Gramps 1955

Gramps55 Cover

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.

I had told Scott what I wanted, and he didn't let me down. The sound is exactly what I was looking for and it runs perfect.

Disc brakes were added all the way around - a must! There was not enough vacuum, so we added an electric vacuum pump and aluminum radiator.

We finished the interior with a custom headliner and did the trunk as well. We added keystone mags and two sizes bigger tires.

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The Unconventional "Restoration"

bill garay cover

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.

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Dennis Tokstad's Retirement

dennis tokstad

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.

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Brian Kelly's Car Story

November 2018 Brian Kelly

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.

Read more: Brian Kelly's Car Story
 

Luike's Mainline, Plain No More

sept2018 cover photo

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

 

 

Jadick's 1956 Ford Victoria

Jadick Aug18

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.

Under the hood is a Ford 302 with AOD from a 1986 TBird bored .030 over with roller cam and Mallory ignition. It has PS and PB and front disk brakes. Vintage AC keeps things cool.

Inside are white tufted seats and door panels, and a Lokay floor shifter topped by a glass door knob handle.

Bob has been in CVA since 2005, when he got his 1955 Crown Victoria on the road. In 2010, he traded it in plus cash for this ’56 Victoria.

Bob might take $35K for this ’56 Victoria if he finds the shoebox Ford (’49-’50-’51) of his dreams. Some would say he already has a dream car.

By Bob Jadick as told to Paul Placek

 

 

Love at First Sight

shirley magee cover

When I was ten years old my oldest brother bought a pretty brand new black ‘55 Ford Crown Victoria with a red and white interior. I instantly fell in love and swore that when I grew up I was going to have a car like his. He kept his 55 for only a year because he got married and they felt they couldn’t afford to keep it. I was devastated!

I didn’t have a car of my own when I was in high school so I learned to drive in my Dad’s “plain” 55 Ford Custom and drove it to my job after school. After graduating I worked to save some more money to put down on a car hoping to find my dream car. I kept searching the paper looking and finally found one listed and convinced my Dad to go with me to see it. The car was at a car lot surrounded by other used cars but as we crossed the street I spotted it. It was sparkling and twinkling from all that shiny black paint and beautiful chrome – just what I always wanted!!! The interior was a faded pink and white so therefore that black beauty became a “she”. She was pretty rough and had lots of miles for only being 8 years old. You could see daylight through back seat floorboards and had lots of bondo on both quarter panels. We started the car and she sounded like pure heaven! A nice loud, low rumble from worn out glass pacs. My Dad tried to convince me not to buy it; he thought it had been through too much and wasn’t worth the money ($495). I said I just had to have her because I did fall in love at first sight.

Well, needless to say, I did buy her even though the car had definitely been in an accident and also apparently had a fire since the gas tank had been replaced with a smaller tank (found out the hard way by running out of gas since the gas gauge didn’t work). The car had both 6-volt and 12-volt wiring. Boy did that 6-volt starter whine with a 12-volt battery (the starter did last for about 8 years though). When my oldest brother saw her he immediately wanted to buy her from me. I said no way since he had had a brand new one and didn’t keep it and I told him that I would never sell my car.

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