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Old 10-30-2020, 01:07 PM   #1
Mikko_
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Default Affordable Ford V8's

I'm currently in the process of putting together a 1928 Model A Phaeton powered by a 4 banger but I'm feeling the itch for a flathead V8 powered car too.

I've been reading up on different models but all I've come up with so far is that I definetly want a closed car, don't need 2 open top cars in the Swedish climate.

Budget is tight so the initial purchase cost would need to be around $10 000 so that pretty much rules out all coupe models I guess.

I'm no stranger to working on old cars but I want something that atleast is close to a running car.

What would your choice be with these criterias and why?
Happy to hear your opinions and suggestions.
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Old 10-30-2020, 01:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Affordable Ford V8's

A 30's era coupe with a V-8 that is running.
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Old 10-30-2020, 01:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: Affordable Ford V8's

Welcome. Look carefully & you may find a older restoration model A coupe for under $10000. Then get a Vern Tardel book to build an A/V8. Getting a restored car gives you upholstery,bodywork & paint already completed along with being complete. Bid $$$ saved here. Model A’s of any model can still be purchased at a good price in the US if you take your time & look.
Good luck.
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Old 10-30-2020, 01:26 PM   #4
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Sorry double post.
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Old 10-30-2020, 01:28 PM   #5
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Given your "tight" budget, you should consider a four door car....
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Old 10-30-2020, 01:28 PM   #6
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For me it would be either a 1935/36 2 Door Slant Back OR either a 1939 Standard Two Door OR 39 Mercury Two Door. I think the 35/36 2 door slant back is sporty looking for a Sedan and I love the look and style of the 39 Standard and the 39 Mercury has a lower leaner look!!! OH and NO white wall tires on either PLEASE
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Old 10-30-2020, 01:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Affordable Ford V8's

Go to Hemmings and search on your make, years, and dollar range (plus a little for negotiation). Not much "near running" shows up, but there are a few '49 - '53 sedans that could be fun.
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Old 10-30-2020, 01:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Affordable Ford V8's

For a daily driver, I'd choose '50-'53 Ford 3 speed OD. These will have the gearing, suspension, comfort, and availability of parts and service you'll want at a reasonable price.


For a car that may sit idle during much of the year, consider a '37 or '38 Ford. These will have cable mechanical brakes, which will prove to be reliably superior to early hydraulics.


Any car you decide on should be the best example of that model you can find, even if you have to pay premium for it. You'll be sorry if you go for the bargain without considering the long term costs.
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Old 10-30-2020, 01:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Affordable Ford V8's

Great answers.
Budget could probably be stretched a bit above 10k, winter is coming so I have a few months to do some more saving before next summer.

AV8's are cool and I have the Tardel/Bishop book but with one Model A project going already I feel like I don't need another big project right now, even if I have a 47 flathead and '37 toploader sitting in the garage.

I will look into the 35/36 slantbacks a bit more, thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 10-30-2020, 05:16 PM   #10
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Kind of like a "which oil is best questions". The later the car the more comfortable and the more complicated. I would think anything from 39 to 48 is a happy medium. Nothing against earlier or later all have quirks but just a medium.
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Old 10-30-2020, 05:29 PM   #11
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I'm not looking for a definitive answer, just want to hear some opinions from more experienced people than myself.

Fully aware of that it's my decision to make in the end of what car to buy.
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:07 PM   #12
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How about a Volvo 544, seeing as how you're in Sweden? They look like a 41 Ford.
Just kidding of course.
I love old Volvos- I have two 1800's and a 544.
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:32 PM   #13
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The 1939 and 1940 Tudors and Fordors are relatively inexpensive for what you get. The 39 has that classic dash and floor shift as well as the last year for bulb headlights before Ford went to sealed beams. The 40 has a 'modern' dash, shift on the column and just slightly more visible tail lights. One caution, check the rear end ratio stamped as a series of numbers on the differential pumpkin. Mine turned out to be a 4.11, too low for highway speeds but a great excuse to buy and install. Mitchell overdrive. Good luck finding your V8, you'll enjoy it along with the A, as I do.
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Old 10-30-2020, 09:34 PM   #14
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Hi; Buyer just shipped my '34 circle track car to Germany and I saw the bill of lading, under $2500 I remember. Oakland docks to Germany by way of the Panama Canal. Newc
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Old 10-30-2020, 10:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jim in Wisconsin View Post
How about a Volvo 544, seeing as how you're in Sweden? They look like a 41 Ford.
Just kidding of course.
I love old Volvos- I have two 1800's and a 544.
My best buddy on this ford starved island tools around every day in a 544 Duett, which is pretty much a suburban/panel delivery volvo. He has a chicken crate (which I gave him, from Jonesborough Arkansas) on the roof rack, along with a bald spare tire and a galvanized gas can. I gave him the chicken crate because his mom was born in Johnsborough AR. Maybe I find a pic later.
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Old 10-30-2020, 10:35 PM   #16
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Default Re: Affordable Ford V8's

