1951 Ford Victoria Tudor Hardtop
For consignment, a 1951 Ford Victoria Tudor offered a great looking design, combining a sport hardtop look that the public thoroughly enjoyed with a price tag of $2,060. The Victoria name plate was first used on the popular Ford Model A in 1931. Aptly known as a “shoebox” Tudor, this Victoria retains its original looks for the exterior and interior and has undergone a restoration at some point in the past. It came from the Keller Brothers Ford dealer collection in Lebanon PA. A fine example of Ford’s postwar production ripe for the picking in our Hallowed Halls.
The beneficiary of a prior restoration, all body panels were taken apart, reworked, put back together, then painted in a gorgeous factory correct Hawthorne Green hue. The panels are very straight and gaps are well minded with a few scratches and scrapes are noted in the rocker area and just a slight bit of rust is noted in a chrome trimming or two. And there is plenty of the trimming as it surrounds nearly every panel and surface in this wonderful bean shaped car. At the front of the car, a bold grille houses dual rounded bullets between an extra chrome added guarded bumper, small inserted turn signals, and a classy Ford crest. At the sides of that crest, rounded fenders hang chrome-cased headlights between aggressive hood trim and a chrome spear that runs around the lower part of the beltline of the entire car. The spear flows around the back of the car and takes off again without pause, and up the opposing side. These blingy spears, parallel polished door handles, and capped lock cylinders are all in excellent condition. Above those spears, and doors is a light green roof which takes over from the front split windscreen. Also, a full array of stainless-trimmed glass resides below this green topper. At the back of the car, the rear split glass sports some extra chrome trimmings just before it turns the corner on either side. Below, a second guarded bumper frames factory stretched oval tail lights with the trimmings wrapping around and racing up along the rear quarter panels. Matching 15-inch dark green steelies are capped with chromed spun hubcaps and deep dish trim edges and are wrapped in wide whites. Some original fender skirts are on this car and it is believed these have the original paint on them which is cracking and crazing.
Inside this Victoria, a tasteful interior appears much more upscale than the car’s age would suggest. A broad bench split backed seat, which sport rich 2-tone covers in khaki inserts and light cream bolsters delineated by stitching and piping. A rear bench matching the front is also in stretching from rear glass to rear glass. All this rides atop a sea of clean brown carpeting over the flooring and it has some brown rubber inset floor matting. In front of those thrones, a color-keyed dash, with a patterned aluminum insert houses clear black faced gauges, and deep large bezel round surrounded knobs and pulls. The factory radio is still in and a light tan dash top is above. At the sides of that dash and gracing the doors we see 2-tone door panels matching the seat motif and framing correct chrome handles and polished delineation spears. In front of the driver, an artful Ford steering wheel spins a centered chevron design around a factory 3 on the tree shifter. And behind the passenger compartment, a tan with gray zig zag line pattern rubber mat lined trunk features a correct jack and full-size spare tire.
Just the way it left the factory, this classic is powered by a bronze painted 239 cubic inches of ‘flatty’ V8. Spinning smooth compression into roughly 100 horsepower. Air enters through a patina bronze painted oil bath air cleaner and is juiced by a 2-barrel Ford carburetor, then exits through correct cast iron exhaust manifolds. Overall a wonderful presentation of early American motoring and ingenuity under the hood. Lest we forget about the 3-speed manual transmission with overdrive strapped to the rear of this mill and the 4.10 geared rear axle.
Take a look under this light green hard topped stunner and you’ll see just how much the automotive world has changed when it comes to ride, handling, and structural integrity. The car’s patina’d and very light coating of surface rusted make a suitable backdrop for the road dirt coated and lightly surface rusted black frame, suspension, flooring, and rockers. In front, an independent control arm and coil spring suspension remain just as they would back in 1951. And the same holds true in the rear of the car, where leaf springs and the aforementioned pumpkin add integrity and grip. Stops are provided by 4-wheel drum brakes. A single exhaust snakes its way rearward to an under the bumper exit.
Being a sucker for these early 50’s Fords, I hopped in and had a great test ride. It had nice smooth acceleration, easy shifting, and nice smooth ride and handling. The radio did not work, the clock is stopped, the brake lights were not working, and there was a slight clutch shudder when initially pulling out from a stop. The consignor has just put in a new fuel tank, fuel pump master cylinder and wheel cylinders, new hoses, new water pumps, new thermostat, a new clutch, and new pressure plate.
With its elegant looks and proven running gear, this finely tuned classic deserves a future in the limelight. If you’re ready to start enjoying Sunday drives and making tons of car show friends, it’s time to park this buttoned up 51 Ford Victoria in your garage.
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