1953 Ford Victoria
There are still plenty of interesting hobby cars out there that don't cost much money. Take a look at this handsome 1953 Ford Victoria, which is a very attractive body style that has V8 power, a classic hardtop look, and a no-frills attitude that's refreshing today. Not over-done, not modified, but a nice, clean little Ford that still has that flathead magic going for it. The colors are Sungate Ivory over Raven Black, and the combination works rather well on this neat Ford coupe. Redesigned in 1952, the Fords had a very modern, sleek look and the Victoria hardtop with its wrap-around rear window was a sporting choice that still looks great today. The restoration is more than a few years old, but it's holding up well and the car wears an honest look that's certainly appropriate for Ford's best-seller. It's affordable, but that doesn't mean you need to put up with second-rate bodywork and cut corners, although there are a few signs of use and age that are all but unavoidable. The bodywork is nicely done, and you'll note that the slab-sided bodywork shows none of the usual ripples and waves. Gaps are good and the panel alignment is decent overall, suggesting a car that didn't need major reconstructive surgery. The front and rear bumpers are in good shape and the rest of the brightwork has been shine up and looks quite correct against the handsome black paint. Out back you get some of Ford's first jet-inspired taillights, as well as that "Fordomatic" badge, but we'll get to that in a moment. The unusual two-tone green vinyl interior has a very jaunty 1950s appeal to it, with pleated seat covers and simple patterns throughout. It works well with the basic black and white bodywork, and the contrast is appealing. There are a few signs of age and use, of course, because this is a car that gets used on a regular basis, but the simplicity is a big part of the appeal. A big steering wheel offers an aircraft-inspired horn ring and there's an orderly instrument panel with an arched speedometer housing that would set Ford's styling trends for the rest of the '50s. The Fordomatic 2-speed automatic transmission was a relatively new innovation and makes this car as easy to drive as your regular daily driver, sipping through traffic with ease. The original AM radio is gone, replaced by an AM/FM/cassette head unit that's a welcome upgrade. There's a good-sized back seat and a spacious trunk with rubber mat and full-sized spare make it a good choice for your next old car tour. '53 Fords carry the last of the flathead V8s, and that's really the engine you want. Displacing 239 cubic inches, it's got that fantastic flathead sound and plenty of torque to make the Vicky fun to drive. The engine is nicely detailed with Ford Red paint and large oil bath air cleaner, along with welcome details like the Ford script hoses and correct clamps. Most of you will quickly spot the big alternator up top, and with 12 volts running through it, the starter spins this engine with genuine gusto. Parts are still easy to find and there's no question that this is a reliable powerplant, going about its business without complaint, and as the old saying goes, even the bad flatheads are good and the good ones are great. The undercarriage is very clean with nothing to hide the original sheetmetal and seams, and there's a recent dual exhaust system with glasspack-style mufflers that give the old flathead the right soundtrack. With 215/70/15 wide whitewall radials on stock steel wheels, it rides and handles rather well for being more than 60 years old. Entry-level cars are out there and you don't need to start with a project or a goofy '70s 4-door. Get a '50s Ford with a lot of panache instead and call today!