February 2019 - Gramps 1955
Submitted by John and Sharon Schroepfer
It all started one day in May of 2008. My wife, Sharon, and I were on our Harley Davidson riding to Mukwonago, Wisconsin to see our son-in-law. I happened to notice an old blue and white Ford ‘55 or ‘56 Crown, sitting way off the road, by a farm. I said to my wife to look at the old Ford. I just loved the old cars .... So much class and beauty. A few weeks later, making the same trip to Mukwonago I saw the Ford sitting in the same spot. I said to my wife, "I wonder if that car is for sale" and we turned around. Two days later, we owned the ‘55 Crown Vic! She looked great from 500 yards, but she needed a lot of work. The longer I had her the more I found how much work was needed. We drove her for about a year then decided to get serious.
I didn't want the usual Crown Vic and no numbers matched anyway.
I pulled the skirts off. A new paint job was really needed and some body work. ... of course. We installed new rear side windows. The body mounts were bad so made new ones. I got the car sitting level. I guess this is where I should mention that I was very fortunate to meet, in my opinion, the best mechanic and lover of old cars. He owns a lot of them. Scott Bochef is his name and he is very knowledgeable about classic cars as well as all the new "plastic" ones. The engine is a 302 and I installed a nice cam-2-4 barrels, headers, 2 ½ inch exhaust, and some shorty mufflers to give me a great sound.
I had told Scott what I wanted, and he didn't let me down. The sound is exactly what I was looking for and it runs perfect.
Disc brakes were added all the way around - a must! There was not enough vacuum, so we added an electric vacuum pump and aluminum radiator.
We finished the interior with a custom headliner and did the trunk as well. We added keystone mags and two sizes bigger tires.
We installed all new chrome, new emblems, and electric wipers - also a must. I spent about 40 hours redoing the steering wheel and it turned out great.
I think that the car is finished now, but Scott has mentioned that he has a 429 cubic inch engine from a ‘70 Cyclone. Maybe we are not done! But for now, the grandchildren like taking "the old Ford" as they call it, to the car shows. They also like the burgers and fries. It's always fun for my wife and I to see the smiles on their faces when people give us the "thumbs up" and a big smile.
To end this, I must thank Toby and Sandy Gorny, Dan Stickler, and Ron Sievers for their help with parts. I also want to especially thank Scott Bochef because without his expert help "Gramps 55" would not be where she is today. We intend to enjoy the Crown Vic for a long time.
I almost forgot to thank my wife, Sharon, who thought the car was done when we got it! She has great patience.