Bob Haas says It's Done!

Bob Haas Jan2020

I have been playing around and restoring 1954, 1955 and 1956 Fords since 1982. That is when I purchased my 1954 Sunliner. It is a duplicate of my car that I owned in high school. I still own this car.

Over the years I have restored many 1955 and 1956 Fords. Most of them have been convertibles. All the cars that I have worked on were rust buckets. Never have I had a chance to work on a rust-free car.

I purchased a 1956 Ford convertible at the Carlisle swap meet. Other club members that were with me could not believe that I would buy a junk car as it was.

One of the 1955 Ford convertibles that I restored was a body-off restoration.

I produced a video of it while I was working on it and have sold many of the tapes on the internet and to other club members. The video was seven hours in length. The restoration took me two years to complete as I do all my own work when restoring a car.

At the age of 74 I was slowing down and only worked in the garage a few hours a day. At that time, I told myself that I would not restore any more cars.

Then it happened. In June 2015 I was told about a 1956 Ford four-door hardtop. It was right here in my hometown of South Lyon, Michigan. I went to look at it, telling myself it won’t hurt to look.

Well, it does hurt to look. I purchased the car for $2,000 because it had power steering and a 312 engine. That alone was worth the price.

I got the car home and yes it was a Michigan rust-bucket. The car needed floors, fenders and rear quarters. Looking at the roof it had dents and rust holes. Since I do love a convertible, I decided to cut the roof off and make it a four-door convertible.

When I did the rockers, I used a heavy gauge metal for the inner rockers.

After working on the car for four years, THE CAR IS DONE! Although, I did not work on it in the winter because my wife and I spend that time in Florida.

The car looks like a convertible with the boot on the back and the pins above the windshield. All the doors open and close very well. Many people think that it was manufactured by Ford Motor Co.

Now I can say, “I am done restoring cars.”

Submitted by: Bob Haas



FoMoCo Times Editor visits the Old Northwest


Submitted By Travis Sheaffer

Picture it. Seattle. Labor Day weekend 2019. Your humble mild-mannered (ha ha!) reporter lands in Seattle on a flight from Motown. I was there to attend a Regional Meet. I landed in Seattle on Friday, August 30th and picked up my rental vehicle. I found the highway driving around Seattle to be not too bad. Of course, if you have ever driven in New York City or Chicago, everywhere else is not too bad. I arrived at the hotel about dinner time and I managed to find a nice local restaurant to quench my dinner time hunger pains and then settled in to combat the jet lag.

Saturday morning, I was up and on the move in search of a story. The meet started off that day with everyone meeting at Dennis Barci’s house. Dennis and his wife are awesome people! I looked around for familiar faces and lo and behold I saw Brian Kelly there. Brian had driven his classic car all the way from British Columbia to the Lexington, Kentucky National Convention. We first met on the phone so I could guide him into Lexington from the Columbus, Ohio area. I believe I told him to get the heck out of Columbus as soon as he could, or he may get swarmed by Dirty Buckeyes (Go Blue!)

We toured Dennis’ shop and then we hopped into the vehicles for a cruise. I rode with Brian and we had an awesome conversation along the way. If you ever need to know anything about forestry or plant life, Brian is your guy!

The first stop on our cruise was to the Triple XXX Drive-In for lunch and one of their fantastic floats. After eating the place out of food, we headed off on a scenic drive to Dennis Togstad’s place for a tour of his private car collection. Dennis’ yard was setup like a small 1950’s town with all kinds of memorabilia and absolutely beautiful cars. It was at this collection that I was first introduce to our member, Bruce Midlane. Bruce is a jokester and I knew that I liked him right away. If you know me, you know that I am an instigator and a jokester and so is Bruce.

Read more: FoMoCo Times Editor visits the Old Northwest

Verheire: A Love of 1956 Fords for Over 55 Years!



I met my husband George in 1986 and he was passionate about 1956 Ford cars and trucks then and had been for some time. His first car as the son of a farm family was a ’56 Ford and the joy he received from owning that car fired his passion. There are stories in the farming community of when George outran the cops with his beloved car on occasion.

A motorbike accident in 1973 left George in a wheelchair, but that never did slow him down much. He still farmed, worked as an Occupational Therapist at a local Brain Injury Hospital in Ponoka AB and continued to accumulate and work on his 1956 cars…..always buying……never selling. So, as a result there are a few ’56 Fords still sitting on our farm

In 2009 we acquired this 1956 Ford Fairlane Sunliner convertible from Westward Auto Inc in Westlock AB. The previous owner had purchased it from eastern Canada. He said he drove it to Post Falls Idaho for a CVA convention putting on 750 miles and it never missed a beat. It has a 292 motor, automatic transmission, dual chrome OSRV mirrors, rear mount deck, antenna, continental kit, white wall tires.

Being in a wheelchair, George had to install hand controls in the car, which is easily done, in about 15 or 20 minutes and you are ready to go. We took the Sunliner (in trailer) to Penticton BC for the Annual CVA Meet a few years ago. What a wonderful weekend we had. We have taken it to car shows and cruises in our area and also in the Ponoka Rodeo Parade on several occasions.

Read more: Verheire: A Love of 1956 Fords for Over 55 Years!

Gilbertson's Family 1955 Ford Customline

sept2019 coverphoto

I have been a member of the CVA for many years. However, I haven't written a story for the newsletter in quite some time. I did contribute to the October 1995 issue and in that story told quite a bit about my passion for these cars. Also, in February of 1998 my 1955 Customline was on the cover.

