Westermeyer's 1956 Ford Crown Victoria

westermeyer cover new

I always had a soft spot for a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria. I finally found my car on Hemming’s Website. The owner of the car told me it was supposed to be a National Crown Winner in 1992 and 1993. I wanted a car that I could drive, and one that looked nice.

The car was purchased in Louisiana. I decided to purchase the car sight unseen! The pictures that were sent looked great. A lesson was learned - never buy a car without looking at it first hand. My wife call the car a bad nightmare.

We had to redo the engine, transmission, rear end suspension, brakes, etc. We started dismantling everything. Even the body needed work. I had it in the body shop for a year. Needless to say, it cost a fortune.

I am pleased with how it looked now and have received many compliments on the car. Even thought, I probably won’t get the price I put into the restoration of the car, I am going to enjoy driving it and taking it to car show. The good news is that my wife is still married to me and goes along to the car show with me.

I am also the owner of a 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix that was restored, and I enjoy going to car shows with my friends with this car too.

Frederick Westermeyer
Cleveland, WI

 

 

Go West Young Man and Stay Away from that Kiester...Minnesota

sioux falls meet

Each year, I get the opportunity to visit a couple of Regional Meets and write about my experiences at each one. This past year, I had the privilege of visiting Dick Rath’s Upper Midwest Regional Meet. It was held in Sioux Falls, ND. Living in Northwest Ohio, it was about a 14-hour drive to get there. The adventures that I faced on the trip there should have been an indicator of the awesome adventures that I would face the rest of the trip.

Thursday, after work, my buddy Roger and I started to make the trip to Sioux Falls. We made it to the east side of Chicago and decided to stay overnight there. Roger woke up early the next morning and decided to go get some coffee. He got lost on the way back up to the room. He forgot which room we were in and wandered the halls trying his key on different doors. He finally went to the front desk and inquired what room we were in. Well, they had my last name spelled wrong, so it took a while for them to find out which room we were in. This gave me some extra time to sleep in. After Roger showed back up, I took the opportunity to laugh at him and offered to hang a sign around his neck with his contact information.

We got around and left the hotel began the trek through Wisconsin and Minnesota. As we were almost through Minnesota, we noticed an exit sign that said that Kiester was just a few miles off I-90. No way could it have been the town from the Preparation H commercial. We crossed into North Dakota and arrived in Sioux Falls just before dinner time. The evening was lovely, and it was good to see those members that I had met at past National Conventions. The many cars were lined up in the lot and made for a very colorful display. I asked around and was told that Kiester, Minnesota was indeed the town that the commercial was filmed in.

Saturday started with a car show at the American Legion. The city’s local car club was invited to join us. Later that night, we returned to the American Legion for an absolutely fantastic buffet dinner. After dinner, friends met in the hotel lot and the conversation flowed. The day was very fun.

Read more: Go West Young Man and Stay Away from that Kiester...Minnesota
 

James Pope's 1955 Ford Victoria

 

james pope cover

Editor’s Note:James and Sandra Pope are new members. Welcome to the Club!

James Pope recently restored a 1955 Ford Victoria that he purchased from the original owner, Ray Welch. Ray was the owner of “Roy’s Gulf) at the corner of Mint Street and Summit Avenue in Charlotte, North Carolina.

This car has special meaning for James because he remembers the day it was bought. It was around Christmas of 1954. His dad had purchased one like it at the same time. You could often see the two cars parked together at ‘Roy’s Gulf’. James’ dad worked across the street from the station.

After being parked in the garage at home for forty years, it has finally been restored. It has had some extensive body and paint work completed, as well as a complete new interior kit that we purchased from Mac’s. It has a 272-automatic engine that has 74,000 original miles.

James has taken it to two car shows and is looking forward to many more!

Submitted by Sandra Pope, Charlotte, NC

 

Royce & Rebecca Massey’s 1955 Crown Vic

 Royce Massey Cover

Sometime in November and December 2011 my wife and I were eating in a Subway restaurant in Russellville, Alabama after church one Sunday with some friends. My friend Dale said to me Royce your are a Ford man I know here there is a Crown Vic that I think you could buy. Dale had purchased a 1957 Chevrolet from this man. I owned a 1956 Ford Club Sedan at the time a driver but a pretty nice driver. I asked if the Crown Vic had been restored and he said it was in the process. I told Dale if the man ever mentioned selling the Crown Vic let me know and I would go look at the car.

