Incredible original survivor, runs and drives like new, everything works.
- Condition: Used
- Make: Ford
- Model: Other
- Type: Convertible
- Year: 1951
- Mileage: 39,127
- VIN: B1CS127986
- Color: Green
- Number of cylinders: 8
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: Manual
- Interior color: Green
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1951 Ford Other
This hobby is about connections to the past, and special cars transcend the years to talk to us today. This 1951 Ford Custom Deluxe convertible is one of the most special cars we’ve ever featured for a number of reasons. The most important factor is that it was in the same owner’s hands for nearly 40 years, which is remarkable all by itself. Then there’s the fact that it shows just 39,127 original miles, a figure that was never in doubt. The car is immaculately preserved and as the former recipient of the prestigious Dearborn Award, its quality is unquestionable. It runs and drives as new in every way and might just have the smoothest, quietest, best-running flathead V8 we’ve ever seen. Everything works, it looks fantastic, and if you’re in the market for a post-war Ford convertible, you will just not be able to do better than this very special car.
The color is called Hawthorne Green Metallic, and it’s a wonderful soft green with just a touch of blue in it and it’s extremely handsome in person. 80% of the paint is original, with the only repainted areas being below the side trim because the hydraulic cylinders for the convertible top failed at some point and ate through the paint just ahead of the rear wheels. So they were fixed and the car was carefully refinished in those areas. The color match is dead-on and only a small tape line inside the door jamb gives it away. The upper half of the body, however, is original 1951 Ford enamel and it looks fantastic today. There’s a soft shine that only original paint can offer and the remarkable lack of nicks, scrapes, and other signs of use is testament to both the low mileage and the outstanding care that the car has received all its life. The doors open easily and close with a soft but solid click, the trim fits and lines up beautifully, and everything has a precise feel that often gets lost in a restoration. That’s why good original cars are so special—they provide a benchmark to remind us just how good cars were back in the good old days. Just because they’re rickety and tired today doesn’t mean they were that way when they were new, and this tight, smooth, quiet, precise Ford reminds you of that every time you touch it.
Of course, the chrome and stainless trim remains in excellent shape, having been polished and kept out of the elements. The grille was new in 1951, giving the Ford a big car look that seems expensive today. Accessory fog lights add a little contrast to the nose, and the wonderful hood ornament with its Plexiglas wings has a bit of very minor yellowing, but no cracking, chips, or spalling in the plastic. Remarkable!
The long-term owner of this car is somewhat of an expert on these cars, and he tells me that Ford used leather for the front seats of convertibles and vinyl for the back seat, which, of course, was due to shortages during the Korean War. We can’t argue with him, because that’s what’s in his car today and it is most definitely original-issue. There’s some modest wear on the front seat upholstery, some comfort marks in the leather, but no splits or tears, no major cracks, and no issues that would make replacement necessary. The back seat shows some age, but little wear, and like the front seat, replacement would probably be a crime. Originality only comes once and this is as good as original cars can get. The door panels are strikingly handsome, with a light-colored leather insert to add some contrast, and while the stitching is starting to come undone, nothing is loose or hanging, and in the interest of preservation, they, too, should be left as-is. This is an early ’51 car, easy to spot with its full horn ring on the steering wheel, and the three-on-the-tree shifter glides through the quadrant on well-oiled pivots and healthy bushings so there’s no hunting for the proper gear. The gauges are arrayed around the speedometer and they all work—in fact, EVERYTHING in this car works, including the clock (which you wind by hand) and the AM radio, which pulls in signals loud and clear. There’s a little tarnishing here and there, but it’s just beautifully preserved overall. The front seat area, in traditional Ford fashion, gets a rubber mat, while rear seat occupants received carpets—as if there were a chauffeur instead of an owner/driver in this Ford.
Overhead, there’s a tan canvas top and this has been replaced once, several years ago. The car was delivered to the upholsterer, a fellow in his 90s, during a snowstorm and he finished it in three days. Remarkable, but when asked, he pointed out that he couldn’t go home so he just stayed at the shop and worked while he waited for the weather to pass. The result is a very correct OEM-grade top that folds easily and has just the right patina to look right on this original car. It folds easily, albeit slowly, and stows under the original two-tone vinyl boot that still fits rather well. The trunk is neatly trimmed and carries its original cocoa mat, something that has never been available as a reproduction and is probably worth several thousand bucks all by itself. There’s also a bag for the boot and a matching fifth radial tire and wheel assembly with jack.
The 239 cubic inch flathead V8 really needs no introduction other than to say that of the dozens that have passed through our hands over the years, this one is the best-running we’ve ever experienced. You can stand next to the car when it’s cold, reach in and turn the key, and the car will start almost instantly and settle into a nearly silent 500 RPM idle. It’s quite extraordinary. If you watch the video below, it may sound like there’s a lot going on under the hood, but that’s the camera picking up any sound it can and in reality it’s almost silent. It has never been opened or disassembled and still runs 100% original hardware throughout. The copper engine enamel was probably freshened at some point, but then again, maybe not because this is a low-mileage survivor that has enjoyed the best of care since new. It wears correct Ford script hoses, correct plug wires, and even the hose clamps are factory-issue. There’s plenty of pep at any speed and the throttle response is quick and light, so the car feels agile going down the street. There’s a new stainless steel exhaust system that has a hushed burble and thanks to the stainless construction, it’ll outlast us all.
You could get a variety of transmissions in 1951, with this wonderful ragtop sporting a 3-speed manual transmission with a column shifter. Ratios are ideally chosen and the car will step off from a stop at barely more than idle, and you can guide it through the gears with just your fingertips. Clutch action is light and the car accelerates with enthusiasm at any speed. It will cruise comfortably at 55-60 MPH thanks to 3.73 gears out back. The brakes and suspension are as good as they were in 1951, with a smooth ride and confident stopping power, more signs of an enthusiastic owner who always kept his hardware in top condition. Seriously, cars this nice just don’t come along that often. The wheels are original color-matched steel wheels with hubcaps (trim rings were optional and this car never had them), and it has been recently fitted with 205/75/15 whitewall radials that have a period look with more up-to-date handling.
1951 Fords aren’t all that rare, but a car that has been this meticulously maintained and remains this much originality is truly a unique find. Please, go drive all the others, then come try this one on for size, because the difference between even a restored car and this remarkable survivor will really open your eyes. A car that has been loved this much rises to the top of the field and the next owner will be sure to love it just as much. Special cars are like that. Call today!