It seems that all of my life I have been crazy about cars. I was born in October of 1950 so at Christmas time in 1954 I had just turned 4 years old. Even at that young age I still have clear memories of our family buying a brand new 1955 Ford Customline 4 door sedan. I remember the salesman coming to our house and taking us for a ride. I remember there being no ash tray in the center of the back of the front seat. The dealer replaced it but it was always gray and never matched the interior of the car which was green. Years later my father told me that he had originally ordered the car in tan (Buckskin Brown) with a white roof. It seems that the dealership which was Bennett Ford in Bayonne, NJ had gotten the identical car in Sea Sprite Green and offered it to us. My folks wanted a two-tone car so they accepted this car on the condition that the roof would be painted dark green (Pinetree Green). Looking back at it I really think that the green looked so much better. It’s interesting since I have noticed that the combination we had was not offered by the factory. The dark green roof only came with Neptune Green. I guess at that time it didn't make much difference as the dealer did whatever it took to make the customer happy. The car was a 6 cylinder with a three-speed stick. It had a radio, heater and a clock that was wound manually. It also had whitewall tires. It came with wheel covers but my folks wanted the standard hubcaps to they got switched out. I remember distinctly that the glove compartment door had a V8 insignia on it. I guess the V8s outnumbered the 6s by so much that it was just a matter of habit. Although they did get the callout on the front fender correct! I remember the next time I saw the car was in my grandmothers’ garage where my father kept his car. I opened the door and instead of the 50 Studebaker there was this brand-new Ford!

We went many places in that car and I became infatuated with Fords. I had the Post Serial F&F mold cars that I still have a collection of along with a number of 1950s Ford Promo Cars. A neighbor of ours worked for Bennett Ford and used to take me to the dealership regularly. I remember the 57s being in the showroom and I also remember him taking me to the dealership on a Sunday morning to see three 58 Fords that were under covers as they were not released yet. That was a real big deal at the time.

Read more: Gilbertson's Family 1955 Ford Customline

Joe and Marcy Sandella - 50 Years of Marriage and Fords

joe sandella

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.

Marcy also has culinary skills. She makes wonderful jams and jellies—more than we can eat. So, we sometimes sell them at car shows. And that’s how we got to meet Jim Rock and Jay Baptista last year at a Dedham, Massachusetts car show. In the trunk of our Victoria we had Marcy’s jams and jellies for sale. Jim and Jay came along and drooled on my rear fender. I thought they just liked the car. No! It was the jams and jellies. They asked how much for one, and I told them. Then they asked how much for all the jams and jellies in the trunk! A deal was struck, and all of Jim’s and Jay’s friends got Marcy’s jellies for Christmas last year.

Read more: Joe and Marcy Sandella - 50 Years of Marriage and Fords

An Interview with Mason and Connie Compton

June2019 MasonCompton

-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.

Read more: An Interview with Mason and Connie Compton

Chasing the 1956 with Sharon and Late Arrival at the Hot Springs

craig seyfried cover may2019

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.

On the way back home I decided to give Bill a call if his phone number could be found in my drawer of stuff. Luck was with me as I found Bill’s number and gave him a call. He said that the car was still for sale and to come take a look at it. A week or two went by and Sharon wanted to go to the Mount Princeton Hot Springs on Saturday. No way, lets go look at the 1956 Ford in Colby, Kansas. Sharon said ok, and we hopped in her Subaru wagon and made our way to Colby.

Bill had the car outside in his storage barn when we arrived. He said, take it for a ride. Sharon got in and we took it for a short ride. It performed well, trany shifted great and it had a really nice feel to it. The odometer read 37,895 miles and the paint appeared to be in the original Bermuda Blue which had some minor dings and dents. Just some garage rash from being stored and no visible rust. How much do you want for it? He named his price and we would have to think about it.

Next week a call was made and we decided that we wanted it. We wanted to look at it again so we made the rip again and took some down payment money. No Hot Springs trip yet maybe later. After paying Bill the down payment we said we would be back in a few weeks to pay the rest of the money and drive it back to Colorado Springs. Still, no Hot Springs trip.

One more final trip to Colby in Sharon’s Subaru. Sharon followed me back home, a 200 mile trip with no problems and the Ford ran great.

The CVA Convention was going to be in Branson, Missouri. We had a great time driving the 1956 to the convention. What a great place to have a CVA get together. We entered the original judged class and won first place.

On the way back home Sharon wanted to drive. Pleas hold the speed down to 65 mph and keep a steady foot on the accelerator. Half wa across Kan-sas Sharon started to giggle. What are you giggling about? The speedometer was a zero. Who know how fast we were going, probably 80 mph or so because Sharon has a lead foot.

The years passed by and we drop the 1956 to Tin-ley Park, Illinois and Bettendorf, Iowa. Still in between trips to CVA Convention no trips to Hot Springs.

Sharon’s health started to deteriorate in 2016. Parkinsonism, dementia and numerous other health problems. Being a caregiver is a full time job. Sharon could no longer read, knit, answer the phone, or turn the TV on or off. Unfortunately, Sharon never made it to Hot Springs as she passed away October 30, 2018. Sharon is now in Heaven soaking up the hot springs when her deceased son, her mother and her sister and her health is renewed and she has a beautiful smile.

Submitted by
Craig Seyfried,
Canon City, Colorado



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