Couldnt help myself. John is such a great guy, even though he is a volvo guy. G&otta say it's a cool vehicle.
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Old 10-31-2020, 01:00 AM   #17
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Couldnt help myself. John is such a great guy, even though he is a volvo guy. G&otta say it's a cool vehicle.


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Old 10-31-2020, 03:38 AM   #18
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Default Re: Affordable Ford V8's

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How about a Volvo 544, seeing as how you're in Sweden? They look like a 41 Ford.
Just kidding of course.
I love old Volvos- I have two 1800's and a 544.
Funny you mention it because it has crossed my mind but these days they bring almost the same money as a Ford V8.
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:48 AM   #19
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The 1939 and 1940 Tudors and Fordors are relatively inexpensive for what you get. The 39 has that classic dash and floor shift as well as the last year for bulb headlights before Ford went to sealed beams. The 40 has a 'modern' dash, shift on the column and just slightly more visible tail lights. One caution, check the rear end ratio stamped as a series of numbers on the differential pumpkin. Mine turned out to be a 4.11, too low for highway speeds but a great excuse to buy and install. Mitchell overdrive. Good luck finding your V8, you'll enjoy it along with the A, as I do.
I do like the looks of 39-40 Tudors and Fordors a lot better than 41-48 Tudors and Fordors.
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:51 AM   #20
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Here Mikko,

You won't get much cheaper than this '39 dlx 4dr.Its on the west coast so shipping to a port won't break the bank.Make sure the title matches the frame number.

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/...ested.1209365/
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Old 10-31-2020, 07:45 AM   #21
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I'm not sure what the market is where you are, but in the states you can find '41-48 coupes that have been sitting a few years and will need a good going over to get back on the road in the $10k range. Two door sedans in that shape are $5-6K. Sounds like you'd be just the guy to put one back on the road.
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Old 10-31-2020, 09:47 AM   #22
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Here Mikko,

You won't get much cheaper than this '39 dlx 4dr.Its on the west coast so shipping to a port won't break the bank.Make sure the title matches the frame number.

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/...ested.1209365/
Cool car but those floorpans looks rustier than I would like them to be.
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Old 10-31-2020, 09:50 AM   #23
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I'm not sure what the market is where you are, but in the states you can find '41-48 coupes that have been sitting a few years and will need a good going over to get back on the road in the $10k range. Two door sedans in that shape are $5-6K. Sounds like you'd be just the guy to put one back on the road.
Nothing more fun than waking up an old car that's been sitting for a few years.
As long as it's not rusted out since I'm not into major rust repairs.
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:15 PM   #24
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I'm not sure what the market is where you are, but in the states you can find '41-48 coupes that have been sitting a few years and will need a good going over to get back on the road in the $10k range. Two door sedans in that shape are $5-6K. Sounds like you'd be just the guy to put one back on the road.
Bingo ! I would look for a 46-48 " long door " coupe . They are good looking cars , & solid examples can be found in the 10k range , as stated above .
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Old 10-31-2020, 05:35 PM   #25
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Look for something that has been in a climate free of road salt and get photos of the floor pans, rocker panels, etc. Fordor sedans will be the most economical for you and especially great if you have kids.
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Old 10-31-2020, 06:07 PM   #26
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This one is on my island... I could go look at it for you tomorrow. It is more than likely one that belonged to an old friend. I remember a couple years ago I helped him get it running after it sat.
https://skagit.craigslist.org/cto/d/...213422029.html
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Old 11-01-2020, 11:06 AM   #27
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This one is on my island... I could go look at it for you tomorrow. It is more than likely one that belonged to an old friend. I remember a couple years ago I helped him get it running after it sat.
https://skagit.craigslist.org/cto/d/...213422029.html

I appreciate the offer but I'm not ready to pull the trigger just yet.
First I need to decide what model I really want before I start throwing money around.
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Old 11-01-2020, 11:16 AM   #28
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Bingo ! I would look for a 46-48 " long door " coupe . They are good looking cars , & solid examples can be found in the 10k range , as stated above .
46-48 coupes are on my list of potential cars.
And I just happen to have an engine and trans from a 47 laying around, good to have if needed for spare parts.

