Fresh Frame-off Restoration, Full Race Flathead, Overdrive, Incredible Bargain

Price: - Item location: Macedonia, Ohio, United States
  • Make: Ford
  • Model: Custom Deluxe
  • Type: Sedan
  • Year: 1949
  • Mileage: 718
  • VIN: 98BA737289
  • Color: Royal Maroon
  • Engine size: 239 cubic inch
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Gray Cloth
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1949 Ford Custom Deluxe

This 1949 Ford Custom Deluxe sedan is a car that probably shouldn't exist, at least, not in its current form. It's had a frame-off restoration to an exceptionally high standard and is filled with a beautifully built full race flathead, all sorted and ready to rock. The cost was probably six figures and it's probably one of the very best in the whole world, yet here it is at a rock-bottom price. Experts might look at a "mere" 4-door sedan and scoff at even this very reasonable price tag, but please take a very close look at this car and imagine what you're getting for your money. If you demand quality (and everyone does), you will find no better 1949 Ford than this, regardless of body style. And if you like the sleeper aspect, well, this car is a heck of a lot of fun to own and drive.

At first glance, this humble 4-door sedan presents as a handsomely restored 1949 Ford. They were ground-breaking machines that kept Ford out of bankruptcy after the war, and nobody will argue that this isn't a great-looking car. The famous "bullet nose" to the modern fenders that seamlessly sweep into the body and the traditional three-box design all set the standard for every car that would follow. And on this one, it has all been restored to show standards. The owner and the guy supervising the restoration is the former owner of the biggest body shop in the state, so he knows a thing or two about getting bodywork to fit right. He found a super solid car out west and brought it home, disassembled it down to bare shell, and set about rebuilding it from there. We have restoration photos showing the whole process and they also show that there's not a single patch, hole, or rough spot on the car and it was all refinished to a very high level. The doors fit so well that they close with just your fingertips, the hood opens and closes without a slam, and when you're inside, it feels so tight that you're afraid you might run out of oxygen. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, restores a 4-door sedan to this level, yet here it is. You'll be shocked and amazed by the level of workmanship that's obvious the first moment you see the car.

There's also plenty of bright trim that was likewise fully restored. All the stainless was polished and buffed until it matched the fresh chrome on the bumpers. The hood ornament retains its original Plexiglas crown, so there's some spalling in the plastic, but that will also give you some indication of just how nice this car was before the restoration. There's no pitting, no waviness, no discoloration on any of the chrome pieces and the bullet in the middle of the grille is beautifully detailed and crisp. New weather seals, new glass with a soft tint, and fresh lenses in the taillights make it look at least as good as it did when it was new. This is an extremely impressive car.

And it doesn't stop when you open the door, either. Inside, there's a completely stock and very accurately restored interior. No modifications, no shortcuts, just factory-style gray striped cloth upholstery with matching broadcloth trim and door panels. Correct carpets with bound edges were installed throughout and the original sweeping chrome trim on the door panels was refinished as well as the knobs and handles. The big steering wheel looks new and probably cost a fortune to restore all by itself, and all the factory gauges were rebuilt and are fully operational today, including the clock. This car does have a number of options, including an original AM radio (it works, of course), "Magic Aire" heater and defroster, and a very desirable factory overdrive for the three-speed manual transmission, making this a legitimate 70 MPH cruiser. The dash wears proper charcoal gray paint and bright chrome details, and the lettering on all the knobs and handles is laser-sharp and crisply defined. Even all the courtesy lights work properly! Seat belts and floor mats were added, because this was a car that was going to be driven, and the trunk was outfitted with a matching fifth wheel and radial tire, so it's actually usable as a spare.

Under this staid, conservative Royal Maroon exterior, however, you'll find a full-race flathead V8 built by noted expert Tony Gullatta. It's a 59AB block topped by Edelbrock finned aluminum heads, a matching intake with a pair of Strombergs on top, and a lopey mechanical cam inside, so it has that hot rod idle you've always admired. Fully balanced and tuned to run right, it's quite streetable and starts easily with just a little choke and one or two pumps on the accelerator. Dressed in Ford Blue paint, it presents a nice contrast to the satin black inner fenders and maroon firewall, and all that aluminum sure looks great. A few chrome dress-up items like the traditional air cleaner, generator, and oil filter housing really add some sparkle and the red MSD ignition system components are just the right touch. It's still six volts, so everything works properly, and it's detailed with things like Ford script coolant hoses and correct hose clamps, factory cloth-covered wiring, and even period-correct fittings on the fuel lines. Someone really cared about getting this one right, and it looks like it might have in, say, 1950 when hot-rodding was really taking off. Talk about a sleeper!

Underneath, it was likewise detailed for show. Body-colored floors are a great background for the satin black chassis, which is pretty stock. The 3-speed manual transmission has a fresh clutch and pressure plate ahead of it and the overdrive works properly, dropping into high range at about 30 MPH for nearly transparent operation. Overdrive also means 4.11 gears out back, so the car feels extremely punchy around town, with great torque and instant throttle response at almost any speed, but it's happy to cruise at 70 MPH with a soft burble from the dual exhaust. It doesn't run like a stock flathead, so don't expect it to be silent and smooth, but it works so well I wouldn't change a thing—that's the feeling of horsepower. The suspension and brakes have been fully rebuilt, the fuel system is all new, including a back-up electric fuel pump back by the fuel tank, and the exhaust system was painted satin black to help it blend in. You'll note the floors are immaculate, the rockers are solid and untouched, and even the spare tire well is completely intact and has no patches or filler in it. Cars just don't get much cleaner than this. The perfect finishing touch are color-matched steel wheels with simple hubcaps and 205/75/15 General blackwall radials that look low-key and ride great.

With this car you'll get restoration photos and invoices so you can see the astronomical amounts of money and time that went into the build. The receipts alone add up to more than $50,000 and that's not counting the time and effort to put it together.

So yes, this might seem like a lot of money for a plain old 4-door sedan. But now that you've seen what it is, suddenly the price is a lot more reasonable. You will never find a better 1949 Ford of any kind, and with the built motor and exceptional attention to detail, you'll never regret owing this one. Keep things in perspective and you'll realize that buying the best is always the smart choice. Call today!