Sunday, October 2, 2016

Which Woody? ’59 & ’64 Ford Wagons

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pick which one of these two black Ford woody wagons you’d be most interested in. And yes, we know neither are real wood–nothing but the finest Di-Noc. Both are being sold by auction, the 1959 Country Squire is listed here on eBay with an opening bid of $5,000 and is located in Logan, Utah, while the 1964 Falcon is listed here on eBay with an opening bid of $3,000 and is located in Alpine, California.

Let’s look at the ’59 Country Squire first. At first glance, the body looks very solid, and it is–for the most part. The seller tells us that it does have some of the typical rust for these wagons; some in the spare tire area, the rocker panels have had a cover placed over them at one time, the area over the rear wheels are showing signs of rust, as are the inner rear quarters, but that the floors show minimal rust.

The interior looks a little bit tired, and has some unusual features such as ’59 Edsel door panels. It is a 9-passenger wagon but the third seat isn’t correct and is missing some hardware. But if you are looking at this car, I doubt you are looking for a concours restoration candidate anyway!

Surprisingly, what you don’t see here is a 352 V8. Instead, this is a 1977 Ford 351 V8 along with it’s electronic ignition, a new two barrel carburetor and it’s automatic transmission (which the seller says is a two-speed; I thought it would have been three?) Assuming the original engine was broken, I don’t have too much of an issue with this particular swap. However, if you want an original engine, perhaps the other Ford woody is for you!

This 1964 Falcon is certainly in a little bit more worn condition than the 1959, but it’s still worth a look. The paint is pretty faded and missing in spots, and there’s some rust around the roofline that may be difficult to fix.

It is a looker, though, and most of the metal is still there. Unfortunately the windshield is cracked, just like the one on the ’59.

And then there’s the interior. Oh my. I scoured the internet and was relieved to find this isn’t the stock interior. Between the seats and door panels, there’s no telling how many poor defenseless Naugas were slaughtered to produce this exquisitely tacky interior. While I am a big fan of making do when it comes to seats, this is one set that I’d want to cover up before anyone else saw them. Oh, the period Grant wheel is going to have to go as well. Perhaps this one would do instead? Nonetheless, you have to remember that this car is only $3,000 without a reserve.

If only it ran! The seller tells us there are some suspected carburetor issues, and if this hasn’t been messed with too much, I suspect it can be tickled into running quite quickly. So, my question to you is this: which woody would you prefer, and why?


1966 Ford Mustang Coupe

The capital of Kansas, Topeka, is where this inexpensive car is located. It’s a 1966 Ford Mustang Coupe and it’s found on Craigslist with an asking price of $4,500! It doesn’t get much cheaper than that for such a desirable car that looks this good.

There isn’t much information given about this car, but dang it looks great, doesn’t it? $4,500? There has to be bodywork / filler on this car, for this price it’s just too good to be true, isn’t it? I think I see some waviness here, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I could probably use some bodywork and I’m older than this car is!

1966 was the last year of the first generation Mustang and some (me) would argue that it’s the most desirable version of this car. I can’t get over how nice this car looks for $4,500! There are no interior photos so I’m not sure what shape it’s in, maybe that’s the glitch on this car? It has an automatic transmission, according to the seller’s listing.

You knew this would be a six-cylinder. A 289 V8 is probably more desirable for most folks, but give me a pedestrian model like this with a basic 3.3L, 200 cubic-inch six-cylinder any day of the week. This is what most people probably had and if the old car hobby is about reliving memories, why would you want a car that you never had? Maybe people like cars that they couldn’t afford back then and they can afford a top of the line, loaded Shelby Mustang now so that’s what they get. As a certified (certifiable?) oddball who loves unpopular vehicles, I’d want a six-cylinder in my 1966 Mustang. Doesn’t this car seem almost too inexpensive? What do you think about this one, is it worth more than $4,500 or am I way off on my values?


1958 Ford Fairlane

At least for me, this car represents what so many of us hope to see when we hear about a car that’s been “barn found.” This 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 two door hardtop is for sale here on craigslist in Wallingford, Connecticut with an asking price of a fairly reasonable $7,550.

According to the seller, this highly original Ford has been stored for many years. I really like the two tone white and pink or coral, with the anodized gold side spear to break it up. Ford designers were going for the forward motion look with this design, a second year refresh of the new for 1957 that was wider, longer and lower than its predecessors.

The ad says this Ford is originally from Washington State, which may help explain why the body and floors appear to be in such good condition. Northeastern cars of this vintage and originality just don’t look this decent most of the time.
There’s a bit of rust in the front fenders, and doubtless some more we can’t see. The rear bumper is not in great shape but it’s not a lost cause either. Overall, the body is in very good condition for its age.

Some of the trim is off the car, but the seller says he has it, which is helpful. At least from a distance, the glass all appears to be intact also.

This car has a lot going for it. It’s powered by the optional Police Interceptor 352 cubic inch V-8, driving through a Cruise-o-Matic transmission, and even has power steering. But does it run?

The interior looks really good for being almost 60 years old.

Fantastic view of ’50s style dashboard. I’d love to have this view in front of me every day.

The seller does not say anything about how well the car drives, or if it drives at all. So there are quite a few questions still to be answered about this car. But if I were to be the new owner of this car, I’d do whatever work needed to make it into a safe and enjoyable driver, and try to keep the body and interior as close to original as possible. My goal would be to enjoy this extremely original and fun-to-drive automobile, getting it back on the road and driving it as often as possible. So many of the cars from the fifties have now been restored to better than new condition, I think it would be great to see this one on the move again, yes, looking a bit the worse for wear, but doing what we should be doing with these cars – driving them – bringing back memories for those who were there, and reminders of what the past was really like for those who weren’t.


