September 2010 - Cruisin' Jack and Anne Mason - 1955 Crown Update
Should you find yourself down in Southern Florida anywhere near Stuart, and you take in a local car show you just might find a pair of red 1955 Crown Victorias. We (Jack Mason and Donald Cramer) attend a lot of the southern Florida shows together. We both own 1955 Crown Victorias, both are white and red. The difference is that mine has a steel roof and a continental kit, and Don's has a converted glass top with no continental kit. Besides both having the 1955 Crown Victorias, we also belong to the same car club --the Treasure Coast Street Rods of Southern Florida. It was founded about five years ago, and has a membership of about 45 members. Both Don and I also belong to the Crown Victoria Association. Don's 1955 Crown Vic was featured on the cover of the November 2009 Fomoco Times issue. "From Hard Top to Glass Top" was the title of his story. Also, I had my car and story in an earlier issue of the Fomoco Times; it was back in March 2007, the very last issue printed in black and white. I always thought it would be nice to have my car once again in the magazine, but this time featured in color. Just recently I was mentioning this to my friend Don Cramer. He suggested that we could take a few pictures of both cars outside of our meeting places as well as a few inside, and add a revised story of the one that I had written for the March 2007 issue. Since then I have added a pair of spot lights and more stylish exhaust system, a new radiator, and the radio antenna has been moved to the trunk of the car.
We have one of the nicest places to hold our monthly meetings. We meet at our club member Frank DeGregory's property, where he has a 6-bay garage (all but one holding a nice classic car.) The remaining bay he had converted into a Memories Diner of the 50' s. I hope that you enjoy the pictures of both of our cars and club house. I am sure you will agree that we do have one of the nicest places to hold our meetings. Thanks, Frank! My interest in the 1955 Crown Vic dates back to when I was about 18. Each of the friends I chummed with was buying cars and I eventually saved up enough money to buy one. I had no special interest in any particular make or models as long as it ran. A few years went by, I got married, and started looking for a car that would be dependable. We found a fairly new nice looking 1955 Ford Sunliner Convertible. It had a white body with red interior. Then some decades passed by fairly quickly. I retired about 6 years ago, and moved from New Hampshire to sunny Florida. While back in New Hampshire, our family was into several different activities. We had our own sailboat which we enjoyed a lot. We took the family skiing every winter. We owned a hot air balloon and gave rides throughout all of New England. Now retired with a lot free time on my hands, I went looking for something to fill the gap. We had friends that were into classic cars and I thought that would be interesting. And that's when I got the car I still have today.
I feel very lucky because I knew beforehand the car I'd been looking for. Years ago I had a friend whose family had owned a Ford Dealership, and my friend purchased a fairly new car from his parents' dealership. It was a 1955 Ford Victoria, pink and white. I remember how we had harassed him (Pink and White? Ha 'Ha). The last laugh was on us as because within a few days he took the car to his dad's shop and had it sanded down to bare metal, and then painted it with a flat charcoal primer. While the car was in shop he also had a pair of glass packs installed and ran a pair of Laker pipes down the side of the car. The car became the envy of all of us. He ran this for the next seven years just as it was. I thought this car was the cat's meow. However, I was into the two~tone colors. I thought the 1955~56 Fords that had came out with the two tones (blue and white/black and white, and yes, pink and white) were real sharp. I have always thought that the 1955 Ford Crown Victoria had it all! I loved the colors, lots of chrome, the front wrap-around windshield, and the unique tail-lights (pretty sharp.) With this in mind, I thought 1'd just go out and by a classic car, and spend my spare time attending some of our local car shows.
Well, as you all know, you just don't go out and by a classic car. Remembering how I like the Ford, and it's color combinations (the red and white) that I had back in my teens, all I had to do now was pick up the paper and pick out a nice and clean 1955 Crown Victoria. As anyone reading this article knows, you just don't pick up the paper and find a classic car. Eventually, not knowing the means of locating a car of this criteria, I called a friend of mine and told him of my intent of locating the 1955 Crown Victoria. With his and other friends' help, over the next year, we looked at a few somewhat nice cars (none really living up to their advertisements). I eventually got a call from a fellow that heard I was looking for a 1955 Ford Victoria. He was in Mississippi and although not interested in Fords, he was standing in front of a clean looking 1955 and that if I were interested he would make arrangements for me to see this car. Starting out for Mississippi that very next day, and arriving in Mississippi a day later, I finally got to see what I thought was a clean looking 1955. I had a friend accompany me on a few of my other unsuccessful trips. He was with me on this trip. We both agreed this could be the one! It had just gone thru a frame off restoration only a few years back. This car seemed to be the very thing that I had hoped for with power steering and brakes, and my colors red/white.
It has been about five years since I purchased this car. It has been seen at many of the Florida car shows, placing in the running at most shows being judged. Oh, and yes, we have AC for the hot days here in sunny Florida. I hope you enjoy the pictures and updating our story of our 1955 Ford Crown.
-article by Jack and Anne Mason
This article appeared as the cover story in the Sept 2010 issue of Fomoco Times