for the bottom of the grill to bolt to the existing support for the OEM grill.

    Photo 010.jpg

    If you like the looks of these grills and have a Shoebox Ford, I see about one or two come up for auction every year. Some are rough but a surprisingly a number of them are pristine, never been mounted like the Merc and the Ford grills I bought.

    50Fraud, glendale and daddio211 like this.
  29. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,669


    My compliments on your exhaustive review of the various smooth grill bars that were offered. When I converted my '51 to the '50 front group (post #75), I assumed that everything would be interchangeable. Wrong! After struggling (and failing) to get the bottom stainless strip from the '50 grille to fit the '51 gravel pan, I learned that there are SIX different gravel pans for shoebox front ends -- all three years are different, and sixes are different from eights.

    I think that your very helpful coverage should help others avoid buying the wrong stuff, and having it not fit correctly.
    daddio211 likes this.
  30. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,307


    Holy crap!! Ford just never did understand the standardized interchangeable thing like GM, did they? I had no idea there were two or three difficult pans, let alone SIX. Good info; thanks.

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