August 2014 - DeCann's 1956 Club Sedan

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(Reprint from January, 1990 issue)

The year was 1966 and I was just married to my high school sweetheart when Uncle Sam felt he needed me more, and beckoned. Being a red blooded American boy used to watching Glenn Ford and Audie Murphy movies, I felt compelled and obligated to comply. I ended up in Colorado Springs to train in artillery, and later, a short tour of duty in Viet Nam with the First Cavalry.

When we finally acquired our first pass to town after basic training, my comrades and I enjoyed the freedom of exploring the breath taking beauty and ambience of the Colorado Springs area. Each of us, it seemed, had our own ideas of what freedom meant. Even though I could appreciate a good dancing girl as well as anyone else, being recently married, I elected to investigate less frivolous activities like seeking out the now endangered “JUNK YARD”.

I have always had an obsession for the ‘56 Ford having come from parents who, in 1955 went out and ordered a matched pair of ’56 Victorias both Fiesta red and white, painted in opposing color schemes on the cars. I had my first ’56 Victoria at age 15, and by age 16, had created a fine amateur custom to dazzle the other kids at school.  Read more: August 2014 - DeCann's 1956 Club Sedan

 

July 2014 - CVA member wins Meguiar's award

Frank La Forge of Wichita Kansas has been named a 'Meguiar's VIP Sponsored Car' for 2014.

If you DO NOT like reading about 'Resto Modded' Fords - you need to move onto another story in this month's FOMOCO times. However, if you like to read about how your fellow CVA members have taken the classic Ford's of the '54-56' era and made them into safer, more reliable and true pleasure driving experiences then please read on.

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First of all I built my '56 Sunliner to be a car of the highway as well as a car show beauty. Since I purchased it in July of 2000 (a mere shell of a car with a plethora of potential to be a real head turner), I have transformed, and molded it to be 'mine' with an eye on the open road. Some of you may remember, from previous stories, of this car that I purchased it from a California man who had begun a full restoration but stopped well short of his dreams of this Sunliner, and was forced to sell it 'as is' (and you all know what that generally means). Read more: July 2014 - CVA member wins Meguiar's award

 

June 2014 - A '55 Ford's "Sweet Story"

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Perhaps part of the reason those of us who enjoy owning old automobiles are that we can relate history to them. Ford, Chrysler, Buick, Oldsmobile, Studebaker, Tucker to name a few were people who lived in our great country of the USA, and like each of us, had a personal history during their time. The following story encompasses some good times and some rough times. The motivation for writing this was provided by people who after hearing the history of this car would enthusiastically ask me to share the story with others. As I initially penned this article, I realized that the amount of material written could be lengthy. Hopefully, I’ve condensed this story to an acceptable length. I hope this is as enjoyable for you to read, as it was for me to write. Enjoy!

I was 8 years old when my mother took delivery of a new 1955 Ford, 2-door Victoria from Southtown Ford in Kansas City, MO. It was her first brand new car. The car became an essential part of our family for the following decade plus years, and when I turned 16 in1963, it became my first car. Years and miles passed, in-town driving turned into out-of-town travel; to and from college as the car continued to provide transportation.

Then in the fall of 1969 on a cold rain slick road the car was involved in a “rollover” into a roadside ditch. In 1969, 14 year old cars weren’t worth a lot of money, but if they were wrecked, the term “total loss” was commonly used. Remember, however, this was my first car and I wasn’t going to put it in the junk yard; so I proceeded for the next 30+ years to find places to keep my wrecked car so that one day I could repair it. It rested hidden behind buildings, barns and in garages waiting to be repaired. Read more: June 2014 - A '55 Ford's "Sweet Story"

 

May 2014 - Whatever Your Dream….Make it Happen!!

Our dream come true is ‘Beauty’, a 1955 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria Fordomatic, 272 horsepower and a V8 engine. To us she is the most beautiful car we have ever owned. We are so proud of her! We still stare at her in awe every time we open the garage door.

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My father bought me a 1940 Buick when I was 16. The next car I owned was a 1955 Ford, 2 door Sedan. I bought it for $450.00 when I came out of the Navy. It was reliable and got me to work and cruising around.

