As a contrast to yesterday’s “long tail” 1964 Ford Galaxie, I offer you this 1952 Ford Crestline. It’s proportions and overhangs are much more reasonable. And it has a much more attractive booty.
Here’s a comparison. The ”52 was almost a foot shorter and had 4″ less wheelbase, but due to its greater height, interior accommodations were better due to chair-high seating. And the tall trunk allowed the suitcases of the time to be stowed vertically.
The Niedermeyers experienced this quite viscerally when my father traded in the ’54 Ford sedan for a ’62 Fairlane, which had an inch more wheelbase and was the same length as the ’54, but we all felt significantly more crowded, especially in the back seat.
But this is all old hat.
FWIW, I’ve always thought that the ’52-”52 Ford rear ends were exceptionally attractive. Nice and rounded and clean.
The front end is ok, if not exactly exceptional. Like a lot of Ford buyers that year, this one went for the old flathead V8, even if the brand new ohv six was objectively the better engine in just about every way. Old (Henry) habits die slowly.
Seems like we’ve never done a proper CC on the ’52 Ford, which was a significant new car, but we’ve got one on the very similar ’53:
Curbside Classic: 1953 Ford Crestline Victoria: The End Of The Road For The Flathead V8
These early ’52-53 Ford convertibles were much more attractive than my ’53 Chrysler (and all other Chrysler product) convertibles, but in my opinion, while looking for a used car in 1960 that I could afford, even the Fords were not as attractive to me as GM’s ’50-’51 Chevrolets and Oldsmobiles.
Contemporary Buicks were nice too, but in another [more expensive] used car class altogether.
Big stodgy flat-head-six Chryslers with their quirky transmissions were more affordable in the used car market in 1960 than the still-sleek GMs and the rumbling V8 Fords.
I got my money’s worth from the big yellow Chrysler, but I still maintain a distant lust for a ’50-’51 Chevrolet or Olds.
Shortly after receiving my driver’s license; I was allowed to drive my Grandfather’s air force blue with ivory interior ’51 Chevy fastback alone.
After a long afternoon of cruising around town, I pulled into the A & W root beer shop for a refreshing brew.
Sitting there perusing the menu, I heard the (now familiar) slow “klunk-klunk-klunk” sound of a “splash system” lubricated hot Chevy six cylinder engine at curb idle. I looked at the gauges and noticed the Chevy’s oil pressure gauge barely twitching off the low side of the gauge. Had I killed Grandpa’s car?
Literally shaking with fear and apprehension, I called my Father and shakily described what I had done. He paused for a second, then laughed kindheartedly at my quivering self, saying that all those Chevys did that. He then advised me to check the oil level on the dipstick and that if the engine had oil in it just to drive it home and don’t worry about it.
Ever since that episode I have held Chevy six cylinders in disdain and disgust.
My dad bought a new ’53 Plymouth Belvedere hardtop after his 2 year Army tour, white over blue. It was a good looking car and the ’53 Chevy was about the same. Should a had a v8?
He would later own a ’63 Mercury Comet with the crosshair gunsight front fender ornaments.
That “64” looks just plain “strained”. The wheels are a big detraction too.
Other than rear view, can’t help but notice family resemblance to MERCURY and LINCOLN, especially in side body trim. The 56 LINCOLN was the only automobile to ever win 🏆 an award from Industrial Design Organization. That design was a highly updated evolution of these earlier FMC products.🤔
When the “52 Ford came on the market, we were amazed at the bright taillights, which tells you how poor were the taillights on automobiles. It is always a beautiful auto,
Good color on the ’52 convertible. Was that a factory original color? Never seen that one before.
I always found the 52-54 Ford’s to be kind of nether fish nor fowl between the groundbreaking 49-51s and for my money more attractive 55-56. That bulged out rear fender and bright trim on the 52-54 seemed really retrograde, and the taillights are too high, and I think the front end is fine but it is very anonymous, seemed like almost anything not- GM had a similar face in these years
I’ll take the 64
Aside from a few exceptional examples of the ‘Forward Look’, I think Fords were overall the best looking North American vehicles through most of the 1950’s. They always seemed a little more attractive than their direct GM competitors, and maybe a year or two ahead of everyone style-wise in the first half of the decade. The market of course felt otherwise.
The Ford Motor Company’s problems during this era weren’t with the Ford itself. The problem was that the Mercury and Lincoln came across as too “Ford like,” which was a competitive handicap in their respective price classes.
Buick, Oldsmobile and Cadillac did not come across as enlarged Chevrolets.
True – good point.
Agree with Geeber.
My very first car was a 1952 Ford Customline 4 door sedan, baby blue with 6 cylinders and stick shift. As I recall, I paid $200 for it in 1960 and drove it for my last three years in college, before upgrading to a nosed and decked 1955 Ford Sunliner bought from an old girlfriend! Those were the days, my friends…
The 1952 models helped the Ford Motor Company nail down second place behind GM. They were also better built than the 1949-51 models, which had been rushed to market at the direct orders of Henry Ford II.
What a contrast. I could easily believe there was more than a foot difference in length. And on the Galaxie it’s all waste space, not like there’s more passenger room. And we thought this was normal…
Didn’t stop me building one! 😉
did you paint that yourself? Very nice job.
I wanted to point this out on the original Galaxie post from the other day but didn’t have time. A big issue with that post is photography—the photographer of the ’64 was obviously up close to the car and shooting with a cell phone, with the back end of the car just a hair closer to the camera (er, phone) than the front. The very wide-angle lenses on cell phone distort, mightily—so anything closer to the lens appears much bigger than it would in real life, and things farther away are much smaller. Hence the gigantic looking tail on this beast. Think about it: this is the reason why you reach as far away from yourself as you can if you’re taking a selfie. Try taking a photo of yourself up close and your nose will appear huge, ears small—distortion—and it ain’t pretty. The same rule applies with cars or anything else.
For proof, here’s the original pic, plus one I found online that’s a more proper side-on shot, with the red car clearly photographed exactly parallel to the plane of the lens:
Yeah, the red one definitely looks better and not just for the color. The camera on the black one is higher up and catching some of the top of the trunk lid which makes it seem larger. On the red one, with the camera held at a lower angle, we don’t see the rear fender or trunk lid tops so it seems smaller. Also, the black car blends in more with the dark colored road beneath and that makes it seem all of one piece. The red car has a clear break from the road below so that also makes it appear smaller. Good photo!
Well done, Paul! Once again, we agree on a car.
Yet another well written, logical and pleasing entry here with crisp, well positioned photographs.
Dad’s first new car, a ’52 Ford Customline TuDoor (V8, Overdrive, dual smittys with OTASCO supplied chrome tips, TuTone paint) was his all time favorite car, the one he caught my Mother with.
He and I talked about that Ford on the day he left the earth.