February 2012 - Retired and Still Cruisin'
Retiring after 42 years in banking, I spent most of my time enjoying my antique car hobby. I restore old Fords most of the time and enjoy many of the big car events across the country. I love seeing all the old cars and meeting so many “car people”. There is always great camaraderie among car lovers.
I just completed the restoration of my 1955 Victoria. I did not realize what a different car it is from the Crown Victoria. The roof has a higher top than the 1955 Crown and the 1956 Victoria. Many of the parts relating to glass and doors and rubber seals do not interchange. Some of the parts are difficult to find. I have found that the 1955 Victorias are fairly rare compared to the 1956 Victorias and 1955 and 1956 Crown Victorias.
I bought the car still in pieces from a guy who decided not to do the restoration. Almost all the parts were included with the car. A few missing parts were purchased from Don Stickler.
I finished the car in blue and white. It has a 292 Y-block engine with a 3-speed manual transmission. All the drive train was rebuilt. The body was frame off with all parts repaired or replaced. The car had been undercoated and there was almost no rust.
The car was fitted with a new LeBaron Bonney factory correct interior. It has new Coker wide white Firestone tires. The only deviations from factory are an upgrade to 12 volt with alternator and the radio is converted to modern AM/FM with its original case.
What a joy to drive this sporty reminder of the kinder days of the 50’s. The car is peppy and draws a lot of attention. It is very reliable and I drive it wherever I want with little worry of car trouble.
I was born in 1943 and was a real car buff in the 50’s. I could not wait until show day each year to see all the new models. As most of you remember, they came in to dealerships under cover and could not be seen by the public until show day.
I grew up on a farm and our family had limited resources. We were able to purchase our first decent car, in 1954. It was a 1951 Ford 2-door sedan. In 1957 we traded it for a low mileage 1955 Ford Town Sedan. You can imagine how excited we were. I was privileged to use the car for many things including going on dates. It was always such a pleasure to drive, but I always wished the ‘55 was a Victoria instead of a sedan. The memories of good times in that car are still vivid reminders of “the good old days.”
Just before college, I found and purchased a 1953 Crestline Victoria and drove it until after I was out of college. It was a wonderful car and I never had a problem with it. Years after I had parted with it, I started looking for another one to replace it. I now have one restored and exactly like the original one. I love to cruise around the country in this classic and I put quite a few miles on it each year. Being identical to my first car, it will always be my favorite.
My love for Fords of the 50’s has inspired me to have a collection of these vintage Fords. I drive them and enjoy the hobby more than you can imagine. I am in a few car clubs that take several trips a year in our old cars and the fun and fellowship is unsurpassed.
Wendell and Lori Roden