About the middle of February 2012 Dale told me the man was ready to sell. Dale set up the meeting and he and I went to look at the car. The car was located in a shop near Haleyville, Alabama. What I found was a 1955 Crown Vic that had a frame off rebuild started a very nice solid body with the mo-tor, transmission and rear end rebuilt and installed. The frame had been cleaned and painted and the body set back down on the frame. The mane that owned the car had been collecting parts since 1988. He told me he had the parts to build this car to fac-tory specs for any option available on these cars. I listened to the engine run and looked at all his parts which included bout three sets of stainless for this car all polished and wrapped in about three layers of newspaper. I asked the man what his best price was on the car and he told me and then said before he would take less he would dig a hole and bury the car and parts in his back yard. After thinking about it overnite and talking with a couple of people about the car I agreed to purchase the car and parts.

At the time one of my sons had an empty warehouse in Tuscumbia, Alabama and he agreed to let me finish restoring the car in his ware-house. Dale took his trailer and hauled the bod for me and I took my 16 foot flatbed trailer and hauled all the parts. There were tons of extra parts, motors, transmissions, etc this was late February 2012. All the sheet metal had been primed so I started cleaning those up painting the inter fender wells and getting the car to a rolling body.

Around the first of June 2012 I talked a man into painting the car. The man I purchased from was go-ing to paint the car red and white his favorite colors. The vin plate showed the car had been Sea Sprite Green and White originally. I decided to paint it back to the original color. the car went into the paint shop around the middle of June 2012 and I picked it up in November 2012. Base-Clear paint was used and the body was taken down to bare metal and built up from there.

Around the first of December 2012 my brother Jerry Massey and I started putting the car back together. We worked about two days a week around four hours each day. All we had to go on of how to put the car to-gether was a 1955 Shop Manual which helped a lot. My brother was an electrician and he restored all the electrical circuits and everything works like it should. We had very few major obstacles in restoring the car and the man I purchased from was accurate I had to purchase very few parts for the car in most cases I had extra parts. I did order a interior kit from LaBaron Bonney that fit and looks like the original interior. We finished restoring the car in about June 2014. Since that time I have enjoyed driving, showing and admiring the car.

Royce Massey
Spruce Pine, AL

 

 

“Sweet Caroline”: My 1955 Ford Crown Victoria

 

philmeek nov2017

Submited by: Philip Meek

Back in my high school days in Dallas, there were only three things that interested the guys- - football, girlfriends and cars, and not necessarily in that order.  Concerning cars, one of the rich kids came to school in a gorgeous deep triple black Crown Victoria with red and white interior, sparkling chrome and shimmering stainless steel that festooned the chariot, dual rear antennas, fender skirts, “flipper caps” and a continental kit.  The sound of the rumbling V8 with dual glass packs was pure music!  It was love at first sight!  However, it would be many moons until September 2013 before I fulfilled my high school dream and bought my 1955 Crown Victoria.

After negotiating on the phone for weeks and receiving lots of photos from the seller, we closed the deal.  My brother, Gary, and I drove up to the Texas Panhandl e to bring the car back to Austin. I thought this would be a quick, relatively inexpensive restoration (wrong!) since it had a “new” paint job that was seven years old, but the car had never been reassembled or driven after painting.  The car also had a new, correct ABC Interiors upholstery kit that was partially installed.  Importantly, the body was in good shape with no rust.

We quickly determined that only a few parts to the mostly disassembled Crown Vic had been segregated, bagged and tagged.  Almost all of the stainless trim, the bumpers and grille were off.  Significantly, a large number of parts, fasteners of all types, etc., could not be located.  After hours of searching, we found some of the missing parts interspersed unmarked in the garage among parts of several other cars that were being restored.  

