February 2020 - Norman Horn's 1956 Crown Victoria
The year was 1952. The Ford dealer in our small town, Hiawatha, KS, got a 2-door station wagon in. Dad traded our Henry J in on it that day. We had a Frazer, Kaiser and our ’51 Henry J as Dad worked for the Kaiser/Frazer dealer in our hometown after he got out of the Army. Now we owned a Ford; maroon with cream paint around the windows, 2-door, 6-cylinder, 3 speed on the column and overdrive. It took us on our summer vacations, sometimes in the mountains of Colorado in which there were time that we weren’t too sure that we would make it to the next peak. I remember Dad driving it backwards out of campgrounds more than once to get the gears low enough.
In 1956 the folks traded the ’52, that as a kid I thought we would have forever, in on a 1956 Ford; a 2-tone green Town Sedan - V8, automatic with power steering, power breaks, air conditioning, white wall tires, full wheel covers and skirts.
I was 15 and just got my driver’s license; Dad was working two jobs as most people did at the time, and some still do. Mom was working during the day and going to secretarial school in the evening in a town 40 miles away two nights a week. Dad was busy and Mom didn’t like to drive so I drove Mom to her classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. While she was in class I would go to a movie. It came down to me being the only one that drove the ’56. As an added bonus, the guy my dad worked for part time had a red and white ’56 Ford Victoria that was left at our place in town every so often and I had to drop it off out at the farm.
Fast forward to when I got out of the Army, I ordered a 1966 Mustang that I had until after I met and married this fantastic girl named Sharon. To better accommodate our family, we bought a 1968 Ford, but after a couple of years, I mentioned to Sharon that I’d like to get a ’56 Ford. A few weeks later her dad found one in Nebraska and she bought it for me. The motor needed to be replaced so her dad found a ’54 motor and with some modification, in it went. Me, not knowing anything about a car, except where the key went, didn’t get that one fixed up so I sold it after a couple of years.
Over the many years that followed we looked at a lot of ‘56’s. In 1981 I looked at a ’56 Crown in Kansas City, Kansas and almost bought it but just wasn’t sure.
In the summer of 1982, Sharon and I were talking about vacation options and ’56 Fords came to mind. I was looking through a Hemmings Motor News and saw an ad for someone working on ‘55/’56 Fords. Sharon called Ernie Blumenthal and he told her there was a club for ’54, ’55 and ’56 Fords AND they were meeting in just two weeks in Kentucky. I immediately ran to work and requested the time off, two weeks later we were in Kentucky!
Two weeks after we got back to Kansas, we were fortunate to meet with Anne Purucker to purchase a car from her, becoming the proud owners of a black and white 1956 Crown Victoria. Our daughter, Kandy, was less impressed, having me drop her off at least two blocks from school in the “old” car. It didn’t take too long to bring her over to our way of thinking - not too many years later she was always in a hurry to borrow the car!
That Crown Vic is the one we still own and enjoy. The added bonus that came along with the car are all of the wonderful friends we have made over the years in our CVA Family.
Submitted by Norman Horn, Kingman, Arizona