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What is a shoebox and why

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by brooksinc1976, Jul 3, 2013.

    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,587


    These discussions can be online forms of good ol bench racing. Almost worth sitting on a milk crate to participate just for the ambiance, no? Now to clarify, that thought is predicated on not taking these topics too seriously. The truth is that aside from the serious financial input or investment value on some of this stuff, none of it is serious or "official". It's just fun and games, discussion about the perimeter of hot rodding and kustoms. At the end of the day you can hope to derive a nice memory, a good joke, and perhaps even a wee bit more appreciation for the looks of the venerable "shoebox". 49-51 Ford, tri-5 Chevy, even the Nova (although regionally we call them box Novas vs shoebox Novas) could all be looked at from a different and positive angle by those who've not been around long enough to know. When passing the torch, try not to hand out the end that's on fire.
  2. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,306

    from Quincy, IL

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^WELL SAID ! ^^^^^^^^^^

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. Funny you say that I just brought a 51 ford "shoebox" but in New Zealand we call them spinners and 55-57 chevs are called shoeboxes so when I was dealing with the guy was a but of confusion as to what we were talking about :)
  4. RR496
    Joined: Dec 25, 2010
    Posts: 101


    Thanks for the history lesson...
  5. go-twichy
    Joined: Jul 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,650


    spinners? i would have called them chazwallers.
    Joined: Aug 1, 2010
    Posts: 47

    from melb oz

    dylan499 you've got yourself a twin spinner if you had a 49 or 50 you would have a single spinner.
  7. 296 V8
    Joined: Sep 17, 2003
    Posts: 4,666

    296 V8
    from Nor~Cal

    Because people (especially car people) have this weird unrelenting urge to create a label for everything.
  8. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,200


    x3 I got in a knockdown drag out with a guy who said his 55 was a shoebox just like the '49 I had at the time.
  9. 63comet
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 508


    When I was little, under eight because we were still in Hawkinsville.... So 1983 or earlier... I remember a classmate with a t-shirt of "Shoebox Chevys", showing a trio of tri-5 cars.

    Until the modern "r@+ rod" era I'd never heard of a shoebox Ford. Then again my interest ran heavily towards LBCs for quite a while. 'Merikun iron didn't interest me that much until I had to have a back seat.
  10. Snot Rocket
    Joined: Sep 8, 2012
    Posts: 122

    Snot Rocket

    So I could have a shoebox with a stovebolt? Or a tubbed out bathtub with a rat? Or a deuce with a nailhead?
  11. Where I'm from shoe boxes were tri 5 Chevies. Never heard Ford called that until I started reading the HAMB, regional thing?
  12. squeaky32
    Joined: May 30, 2013
    Posts: 135


    its funny how many times i see people say they only heard chevys called that until the hamb, it was the exact opposite for me, maybe its just because i come from a ford family who multiple relatives have had shoeboxes, it still throws me off when i see it used for a tri-five
  13. Dante66
    Joined: Dec 18, 2012
    Posts: 22


    I always remember an old VHS video called "Shoebox Dreams" and guess was all about 55-57 chevy's! :)
  14. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,938


    Think I saw the term first in Car Craft about 63. An article about the lowest 49-51 Tudor I'd ever seen used the term shoebox. I'm sure it was used earlier, and there's at least one other thread about the origins of the term shoebox on the HAMB.
  15. Tri 5 Chevys used to be called a "shoebox" before I ever heard it attached to a 49-51 Ford
  16. hendo0601
    Joined: Aug 24, 2013
    Posts: 288

    from Tacoma, WA

    I too have heard the term applied to 49-51 fords, tri-5 chebbies, but mainly I hear it applied to early Chevy II (novas). Where did it originate? Who knows...I am sure there are about 100 different stories about the origin of the term "shoebox" being applied to a certain style/make of car.
  17. 2racer
    Joined: Sep 1, 2011
    Posts: 960


    simple really...
  18. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,743


    Henry Ford II, Henry's grandson, was released by the Navy to come back to Ford in 1943. He did, indeed, take over from his ailing grandfather in 1945. Henry died in 1947, but it was April 7, not September. HFII did die in September, but that was 1987.
  19. To me the term originally meant more than just Ford. Shoebox describes the style of the era just as we had the "art deco" era. It started after the "humpbacks" of the post war 40s and ended with the beginning of the "fins" era of the mid 50s 1955 for Ford and Chevrolet 1954 for Dodge. These are my opinions and names, but I think they follow the designs of the times.
    In my opinion, they are probably the most boring of automobile aesthetic designs prior to 1980.
  20. Somebody
    Joined: Nov 2, 2013
    Posts: 467


    What a shoebox is NOT is a CHEVY.
  21. I'm witchoo. LOL:D
  22. fordflambe
    Joined: Apr 9, 2007
    Posts: 558


    title of this post reminded me of Ol' Norm........when someone would ask him "what's a Hennway?"................

    R.I.P. Norm.................
  23. Model T1
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 3,309

    Model T1

    I was around when shoebox Fords were new. Being from the midwest, central Illinois, maybe we were different. But I distinctly remember reading and seeing pictures in those "Little Pages" west coast magazines of 49-51 Fords as being called SHOEBOX FORDS right from the start. Possibly those colorful magazine editors and test drivers of the past.
    I don't know when 55-57 Chevys became known also as shoeboxes. When I had my first 1955 Chevys we would never call them shoeboxes because those lowly Fords were known as shoeboxes.
    As someone else wrote, these names and details get changed as new old car people get involved. The Nash, Mercury, and Hudson were bathtubs.
    We went from Gow jobs and Tin lizzies to Rattle traps, Rods and Rat Rods. I'm sure there were more I have forgotten. Some on purpose.
    It's like the dinosaurs and Doo Doo birds. Those who study things make up their own rules and ideas.
  24. Model T1
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 3,309

    Model T1

    About 8 1/2 # Hello up there Norm.
  25. When I was a kid, (mid 60s) most of the shoebox Fords were driven by Native Americans because the Fords of that era tended to be oil burners They were cheap enough so the economically challenged Native Americans could afford them. Other makes not so much!
  26. scoTT la rock
    Joined: Aug 28, 2013
    Posts: 68

    scoTT la rock
    from NJ

    Not much to add except that my dad and uncle (who are now around 70) both always called 49-51 fords shoeboxes. I've never heard of anyone calling a later chevy a shoebox. Maybe it's a regional thing (I'm from NJ and my dad and uncle grew up in MA/NH)
  27. rd4pin
    Joined: Feb 2, 2010
    Posts: 176

    from louisiana

    As a 70 year old who has lived in North Carolina, California, Texas and Louisiana, I can state that to me a "Shoe Box" has, does and always will mean a '49-51 Ford.
    You may feel free to add any you choose to, I'll just ignore those.:)
  28. In sweden we call 49-51 ford shoebox.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  29. Since the Ford's were called that pretty much right from when the 49 came out, all that means is that you were uniformed, as the Tri 5's were 6 years later. :D
  30. :confused::confused::confused::confused: If they burned oil so bad, that would make them more expensive to operate and own, so why would economically challenged folks gravitate towards them? Makes No Sense! :eek:

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