On August 2, 2019, Marcy and I celebrated 50 years of marriage. During that entire time, Marcy (really Marceline) gets credit for her patience while I chase parts, spend money, and get greasy in the garage. Here is the latest adventure which she supported. In February 2016, I bought our 1956 Victoria from an Arkansas seller on eBay for $28,000. Friend Butch Forte and I drove a trailer down to Gravette, Arkansas to get it, and drive straight back to North Haven, Connecticut, non-stop, to bring it home. It was done to a good standard, but I wanted better. So, a repaint, new interior, new rubber, new brakes, rebuilt motor and transmission were done, to the tune of $18,000. I also installed a new windshield, replated bumpers, Diamondback radials, and glass packs. CVA member Hal Bailey of Savona, NY sold me the missing bumper jack. I lowered the car two inches and added Dodge Lancer wheel covers. I kept one of the 10 Commandments for Car Collectors: “Thee shall not tell thy wife the cost of the latest restoration; at least, not all at one time.” I am 76 and Marcie is 72…but she looks younger than her years. Look at how neatly she fits in the trunk of our Victoria!
Much credit belongs to my expert friend, Jim Donroe, who was meticulous in doing upgrades on mechanical restorations. All was done in a little over a year. Then in 2018, I took the car to the Adirondacks Nationals with 6,000 cars competing. Our car was voted “One of the Top 50”, and it will be in the Winners Circle this year. It is always driven, never trailered. Our ’56 also took 1st Place at the Booth Memorial Show, Time Machine Car Show, and the Quinnipiac Auto Show.
-Can you tell me your background and how you got into classic cars? Where do you live in the county?
My husband, Mason, is a car enthusiast. He always worked on vehicles and loved detailing vehicles as well. Mason is from a large West Virginia family. His brothers and friends enjoyed NASCAR and classic cars. From this, you got to join them so I have learned to love it too.
We bought our first classic vehicle which was a 1993 Ford Lightning about year 1999 and we had this truck about 10 years. It was the first Lightning that Ford made and they only made a limited amount of these vehicles. We started attending the Cruise In at the Miami Township Kroger’s across from Meijer’s. We were approached by Doug Wimberly of the F100 Ford Club to use our truck for driver’s introductions at the first NASCAR Truck Race at Kentucky Motor Speedway in year 2000. Doug lined us up by year of vehicle. We had the pleasure of driver, Mike Skinner in our truck. It was a lot of fun and we got to meet the Ford drivers (Joey Logano, Rick Crawford, Jon Wood, Dorsey Schrader, and Jeremy Mayfield). We were hooked.
We sold our truck in 2006 and purchased a 1979 Cobra 351 Mustang. We updated about everything on this vehicle and painted it twice over an 11-year period. It was a hot rod for sure. Mason entered this car in many car shows and won numerous trophies. Jack Roush loved this car and signed it for us.
We enjoy attending Cruise Ins versus Car Shows. Main reason you meet so many wonderful people all over the country and build a great network of people to find parts for your vehicles.
In 2006 a good friend of mine went to the Tri-State Auto Swap Meet in Denver, Colorado. The swap meet is held in the Western Stock Show Complex the first weekend in February off of Interstate 70. As we walked through the complex looking at the vendor booths filled with tons of parts we came upon a booth with a poster board with pictures of things for sale. There was a pictures of a 1956 Ford Customline four-door sedan. My friend and I studied the picture for a few minutes then continued looking for anything au-tomotive that we could purchase four our projects. All too soon it was time to head back to Colorado Springs. On the way back home we both wondered why we had not talked to the guy with the poster and picture of the 1856 Ford and got his phone number. Oh well to late now.
A year passed by and Sharon, John and I went to the swap meet. There was the same poster board with the picture of the 1956 Ford. We stopped and talked to Bill about the Ford. He said that the car was located in Colby, Kansas where he lived. We got his phone number and said maybe we will come look at it at a later date.
Another year passed by and now the year was 2008. My late friend John Williams saw the poster board and lo and behold the Ford was still for sale.
I came across my great-looking F100 truck 13 years ago. I found it nearby in East Lakeland, Florida. This is a short-bed step side, had been in a barn for about 20 years and it cleaned up quite nice, done up in red paint with a solid body. Just $4,000 and it was mine, all mine. That makes the seventh Ford truck which I now own.
But I am getting ahead of myself. I am retired now, with 70 years of age looking me in the eye. But I worked all my life as a boiler maker, Local 433. I traveled all over the country on various industrial jobs. However, I was born and raised in Plant City, and have always lived here.
Annette and I have a total of 16 children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. So I have to keep on buying Ford trucks so I will have one for each of them. Fortunately, many of them live in Florida, so they won’t need to be driven too far. We even see our relatives and friends every week. Every Saturday morning about 15 of us meet for breakfast at Snell Grove restaurant. Sometimes they even help me fix my trucks! Now back to my F100.
