December 2012 - Jay Baptista's 1956 Four-Door Hardtop


Well, I suppose you are dying to know how this project came about. My business partner Jim Rock has a yellow ‘56 Ford Convertible. He kept saying he would let me drive it. This was a few years ago and it just never happened. The sure guarantee of driving 56 Ford, I thought, was to purchase one! My preference was a hard top with automatic transmission. The color was flexible. However, it was just a thought at that point. Yet, I admired many of the cars at the CVA national conventions, which increased my desire to own a ‘56 Ford even more.

Meanwhile Jim’s convertible needed some specialty work and Don Stickler referred me to Steve Rocke of Canaan New Hampshire to help out. He lived 143 miles from where we live. Steve had built cars for Dick Metz.

Columbus Day weekend of 2006 arrived and we both planned to see Steve Rocke with Jim’s car. We noticed upon arriving that there was a ‘56 Ford for sale in Steve's yard. The color was right (Diamond blue and Bermuda blue). It was automatic and a hardtop. The poor girl was sitting there as if to say “Please buy me!” I decided that this was the car I wanted. Thus began a long money pit restoration job. The date was October 2006. After finding out that Steve had worked on the dream cars of Dick Metz, Steve was the one I wanted to restore the car. Seeing that I know nothing mechanically about ‘56 Fords, except how to check the oil, fill the gas tank, and turn the key in the ignition, Steve would be doing virtually everything. My job was to write checks, more checks, and more checks! Read more: December 2012 - Jay Baptista's 1956 Four-Door Hardtop


November 2012 - My Dreams Keep Coming True

I never thought of owning a skyliner, much less a 1954 Dealer Demonstrator with a glass hood, as well as glass top to go along with the 1955 and 1956 Crowns my wife wrote the CVA about. When I read the ad about a barn find, I couldn't believe it. "New barn find" 1954 Crestline Skyview, H/T, V8, AT, PS, PW and power seat, in same family since new. After calling the number to discuss the car, I asked when I could see it. The man said he was having some work done on the brakes so it could be driven. He took my number and promised to call. I wanted to be the first to see it. He assured me that he would call.

About 3 weeks later he called. I was the 12th call he made. It was short notice. I was given only 3 or 4 days to prepare for the 6-hour drive, get trailer ready, and have cash for purchase. I still had 2 days on the road before I could get home! On Saturday evening I headed North with the intention of being the first to arrive and purchase the 1954 Skyliner. The agreed time to meet was 8 am, but I was there at 6:30 am, anxiously watching the clock. At 8am, I called to let him know I had arrived. I was the first one there to see "her."


Read more: November 2012 - My Dreams Keep Coming True


September 2012 - Our Dream Car


We are Lorraine and Russell Karnik from Fort Atkinson and this is our life story of our cars. We have been very happily married for 43 years and we have 4 grown children and 10 grandchildren.

It all started with my first car that was a 56 Ford two-door sedan. Lorraine was my girlfriend at the time and later she became my wife. When we were going together I worked at a Shell gas station. I had this car for 2 years and then I had a bad accident with the car and it was totaled, so there went my car. My second 56 Ford was a 2 door Victoria hardtop. I painted this car and put a 312 engine in it that I built up, bored 90 over 11 & V2 to 1 piston, high performance cam, 3 deuces, 3-speed on the floor and 4:11 gears in the rear end. It was a very fast car. I had this car for 2 years and sold it. I had found a 56 Ford Glass Top but by the time I got there the guy had already sold it. In the meantime, I got married to Lorraine and we raised our family of 4 children and had built our home. I put my dream on hold, but in the back of my mind I was always thinking that some day I would find my dream car. I wanted to find and own a 56 Ford Glass Top. They were so hard to find in our area. Read more: September 2012 - Our Dream Car


August 2012 - Dennis Barci's 1955 Crown


I was a junior in high school, 16 years old, when my Dad got me a job with the Ford dealer. The dealer was moving from downtown to “Auto Row”. My job was grunt work, moving the parts department and assembling shelving. The job lasted until I turned 17. They wanted to keep me on, but I needed to be 18.

Since I couldn’t work, I saved parts books from the late 40’s to the 60’s. Since there was no recycling back then, they would have went to the garbage. Little did I know these would be a resource later in life. I did get to know the parts guys at the Ford Dealer pretty well. At the time I was driving a 55 Sunliner. It was cool to get a “discount” on Parts, so I was in and out of the dealer often. Read more: August 2012 - Dennis Barci's 1955 Crown


July 2012 - The Travels of Ms. Scarlet


When I began to think about retirement in the fall of 2007, I decided that I needed a project to keep busy until I firmed up a plan for the future. Fords were the cars of choice in my family while growing up in northern Illinois. Further, my wife, Ronna, and I owned several Fords during the 1960s through 1984. The 1955 and 1956 Ford hardtops were two of my favorite cars of the 1950s. During my search of the Internet during the spring of 2008 I found a red and white 1956 Ford two-door hardtop in a dealership located on the Oregon coast. Read more: July 2012 - The Travels of Ms. Scarlet


June 2012 - The Crown Victoria Down Under - "My Viky"

In May 2005 I purchased a 1955 Crown Victoria, which was already here in Australia but needed a complete rebuild. With the help of my good mate Frank and my son Jayden we were off to pick her up. When I got her home my wife said, “you paid how much for that” as she was looking through the front window. Anne did not even come out the door to look at it. I’m sure there is a lot of you guys who can relate to that comment as I read in an article in the November 2011 issue called “The Road To The Party” that was by Ray Idleman Jr, If anyone hasn’t read his story make sure you go back to this issue and have a read. What a character Ray must be.


Read more: June 2012 - The Crown Victoria Down Under - "My Viky"

May 2012 - The Tale of Bob & Karen Smith's 1955 Crown Victoria


It had long been a dream of mine to own a Crown Victoria. On the other hand, my wife Karen, long had a dream of owning a ’57 Chevy Bel Air. Ahhh…a Ford and Chevy lover in the same family – what to do? It took a bit of convincing, but Karen eventually ended up seeing things the Ford way but she had one request – she wanted a seafoam green and white Crown Vic. The search was on in the spring of 2008. When I came across a beautiful tropical rose and snowshoe white Crown Vic on the Indianapolis, IN Craigslist I knew I’d have to convince her that this was the car for us. Luckily, she agreed. I had some long phone conversations with the owner as to its condition as I had previously towed a trailer to North Carolina to buy one of those “great condition,” “no disappointments” Crowns that was a junker in every respect. After I was sure this car was worth a look, we borrowed a trailer and headed for Indiana. I was aware that the body and interior had been restored while leaving the underneath totally un-restored. After a thorough inspection, I could see that the car needed inner quarter & rocker panels as well as repairs to some of the floor supports. Considering the great condition of the paint, chrome and interior, I decided it warranted repairing the undercarriage and we loaded our “new” ’55 Crown Vic on the trailer for its ride to its new home in Pittsburgh, PA.

Read more: May 2012 - The Tale of Bob & Karen Smith's 1955 Crown Victoria

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