1951 Ford Custom Deluxe The 1951 Ford Custom Victoria was Ford\'s first hardtop, offered only in V-8 guise. It appeared in the last year of the 1949 styling generation -- and a bit late at that. Still, the Custom Victoria proved immensely popular, outselling Chevrolet\'s Bel Air by about 7,000 units that year. The pillarless superstructure was styled by Gordon M. Buehrig, of Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg fame, who had come to Dearborn after leaving the Loewy team at Studebaker. Despite exceptionally clean lines, a relatively posh interior, and good performance from the reliable flathead V8, the first Victoria used to be somewhat overlooked by collectors, but in the last decade has become more desired. This beautifully restored example of the height of Ford design in 1951, shows very well. Consistent gaps, and full redux, including the trunk, engine bay, engine, and undercarriage, you are buying a near showroom car with a classic line. Exterior Dipped in beautiful blue metallic, this paint job was the definition of attention to detail. A few scratchers and a dent or two are around, but overall, it presents in very nice condition. If you are into chrome, and brite work spears aplenty, this car has it in tasteful doses with a 360-degree belt line trim, rear quarter spears that surround the taillights eventually, and lots of bumper, window surround, headlight visors, and grille work to boot. All in very good condition. Throw in some horizontal fender skirts, wide white wall tires, a continental kit, and we are ready to go to the local drive-in movie and vie for some backseat action. Interior Blue bolsters with ivory inserts all in vinyl cover the benches, which are front split, and rear bench. White stitching along with white piping sets the seats off nicely. The front seats have a large seam separation on the driver\'s upper cushion that most likely can be repaired fairly easily. This blue and ivory shows up on the door panels as well and a gray steel border up top and some chrome and bakelite handles within. Light blue low pile carpeting is on the floors and is protected both front and rear with navy blue mats. In front is the original dash with light gray sprayed metal top, and an interesting mesh chrome front board with all the standard insert knobs, radio and speedometer. A Ford bakelite black steering wheel in chevron styling fronts the dash. The headliner is gray, tight and very clean. Drivetrain The early 1950\'s Fords have the neatest engine bays with a gleaming copper colored block and heads, topped by a copper painted oil bath air filter. This 239ci V8 is no exception, as it sits proudly in the engine bay in its copper glory. The copper oil bath covers a single 2-barrel carburetor, and the obligatory 3-speed manual transmission and 3.73 geared rear axle is backing up the V8. All hoses and other add-ons are in excellent condition. Undercarriage A thick coating of rustproofing covers the floor pans, rockers and toe kicks. Frame and flooring show surface rust on the untreated sections as does the suspension but all remains structurally solid. Body hangers, suspension parts, and gas tank are good as well. A dual exhaust system with Cherrybomb mufflers has been installed and we note drum brakes all around. For the suspension we see an independent coil spring arrangement on the front and a leaf spring set up on the rear. Drive-Ability Being a sucker for these early 50\'s Fords, I hopped in and had a great test ride. All was working famously save for the heater blower and the horn, great acceleration, and smooth shifting from the 239ci V8 and 3 speed. I rolled the window down and drove with the obligatory arm bent out the window cruise just for old time\'s sake. A point of note, parallel parking takes a bit of remembrance with the added length of the continental kit. For a while these cars were largely ignored in the collector market. Now they have become significant, and this quality b
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