After I bought the truck, I researched its history and discovered that it was originally purchased new in 1954 by a farmer from Orlando, Florida. The farmer then moved to Kansas City, Kansas and titled it there. After a few years he moved back to Florida and titled it there. The farmer and the truck got old. The truck was parked in a barn for 20 years and the farmer was parked in the local cemetery.
This poor old ford waited a long time but finally got its turn after 17 years of waiting in the corner of my garage. Luckily my wife is very understanding to let this project sit in the garage while we had to park out in the weather.
Lets back up a few years, in the mid 50's to the late 60's my late father would buy a new car every year or at least every other year so that meant that I got to go to the Ford dealership and check out all of the new models every year. A time that my dad and I spent together some of the best times. I cherished those times a lot. I still can't go to a dealership without flashbacks of the beautiful cars and special times with my father. That love of the some of those old Fords has always been with me. Each old Ford I have ever had I know my dad is right there with me, working on an old Ford but mostly when I go for a ride in my 1955 Ford Sunliner and the pipes sound off, I can see that big smile on my Father's face.
When I bought this Sunliner, I had a nice 55 Ford Crown Victoria, Regency Purple and snow shoe white Paint That I had restored, But because I had limited garage space I decided that I would sell The Crown so I advertised in the Fomoco Times and fellow member Sam Battaglea Of El Cajon Ca. bought the car. Sam wanted to drive the car home From Washington state to southern California 1,300 miles, It was in March and there was snow in the mountains on the main highways and this car had all new glass and paint upholstery everything was new or refurbished, I hated to see this car go through all of that so I offered to pay to have the car shipped but Sam was a pretty sharp guy and He had it all figured out, He would stay on the windy coast roads with many small towns to go through and stay out of the mountains where the bad weather was, some of those elevations were over 4000'. It was a good plan, they made it just fine and had a great trip. The only trouble they had was with the wipers. I had installed a new electric wiper motor and it failed for some reason. Sam finished the trip using Rainex. I have found out that all of these CVA Members are pretty sharp individuals. They can fix most anything and know where to find the parts to fix just about anything. Proud to part of a group like this. I have met many good friends through the CVA.
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.
Owned By Bill & Jody Garay
In my (Bill's) earlier days I enjoyed modifying a 57' Chevy to street rod form and later a new 1968 Roadrunner became the cruiser. Like many have experienced, family life brought about a change to daily drivers. Calendar advancement meant empty nester, retirement and time again for car fun!
Restarted with a 34' Ford Pro-Street 5-window coupe and have lots of fun, but can't travel. The little two-seater has no room for luggage, being tubbed with fuel cell and battery consuming the trunk and only 4" of space behind the seats. So a second car was in order.
While inclined to follow the path of many and revive those earlier days by getting another car like the one I started with, I witnessed tri-five Chevys everywhere at cruise-ins and shows - but few Fords. The few seen were typically standard models, manufactured in large quantity. I wanted something different, that would stand out and also look sleek/more modern. Saw a Crown Victoria at a large show and that was it; big, roomy, huge trunk, sleek with a lower roof line than the non-Victoria models, loads of stainless, and only produced in small quantity for two years.
After finding a 1955 Crown Victoria with a good body, but otherwise needing much attention, I decided to modernize it while retaining originality, but no resto-mod look; instead an unconventional "restoration". Performance and reliability became key elements of the plan. So the outside and inside were restored to near original. The outside exceptions included the bumper guards left off when re-chroming and wider rims and (radial) tires. Suspension/tire changes lowered the car two inches.
I wrote an article about my friend and co-worker, Dean Held’s retirement last year and published it in the club newsletter. Now it is my turn. On June 30, 2018, I retired from Hyster-Yale Group after 43 years. I retired as the engineering manager of engine systems for my company which designs and builds forklift trucks. It was a great career for a car guy like myself. I had always been interested in how things worked when I went to Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland, Oregon and then to Portland State University graduating in 1975 with a mechanical engineering degree. I had a ’56 Ford Sunliner convertible that I rebuilt with the help of my Dad and brother. I drove it throughout high school. At the end of my senior year (1971), I found a ’55 Ford Sunliner convertible and bought it, as it was a more solid car (less rust) than my ’56. I sold the ’56 Sunliner at that point, of course regretting it immediately. I wrote about the ’55 Sunliner in a previous club article. I still have it and have owned it now for 47 years. My wish had always been to someday have a Crown Victoria and I wanted a Skyliner, though I didn’t think that it would be possible to find one that I could afford. On April Fool’s Day, 1978, I saw a 1955 Ford Crown Victoria Skyliner for sale in the local Oregonian newspaper in a wrecking yard in Sherwood, Oregon a small town outside of Portland. Even though it was in rough shape with lots of rust, I bought it, telling my wife, Kim, that we could part it out to recoup our investment if we had to. I knew that I did not want to part it out, but it would need everything and I had never done such a complete restoration of a car before. It needed to have the body removed from the frame and stripped. In the first 3 years of ownership of the Crown, I worked pretty hard on the car, removing the body with the help of 8 friends, lifting it off and putting it on another friend’s trailer for the trip to Redi-Strip. I sandblasted the frame and suspension components in the driveway of our house and found a used 272 engine to rebuild to replace the engine in the car that had a cracked block. The project proceeded well, completing the chassis rebuild and drivetrain installation and even showing the completed chassis in a local car show in the Fall of 1980.
