Wednesday, July 13, 2016

1951 Ford Hardtop

Thanks to reader Allan H for calling our attention to this great looking 1951 Ford Victoria hardtop for sale here on craigslist in Canby, near Portland, Oregon.

Ford’s Vicky was their attempt to compete with Chevy’s Bel Air, and 1951 was the first year for this style and nameplate, and it was a big hit for Ford, outselling the Bel Air right away. It probably did not hurt that Ford still had the V8 advantage over the Chevy. If you wanted to go fast, Chevy was simply not an option that year.

Two tone paint schemes were common on these cars and this one looks great with red body and black top. The Victoria body style was available only in the Custom V8 line, and over 110,000 of these were manufactured in 1951.

While 1951 was the first year for the Ford-o-Matic automatic transmission, this particular Vicky features the good old fashioned 3 speed with overdrive.

Still, it is not often that we will see one in original un-restored condition as good as this one looks. According to the seller, it was parked in a barn in 1968 and has no rust. The engine will turn over but the seller has not tried to start it.

A set of tune up parts are evidently going with the car, though they are not installed.

The carburetor has been rebuilt. The clutch is rebuilt with a new throw out bearing. It also has new wheel cylinders, front and rear and new rear brakes. I can’t tell for certain but the tires look new too.

Apparently the glass is good too. And at least in the pictures, the chrome looks good too. Why was this car parked? Who took care of it during the last 47 years?

Not mentioned in the ad, but pictured, the interior looks remarkably good. Seat belts are a welcome addition. Does one of our knowledgeable readers know whether the seat covers are original material?

Overall, this car appears to be a very solid starting point for a restoration or a mechanical refresh and keep the body and paint as is. While quite a bit of necessary work has already been done, there is the question of whether the engine will run, and in addition, it’s highly likely that a buyer will need to plan on doing some electrical work, as the 65 year old wiring may not be reliable for everyday use. I have to wonder why the seller is not continuing with the work to get the car back on the road. Maybe there is more here than meets the eye?

I am sure Barn Finds readers will weigh in on the asking price of $7,500. Hagerty’s says the average value for this car is $18,000. If that is accurate, given this car’s condition, the price does not seem crazy. Maybe a buyer can do some negotiating since the car does not run, and there are quite a few unknowns here. But if the body and frame are as rust-free as they appear to be, even if the engine needs a rebuild, this sure seems like a car worth working on. It is good looking even as is, and it’s got to come with a great story too.


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