Quote:
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Look for something that has been in a climate free of road salt and get photos of the floor pans, rocker panels, etc. Fordor sedans will be the most economical for you and especially great if you have kids.
Fordors are definetly less expensive and I have nothing against them, but since my Model A phaeton is a 4-door car I would prefer a 2-door this time.

No kids at the moment but I'm 28 years old and don't know what the future will bring.
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Old 12-07-2020, 10:54 AM   #29
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Well, I ended up buying a 1953 Customline 2-door.
With Fordomatic trans and original power steering.

Can't wait 'til it arrives here in Sweden from sunny California.
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Old 12-07-2020, 12:28 PM   #30
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Looks very original, radio, clock and magic air heater along with automatic and power steering. The original buyer must have ordered it. Be interesting to see what assembly plant it came from.
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Old 12-07-2020, 12:47 PM   #31
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According to the seller it came from the San Jose assembly plant.
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Old 12-07-2020, 01:31 PM   #32
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According to the seller it came from the San Jose assembly plant.

mikko, the seller is mistaken. He may have assumed San Jose if he had been told "local assembly". At the time your '53 Ford was assembled, Richmond would have been the assembly plant serving the area.
The San Jose (Milpitas) Ford plant opened in 1955, using equipment from the then closed Richmond plant, 50 miles north of San Jose.
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Old 12-07-2020, 01:40 PM   #33
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The biggest issue is: What can you do to improve the car?? Can you do body work? Mechanical work? Early body parts are hard to find and are expensive, so buying a car with a bad motor. might be cheaper in the long run. But a car with a running engine, might need allot of body work. You really DON;T get what you pay for.
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Old 12-07-2020, 01:51 PM   #34
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If I am not mistaken, I can see the filler cap for the power steering pump in the engine photo. That is a rare and valuable option. I always like to see an engine with it's factory air cleaner and other original components intact.

All in all the car looks very solid. I can only see one door handle, so that's good news, and it even looks like it might be a coupe, although it's tough to tell from the angle of the photo. A few more details and photos would be appreciated.
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Old 12-07-2020, 02:51 PM   #35
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The biggest issue is: What can you do to improve the car?? Can you do body work? Mechanical work? Early body parts are hard to find and are expensive, so buying a car with a bad motor. might be cheaper in the long run. But a car with a running engine, might need allot of body work. You really DON;T get what you pay for.
The Customline in the pictures is what I bought.
Engine is running, body and frame are solid.

Brakes, cooling system and fuel system is what needs work to make it a driver and that is no problem for me to handle.
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Old 12-07-2020, 02:52 PM   #36
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mikko, the seller is mistaken. He may have assumed San Jose if he had been told "local assembly". At the time your '53 Ford was assembled, Richmond would have been the assembly plant serving the area.
The San Jose (Milpitas) Ford plant opened in 1955, using equipment from the then closed Richmond plant, 50 miles north of San Jose.
Then it was probably assembled in Richmond.

Anyway to find out for sure where it was assembled?
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Old 12-07-2020, 02:54 PM   #37
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If I am not mistaken, I can see the filler cap for the power steering pump in the engine photo. That is a rare and valuable option. I always like to see an engine with it's factory air cleaner and other original components intact.

All in all the car looks very solid. I can only see one door handle, so that's good news, and it even looks like it might be a coupe, although it's tough to tell from the angle of the photo. A few more details and photos would be appreciated.
Yes, it has factory power steering and it's a 2 door sedan, not a coupe.
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Old 12-07-2020, 04:38 PM   #38
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Then it was probably assembled in Richmond.

Anyway to find out for sure where it was assembled?

Your patent data plate should have that info. I believe that an R after the model code would be the Richmond plant. I'm not a late model guy, so consider the source.
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Old 12-07-2020, 04:51 PM   #39
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Nice car!!!......Good for you!!!!.......Keep us updated....... Mark
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Old 12-07-2020, 07:54 PM   #40
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I'm currently in the process of putting together a 1928 Model A Phaeton powered by a 4 banger but I'm feeling the itch for a flathead V8 powered car too.

I've been reading up on different models but all I've come up with so far is that I definetly want a closed car, don't need 2 open top cars in the Swedish climate.

Budget is tight so the initial purchase cost would need to be around $10 000 so that pretty much rules out all coupe models I guess.

I'm no stranger to working on old cars but I want something that atleast is close to a running car.