I met Mary Ann, my wife of 33 years, in Parents without Partners (PWP). I was 42 and she was 40. We have five children between us. We had the 2 youngest. After our children left, we were somewhat free to start our new life together. We were very active in our community and loved original classic and antique vehicles. We live in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio near Cleveland Hopkins Airport. I was raised on the east side and she grew up on the southwest side.

Mary Ann owned a 1957 Chevrolet Convertible from 1958 to 1962, but her heart was set on a 1955 Ford that her girlfriend’s brother bought in 1955 when she was 15. The girls decided to take it for a joy ride. They snuck out in the middle of the night, only to get caught by her brother when they came back. It was nice…getting caught wasn’t. Lesson learned! We hope nobody would ever take our ’55. It would break our hearts. Read more: May 2014 - Whatever Your Dream….Make it Happen!!

 

April 2014 - 1955-56 Crown Victoria "Ask the Man Who Owns One" (Or Maybe 5)

In the early days Packard Auto used a slogan “Ask The Man Who Owns One.” I now own five 1955-56 Crowns.

My love of 1954-56 Fords began when a man in my area bought a 1954 glasstop (he also bought a 1955 and 1956 glasstop new.) My friend and I would spend almost every Saturday morning at the local Ford Dealership. We would admire and look at the new arrivals and watch who in our area was buying what.

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My lifelong friend Ross Winklers’ brother bought a new red and white Crown. We would help him go wash and clean it up just to ride in it.

He took us to many NASCAR Races and other events. In 1956 he bought a blue and white Victoria new with the 225 H power option (this came only as automatic and he soon converted it to straight drive). This car was bought at “Schwan Motor Co.”, The home of the Curtis Turner and Joe Weatherly NASCAR dealer -sponsored Purple Wild Hog. Read more: April 2014 - 1955-56 Crown Victoria "Ask the Man Who Owns One" (Or Maybe 5)

 

March 2014 - Stokes 1955 Ford Fairlane

I drove from Nashville Auto College in Nashville, Tennessee to Hopkinsville, Kentucky. There I traded in a 1949 Mercury Coupe that had a new battery in it (of which I removed before I got there and replaced it with an old one) for a 1955 Ford Fairlane with radio, skirts, and overdrive transmission at Barnes Motor Company. After going back to my parent’s house, I headed back to Nashville at breakneck speeds. This was in March of 1955. I went on my first date with Shirley in April of 1955 to her junior class play. We were married on March 29, 1956 (just two months before her graduation) at Little West Fork Baptist in the Ringgold community of Montgomery County, Tennessee. From there we went on our honeymoon to Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee on old 41 which was the crookedness road that I had ever drove on. The car was always reliable and good looking.

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It hauled many baseball players all around middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky as my father, brothers, and I played in men's league (as many men did in the 1950s and 60s). I played until I was 33 years old. The car also took trips to the beaches of Florida only to get stuck in the sand. We also went to Darlington Raceway and St. Louis to baseball games. Read more: March 2014 - Stokes 1955 Ford Fairlane

 

February 2014 - My Journey to Old Car Heaven

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One day last winter, I sat in my basement fiddling with the seemingly 70000 scraps of balsa wood that were supposed to look like an RC airplane when I was finished. My automobile tools were lying idle on the garage floor; somewhere near the last place I used them. The "Boss" decided it was time to inform me that I would be accompanying her to a sheep-herding seminar in Ohio over the Memorial Day weekend.

Well sheepherding ranks right up there on my priority list, somewhere near cleaning up the garage, a situation about which the "Boss" has oft chided me.

"If you would put your tools away when you're done with them you would save a lot of time" she says.

"I venture to say that the time finding them is totally offset by the time it takes to put them away" I reply.

"I venture to say you're full of --it!!!" she fires back

At that point the conversation is usually over.... There is no sense in beating a dead horse. "Ohio" I thought...I was pretty sure you fell off the end of the earth at the West Virginia border, however I was willing to take the risk for matrimony's sake. "What can I do in Ohio while she is sheep herding", I mused? Mike Beckwith, one of our clubs 1955 tech advisers, he lives in Ohio! I've wanted to meet him for years, since he saved my butt so many times on my ‘55 Crown project. Read more: February 2014 - My Journey to Old Car Heaven

 

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