LAST OF THE FLATHEADS, EXPERTLY RESTORED TO STOCK, SHOWS GREAT/DRIVES BETTER!!
This 1953 Ford Customline 2-door sedan represents the end of the line for the venerable flathead V8, but Ford seems to have saved the best for last. This is an attractive car that drives beautifully, and proves once again that flathead Fords remain special vehicles that everyone should enjoy at least once in their lives. And at this price, there's really nothing stopping you from making this your next favorite toy.
Restored with a close eye on the past, this is a fresh and very stock Ford. With so many becoming customs with chopped tops and suspension-dragging lowering jobs, this 2-door sedan has a refreshing honesty about it. The dark blue paint is pretty close to the original Sheridan Blue and it looks fantastic on the curvy '50s Ford bodywork. It's not perfect, but why would you want it to be? Instead, it has a clean look that looks like it's always ready to have fun and you can happily take this car anywhere because it fits right in regardless of the situation. The straight sheetmetal reflects nicely and gaps are good, suggesting that this car was never wrecked or seriously rusty. Fender skirts make it look more substantial than the Chevrolet competition and there's plenty of brightwork to make it seem upscale. The simple single-bar grille is nicely finished, the heavy bumpers look big enough to go through a brick wall, and the round taillights are arguably the beginning of Ford's fascination with jets. It looks great.
The gray upholstery uses correct striped fabric and broadcloth to accurately reproduce the '50s. Dark blue carpets are a tasteful contrast that works rather well with the blue bodywork and the low-gloss gray dash top and garnish moldings are handsome as well as functional. The simple instrument panel is a crescent of gauges atop a half-circle of speedometer, all surrounded by a big, black steering wheel. Ford didn't yet offer an automatic transmission, so a 3-speed manual with a column shifter was standard equipment and it works just fine here. The secondary controls are arrayed to either side of the main instrument pod, with a separate clock molded into the top of the dash. Underneath the clock you'll find the original AM radio, which, remarkably, remains fully functional. A spacious back seat looks inviting for two and the big trunk will easily carry all your luggage and includes an original rubber mat and spare whitewall tire, just in case.
In 1953, the venerable Ford flathead V8 had grown to 239 cubic inches, which helped bolster torque output. It's easy to recognize, even wearing bright orange engine enamel, which offers a great contrast under the hood. A correct oil bath air cleaner, reproduction hose clamps, and a proper six volt generator all make the driving experience very authentic today. It starts easily and runs so smoothly you almost can't feel it idling and the custom dual exhaust system with glasspack-style mufflers has a traditional "flatty" sound that will bring back memories of your youth. The undercarriage appears to be largely original, although the rear end looks to have been recently freshened and it does ride and handle very nicely. Road manners are quite good, assisted by a set of recent 205/75/15 whitewall radial tires that look great around those smoothie hubcaps.
No surprises, just a clean, honest flathead Ford. If you've never owned one, you don't know what you're missing and if you're already one of the faithful, this is a fun, inexpensive way to enjoy an old favorite. Call today!
- AM Radio
- Cloth Interior
- Owner's Manual
- Front Suspension
- Coil Spring
- Rear Suspension
- Leaf Spring
- Front Brakes
- Rear Brakes
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