What would your choice be with these criterias and why?
Happy to hear your opinions and suggestions.
There's a very nice looking '48 Fordor that just got listed on the Early Ford Club site. By the looks of it , perhaps one of the nicer one that's been offered in a while. While it is a six cylinder, it does have a Columbia overdrive. These post war sixes are GOOD engines.
These 48's are very nice driving cars - better than the prewar models in my opinion.
The guy is asking $15k which may seem fair but methinks if you're patient, the realistic price will be closer to $12k.
For that, how could you go wrong?
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Old 12-07-2020, 08:02 PM   #41
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That 53 with V8, auto, and power steering will make a nice driver. Turns a bit wide, and the doors feel like a mile long when you have to park close to another car, but very nice to drive.
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Old 12-07-2020, 08:36 PM   #42
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Yea; You need a running drive-able car to facilitate export movements. The shippers really don't want to deal with dead cars. Recommend a batt cut off for the long trip in a container. 52/53' s are an excellent choice for modern type conveniences. Newc
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Old 12-09-2020, 12:19 AM   #43
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The car is getting transported by West Coast Shipping, no complaints about it not being driveable.

Old picture of the car, from the late 80's.
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Old 12-09-2020, 12:37 AM   #44
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A handsome automobile by anyone's standards. Certainly by mine.
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Old 12-14-2020, 02:08 PM   #45
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I'm trying to decode the VIN of the 1953 Customline and I found out this, but earlier in this thread I was told that the San Jose assembly plant didn't open until 1955?

B = Flathead V8
3 = 1953
R = San Jose, CA
G = Body style (in this case Tudor Customline)

Or am I missing something here?
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Old 12-23-2020, 11:49 AM   #46
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Any thoughts on the question I had above?


And the car has arrived at the shipping company's storage faciltity, waiting to get loaded into a container and shipped across the Atlantic.
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Old 12-23-2020, 01:10 PM   #47
petehoovie
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Default Re: Affordable Ford V8's

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Any thoughts on the question I had above?


And the car has arrived at the shipping company's storage faciltity, waiting to get loaded into a container and shipped across the Atlantic.
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Old 12-23-2020, 02:09 PM   #48
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Default Re: Affordable Ford V8's

Mikko, you might consider buying the Early Ford V-8 Club's 1952-53 book.It's a two volume book that will give you a ton of information on your "new" Ford. According to the V-8 Club book the R in your number is the Richmond, Ca. assembly plant.
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Old 12-23-2020, 03:16 PM   #49
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Default Re: Affordable Ford V8's

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I'm trying to decode the VIN of the 1953 Customline and I found out this, but earlier in this thread I was told that the San Jose assembly plant didn't open until 1955?

B = Flathead V8
3 = 1953
R = San Jose, CA
G = Body style (in this case Tudor Customline)

Or am I missing something here?
Yes, you're missing something here. When Ford started adding the assembly plant code to the VIN you can see many of the plant codes used the first letter of the city the plant was in, such as 'A'-Atlanta, 'B'-Buffalo, etc.

Think about it - 'R' = Richmond, as in Richmond, California. They probably kept using the same code when the plant closed down and moved in '55 rather than assign a new one - might be same story with 'E'-Mahawa, NJ as well as it came on-line in 1956 to replace another plant (and I'll wager dollars to kroner it's city/plant name started with a 'E'). Dearborn's 'F' probably is 'F' for 'Ford' and its main plant at the Rouge since Dearborn and Dallas both start with 'D'. Why Chicago got 'G' and Chester, PA got 'C' I don't know - probably because 'G' was an open character in the string of what was used. If you pay attention, the 'P' for Twin Cities takes the first letter of the second word in the city's name, i.e. St. Paul, as 'S' was taken by Somerville - why they didn't use 'T' requires some more digging - maybe because there was a truck other plant that started with a 'T' during the '40s-'50s?

The attached plant code list, which appears to be from the '53-'57 Ford Car Body Parts Catalog and found on the Crown Victoria Ass'n's website
( https://thecvaonline.com/howtos/DataPlateDecoder.pdf )
probably doesn't take the Richmond/San Jose change into account.
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Old 12-24-2020, 03:55 AM   #50
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Default Re: Affordable Ford V8's

Makes sense they didn't change the letter when the plant moved.
Thanks for the clarification.

I'm new to these old Fords but like to learn as much as possible.
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Old 12-24-2020, 03:25 PM   #51
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Default Re: Affordable Ford V8's

You better not leave it at the storage facility too long or the tires may disappear like the coupe in the background.

I saw a Youtube video on washing the car with CLR, I think it was, to remove most of the patina on the hood and front fender. That is a nice, straight looking car with good looking chrome. Let us know when it arrives.
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