The 1955 Ford Crown Victoria glass top from Issaquah, Washington.
After many years of searching for a "restorable" glass top, I finally got a good lead from a fellow club member, who lives in Spokane, Washington. Another period of time went by, about two years, before I was able to make contact with the owner to view and eventually purchase the car in late 2010, I became only the fourth "proud" owner of the car. It had been described as a "driver". The car was in excellent "original" condition with virtually no rust, the only problem for me was that the car was red and white in colour, I'm not a red car guy, so that would have to change. My plan was to build a car unique to my vision of what I wanted, so the journey "restoration" began.
The car was moved to Post Falls, Idaho where a fellow club member started to work on the car. Some parts were traded, including a nine Ford rear end with large brake drums and a steel crank 292 block, for parts from the car that were not planned to be used in the rebuild. The work was mostly disassembly and putting together a list of replacement and other parts necessary for the job. The rebuild was started on the car including some initial body alignment and metal prepping, some mechanical assembly with new parts, was done on the front end along with some powder coating and frame painting. The stainless trim and chrome trim was sent out to be refinished. The 292 cubic inch steel crank engine was sent away to be worked on by another club member.
The suspension chosen was dropped spindles and disc brakes on the front and large "station wagon" drums and shoes mounted on a rebuilt nine inch Ford rear end that was mounted on dropped springs. Heavy duty front and rear sway bars were to be put on and the brake system was to be serviced with a new polished aluminum master cylinder and proportioning valves for matching up the discs and drums installed.
The engine block chosen was a C2AE casting and was bored and strokered to 343 cubic inches, the 471 casting big valve heads had larger stainless valves installed and were reworked, ported and polished and installed on the engine. The engine has a polished aluminum Elgin water pump, high pressure chrome Carter fuel pump, Mallory MSD ignition system, chrome single wire alternator, new finned aluminum.
"Thunderbird" valve covers. The polished aluminum ceramic coated intake manifold has two 1405 Edelbrock four barrel carbs on it, housed by a finned polished aluminum "bonnet", which is fed by a rebuilt polished SN 93 Paxton supercharger. The valley cover is also finned aluminum. Custom made aluminum ceramic coated headers flow into dual exhaust 2 ¼ inch pipe feeding special stainless
"Patriot" mufflers with electrically controlled cut-out valves running to special double wall stainless exhaust tips that fit into "eyebrows" built into the rear bumper. For improved starting the engine has a gear reduction high torque starter.
Jackie’s ’54 Ford Mainline is all dressed out as a top-of-the-line Crestline, and more. This black and white beauty is motivated by its original 239 Y-Block with 3-speed overdrive. He bought it six years ago for $5,400 from a guy who said he was “getting too old for an old Ford”. (The guy was 61, so if he was “too old”, what does that make the rest of us?) Jackie is from Betterton, MD on the Chesapeake Bay, and he is a retired patrol boat captain. His boat was 45 feet long. Jackie has put an additional $10,000 into his ’54 to make it stand out and run better.
The ’54 now has laker pipes, skirts, ’54 Mercury spears on the sides, Ford emblems on the tail lights and C pillars, added stainless around the windows, and NOS all metal visor, stainless hockey stick trim on the fender bottoms and rockers, chromed headlight buckets, upholstered trunk, and more. Mechanically, Jackie added a 12 volt Mungrel electrics and bolt-right-on ’68 Mustang with drum brakes and dual master cylinder. Jackie would also like to own a ’55 or ’56 Crown Vic or Sunliner so watch these pages for his next ride.
As told to Paul Placek
Bob Jadick’s ’56 Ford Victoria is S-M-O-O-T-H. Bob’s car is Egg Plant Metallic and Lavender Pearl with a “fire and lace” paint job on the roof—how many of you have ever seen that? It is mostly shaved and dechromed. Not only are the bumper guards removed, but every bumper bolt head is gone. The hood bird and the door handles and locks are shaved, as are the Ford emblems and trunk lock.
But shaved does not mean plain. It has also been restyled. First, the original Ford front bumper is gone, and was replaced with a 1959 Ford TBird bumper which was sliced and diced and replated. Also, the headlight buckets were replaced with 1955 Oldsmobile buckets, which are slightly peaked at the top. To match the buckets, the tops of the front fenders are peaked to match.
The 1955 Pontiac Chiefton side stainless fit right on the ’56 Victoria with no modification needed. As did the 1955 Merc Wagon tail lights.
Coker wide white radials with 1957 Caddy wheel covers roll it down the road—note the Ford crest in the wheel covers.