Mildly customised with shaved door handles and Frenched headlights;
Mercury 255Ci Flathead V8; Chevy 5-speed manual; Maverick 8" rear end; 12v
conversion; driven 90 miles to the sale
Ford’s first all-new post-war model, the sensational ‘Forty-Niner’ was first shown to the public at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York in June 1948, entering the showrooms the following year. The first Ford without running boards and separate wheelarches, it looked radically modern and was quickly dubbed the ‘Shoebox’ due to its smooth, slab-sided styling. Two engines were available, a 226Ci straight-six (3.7-litre) or a 239Ci Flathead V8 (3.9-litre) and it could be had as a saloon, a coupe, a convertible or a station wagon.
Blessed with coil spring independent front suspension, the Shoebox was like nothing else on the market and more than a million were sold in the first 18 months, the model remaining in production until 1951. The sleek looks and V8 engine were particularly appreciated by hot-rodders – it looked customised right from the factory – and it has remained a favourite on the kustom scene ever since.
Dating from 1951, this two-door Custom Coupe has the distinctive ‘twin bullet’ front end which superseded the single central ‘bullet-nose’ of the original cars. It was imported from Mississippi to the UK in 2015.
It is not clear from the paperwork exactly when it was customised into its current form, but notes from a previous owner give the spec in some detail. This includes: Frenched headlights and radio antenna; nosed and decked hood; shaved trunk with electric release switch below the dash; shaved door handles with solenoid controls to open them from the outside; upgrade to 12v electrics; electric windows; steel sunvisor; custom door mirrors; swivelling spotlamp controlled from inside the cabin; Galaxie 500 steering wheel; custom dash gauges; extra sound deadening mats under the carpets; working cabin heater; hi-fi system with a remote control in the cabin and a 300w amplifier and a 10-disc CD changer in the boot.
On the mechanical side it has been fitted with a rebuilt 1953 Mercury 255Ci Flathead V8 (4.2-litre, although the V5C states 4,700cc so you will need to make your own minds up on that score) with a 4-barrel Holley carb. This is mated to Chevrolet T5 five-speed manual transmission and a Maverick 8” rear end. The notes on file state that it: ‘starts instantly, cruises happily at 70mph – 80mph, doesn’t leak a drop of oil and sounds amazing’. The notes also point out that it has two engine temperature gauges on the dash, one for each bank of the Flathead V8, and they state that it does not overheat and ‘runs at 170 all day’.
Various invoices show routine upkeep over the last few years including new front brake shoes, outer tie rod ends, electric fuel pump etc. There are also some wiring diagrams and an insurance certificate showing an agreed value of £15,000 in 2016. A pair of rear wheel spats are also present (currently not fitted) plus a pair of cast aluminium wheel centre caps.
Our vendor acquired the car in August last year and has enjoyed it immensely, reporting that it goes well and attracts loads of attention. Driven some 90 miles to the sale, this cool custom coupe looks to be in good order throughout and has been starting promptly and running well as we have moved it around on site.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
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