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Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011

Readers recognized 1955 Ford

Staff Writer

Last week’s photo showed the front end of a 1955 Ford. We didn’t need the model, but for those who guessed that, too, it was a Sunliner convertible, although only the front section of the car was visible.

Several readers guessed it was the similar 1956 Ford, but that car had a different grille and its parking lights, as readers will explain.

Chosen randomly from the correct entries was the name of Bill McCord, of Thomson, who wrote:

“My dad bought one, and this is the first car I learned to drive. … The one we had was a Custom but was the same color as the one in the picture (Mountain Green).”

McCord wins a gift from The Augusta Chronicle. Other readers identifying the vehicle were:

AIKEN: Rudell Cummings said, “My brother owned one.”

Jerry Butcher wrote: “From the looks of the photo, the chrome molding on top of the fenders tells me that it is one of six models, a two-door Club Sedan, a four-door Town Sedan, a two-door Victoria hardtop, a two-door Crown Victoria, or two different trim levels of the station wagon.”

AUGUSTA: Tom Wall pointed out the difference between the round 1955 parking lights and the oblong ones for 1956.

Carolyn Ogles wrote: “I remember the color during that period.”

Also, Lowell Fritsche

CUMMING, GA.: Chris Rhodes wrote: “While the ’55 and ’56 share very similar styling, the ’56 had different park lamps below the head lamps.

“In 1954, Ford and Chevrolet were locked in a very tight sales battle, with Ford actually out-producing Chevrolet by the thinnest of margins that year. And with fresh, chrome-laden models rolling out of every manufacturer’s doors, 1955 was shaping up to be an epic year for the American automobile market. The new-car buyers of the day had a near limitless supply of choices. Although the new-for-’55 Crown Victoria was a hot looker, it did not produce the same heat in the showroom. The new-for-’55 Chevrolets wrenched the sales lead away from Ford that year and the gap widened over the following decades.”

EVANS: Ronnie Tullis said his father used to have a 1955 Ford station wagon.

Bill Harding wrote: “That car could be equipped with a 223-cubic-inch in-line six, a 272-cubic-inch Y-block V-8, or a 292-cubic-inch Y-block V-8. Transmission choices include two manual shifts (three-speed, column-mounted), one with overdrive and one without. Also available was Ford’s two-speed Ford-O-Matic. It actually did have a third gear, but it engaged only when the transmission was in low. 1955 was the first year Ford offered its SelectAire factory-installed air conditioning.”

Larry Heath wrote: “The molding on top of the fenders indicates this was a more upscale model such as a Fairlane or Crown Victoria. Generally, these models had a two-tone paint scheme with the molding being the separation point.

“The 1955 and 1956 models were very similar in style with the difference being in the grille and parking lights. My very first car was a 1956 Ford with the 292-cubic-inch Thunderbird engine, four-barrel, dual exhaust, and “three on the tree” shift. It was used but provided me with many good memories. Thanks for providing some cars that us older gearheads can reminisce about.”

Wayne Wilke wrote: “In the summer of 1958, a ‘suitor’ spent many hours visiting the much-older sister of one of my buddies. The suitor had a shiny black ’55 Crown Victoria that was parked on the street and:

• was ‘nosed and decked’ (emblems removed from hood and truck lid)

• Had been lowered a couple of inches

• and had rear fender skirts.

“The interior was white, and the whole package was nothing short of beautiful; my buddy and I spent hours just admiring it.”

Also, Jerry Paul

GROVETOWN: Fred Jennings said it was a very good car and that he had one very similar to it”

HARLEM: Candy Powell wrote: “I am really torn between ’55 and ’56, they are so similar, but decided on the ’55. The lights on the grille don’t seem as bullet-shaped as some I have seen, and I haven’t seen the strip of grille on the hood before. My husband, Robert, originally ID’d it as 1955 Crown

Vic,and I did some searching.”

HEPHZIBAH: Chester Tripp said: I used to have one myself. It had the 292-cubic-inch engine with three deuces carbs. It was a pretty nice car, pretty quick back in its day.”

KEYSVILLE, GA.: Glenn Widner wrote: “It could be a Fairlane or Crown Victoria. The name ‘Fairlane’ came from Henry Ford’s mansion in Dearborn, Mich. … Fords still had a six-volt electrical system in 1955. I’ve owned two 1955 Fords over the years. To me, the 1955 Ford Crown Victoria was one of the most beautiful Fords ever built, rivaled only by the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air two-door hardtop, but that’s another story.”

MARTINEZ: John Hayes called the 1955 “one of my favorites.”

Jim Muraski wrote: “This week’s car is a 1955 Ford Fairlane, which was offered in four models. The Country Sedan station wagon, the Sunliner convertible, the Victoria and the top-of-the-line Crown Victoria two-door hardtop, which had a distinct trim band that ran across the roof.”

Jeff Miller wrote: “That old-timer (in the photo) is about ready to hose down a 1955 Ford Crown Victoria, which looks nothing like the (2007) Crown Victoria that appears at the top of the same page - and that’s a good thing.”

Also, Joe Bert

NORTH AUGUSTA: Tim Davis said: “They were real pretty cars.”

WATKINSVILLE, GA.: Joe Arp wrote: “Our neighbor had a 1955 Ford Crown Victoria, followed by a 1956 Ford Starliner with a top that had a Plexiglass panel, followed by a 1959 Ford Skyliner retractable hardtop. Those were the days!”

NO CITY LISTED: Marilyn Adcock, Gerald May and Willie Thomas.

 

 

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