When it came time to load the car onto the trailer the real fun began.  The engine was difficult to start and stopped repeatedly.  The brakes and parking brake were stuck as a result of the car sitting idle for years.  It was very difficult to move the car and drive it onto the trailer.  But we finally finished the task and headed for Austin. Once home, I gave the car a thorough going-over.  It became apparent that I had overestimated the condition of the car, and that it was going to take a lot more time and treasure to restore it to the level that I wanted.  But I knew this car had good “bones” and would be beautiful when finished.  

Read more: “Sweet Caroline”: My 1955 Ford Crown Victoria
 

Orban's 1956 Customline Victoria

tom orban

In 2009 five-years away from retirement I bought a 1956 Customline Victoria from one of my street rodder friends.

I figured this car would be a nice retirement project, plus I still had five years to gather parts and get everything else I needed bought and paid for.

Now for some of the car’s history . . . a many in a near by town started fixing it up, the engine and brakes were rebuilt but sadly he passed away before he got any further, after that the car sat outside for a while.

The mans widow gave the car to one of his friends, there to it sat outside. My friend bought it from him with thoughts of building it into a street machine with a blown small block Chevy, but he was too busy with other car projects, so he sold it to me, now its sitting in my show where it is nice and dry.

I started a frame off restoration in 2010, replacing quarter panels, inner and outer rocker panels, floors, rear trunk floor, tail pan and door bottoms.

By 2013 the body was solid again so I started the finish work, smoothing and black sanding the body.

March 2014 rolled around, I retired and the body was ready for paint. I painted the car in July 2015. I wanted to have a numbers matching car.

It has a 272 engine with 3-speed stick, Fiesta Red and Colonial White exterior, but the interior was an ugly two-tone gray!! That had to go!!

So I installed a Lebaron Bonney red and white interior kit. The car was finished late 2015.

We started driving it in 2016. Now let's talk about working out the buds and other horror stories, after we started driving her she developed an oil leak, I thought it was the value covers, but it turned out to be the New oil sending unit. I replaced it and the leak stopped.

When I pulled the pan to fix this I found out the “rebuilt” engine probably wasn’t done right, the oil pan had about 1/2 inch of sludge in it, the bottoms of the pistons looked like they had been sprayed with chocolate syrup. There were however new rod and main bearings. I fixed the seal and that leak stopped.

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Nagel's 1956 Ford Fairlane Convertible

Nagel Cover August 2017

The Fifties were famous for automobiles with outrageous styling, extravagant use of chrome and all manner of fins evoking jet planes and rockets. Competition for customers in the explosive post WW II car market was fierce. An extensive array of fantastic style and power combinations were used to lure buyers into the showroom. But, in the competition for the carefree sports minded buyer none stood out like the 1956 Ford “Sunliner”. The “understated” Thunderbird inspired styling was “subdued” compared to the competition. Nevertheless, Ford was the hands down winner in the glitz and glitter department, leading the way with a bewitching assortment of color choices and combinations. Ford put buyers in a tropical mood offering 19 exotic pastel colored paints like Peacock Blue, Mandarin Orange, Golden Glow Yellow and Sunset Coral along with 14 tutone combinations coordinated with upholstery ensembles featuring new all vinyl tutone interiors.

Ken’s “southern” car was built at the Ford assembly plant in Dallas Texas and eventually found its way to Glencoe OK where it came into the possession of Robert Kuehn of Stanton NE. In February 2010 Ken purchased the car from Mr. Kuehn in relatively rust-free condition. He immediately commissioned Mr. Kuehn to undertake a complete bolt by bolt restoration to his exacting standards. After 15 months of painstaking work, minute attention to detail and using NOS (new old stock) parts installed with expert craftsmanship the car was brought back to showroom condition.

Although Ford made 58,147 Sunliners in 1956, over the years the harsh elements took their toll on these beautiful convertibles making them very hard to find. But, rare and beautiful don’t begin to describe this car. Resplendently finished in glowing Sunset Coral** over shimmering Raven Black paint the tutone scheme is beautifully separated by chrome side trim that starts at the taillight and curves up and over the front fender ending at the headlight bezel. The new for ’56 tutone vinyl interior matches the exterior theme.

Read more: Nagel's 1956 Ford Fairlane Convertible
 

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