1961 Ford Falcon

In much of the country, this old Falcon would have rusted away long ago. Here on the left coast, it has soldiered on rust free as a used car for 55 years. It reminds me of the old cars in Cuba. This little Ford has survived years of bumps and scrapes, at least one casual repaint and yet it still runs and drives well. While it is certainly not worth restoring, or perhaps even repainting, is it worth more than the price of a basic transportation car? It’s a common car with bench seats and too many doors but it is 55 years old. It’s sitting on the street in my neighborhood and the owner is wondering what to do with it. Should she sell it like it is or fix it up a bit?

Inside front
This Falcon is “bone stock” except for the seat covers with a “three on the tree”. The carpet could use a cleaning and who knows what’s under those seat covers. The clock says 29,000 miles, so 129,000 miles seems likely.

This being the second year of the first generation Falcon, this straight 6 would be the 101 horsepower, 170 CID version. It’s mostly original under the hood, the paint scheme makes it look like a toy car. Who knows what the idea of the rocker cover fasteners is.

Left rear
This Falcon looks mostly straight (except for that front fender sticking out) and holds its Bondo well. The paint is one of those colors that looks best in the dark, very dark. Is this a $500 beater car, or might it be worth a bit more? It’s hard to believe a 1961 Falcon in fair condition could be worth around $5,000 without A/C. Despite a lack of taste in paint, it has been well taken care of. I would drive it as it is, except perhaps add A/C.  What do you think a reasonable price for this old Ford with too many doors might be? What would you do with it?


1968 Shelby GT500KR

Now this is one find I sure would love to find parked in my barn! This ’68 Shelby is said to be all original, with only 3 previous owners and documentation to go with it, I think this one is the real deal. The GT500KR was a one year only monster, with a might 428 Cobra Jet putting out 335 horsepower and 440 pounds of torque! Just over 1,000 of these were built, this is one rare find that deserves to be put back on the road! Find it here on eBay in Illinois with a current high bid of $50,000.

The seller really doesn’t offer us much info about this car’s history or its condition. It sure looks great on the outside. We don’t know what the interior or engine look like, but I imagine it looks just as good. I’d love to know more about it’s history and things have been done to it over the years. It looks like it may have been repainted at some point, but a closer inspection would provide an answer. So who else here would love to have this Shelby parked in their garage?


1980 Ford Pinto Wagon

If you’re an oddball like me, you like Pintos, especially Pinto wagons. This 1980 Ford Pinto Wagon is in Wilsey, Kansas, about 100 miles northeast of Wichita. It’s on Craigslist for $2,995. The seller says that they will “trade for a 1960’s or 70’s ford pickup of equal value or with extra cash..”

1980 was the last year for the Pinto, it had a good ten-year run (1971-1980) but the sales numbers were trending downward every year after 1974, and the lowest number of cars being sold was in 1980 with 185,054 leaving dealer’s showrooms. That doesn’t sound like a horrible number to me, but compared to the highest number of Pintos sold in 1974, with 544,209 in sales, the writing was on the wall.

The first two photos may have fooled you a bit, but unfortunately this car did have a run in with a garage door on the passenger side, unfortunately. Maybe a new fender is in order, or maybe that one can be massaged back into shape. The seller says that there is no rust on this car which is unbelievable after 36 years! This car only has 36,000 original miles on it

It sure looks solid, other than some fading and warping of plastic parts, etc. The seller says that they just “spent close to $700.00 to clean all gas lines and newer tank changed oil, carb work new battery and other things.” It runs and drives good but won’t idle, so there must be a mouse stuck in the fuel line somewhere.. or hopefully something easier than that to fix.

There are no engine photos, but all 1980 Pintos had the 2.3L inline-four with around 88 hp. This car is saddled with an automatic so it won’t be able to make use of those ponies as much as a manual transmission would, and it may not be as fun to drive if you define “fun to drive” as being able to shift for yourself. Lots of folks like automatics and that’s the way things are headed in new vehicles. The main interior photo must not have had a point for the camera to focus on, but it looks good even in a blurry photo. The rear seat looks great, albeit a bit tight for those of us who are over 5′-0″ tall. Do you think you could you fix this car, or is it even worth it? $2,995 seems like a decent price, what do you think?


1939 Ford COE Truck

Who doesn’t want a rare good looking truck that could be your tow vehicle or who knows what? This 1939 Ford COE truck is a rare but very cool sight. The Oval grill was a strong feature in ’39, and these Ford COE trucks with the oval grill are unusual, but so cool. This ’39 Ford is priced at $9,500, but is a unique opportunity for an original and cool truck doesn’t pop up very often. Find it here on craigslist out of Boston, Massachusetts.

The Cab itself looks to be in solid condition, with no apparent rust. The window glass looks to have seen better days, but it is flat glass, so glass wouldn’t be that big of an issue. The front fenders are the roughest looking part about this truck, as the outer edges are beat up from one to many new truck drivers. Listed as being a short wheelbase truck, this looks like a great opportunity for a modern day conversion, such as a car/toy hauler, or maybe a camper? Who knows, there are plenty of creative things that could be done with this Ford. Powered by a flathead V8, the drive train and much of this trucks unique features are complete and with the truck.

This Ford seems like a solid enough project that with some patience and elbow grease you could likely revive this truck to a driver easily. Then from that point, perhaps a restoration, or a conversion of someone’s choice could be performed? What would you do with this unique ’39 Ford?