Curbside Outtake: 1950 Ford “Custom”

The customizing craze of the 1950s was a huge phenomena, one of the three big legs of the blooming car culture at the time, the other two being hot rods and sports cars. Chopping and lowering cars was the essence of it, with the ’49-’51 Mercury being the preferred choppee.

But there were others too, including Ford of the same era, as their slab-sided bodies were of course somewhat similar to the Mercs, and that was a crucial feature. The old-school rear “fenders” of the GM and Chrysler cars just didn’t lend themselves as well to the look, which was in part a futuristic one, where cars would be even sleeker, lower and…lower yet.

Removing all the chrome trim and such was just the starting point, but it all added to the jelly bean look that was desired. They were anticipating the Ford Taurus three decades before.

This is a fairly mild custom, as many had radically restyled front ends and “Frenched” headlights and such. This has really just had its top chopped and stripped of its trim.





The interior suggests that this is either a more recent job, or a major remodel of an older one. I’d like to know what the stick shift is connected to, and what’s under the hood. Hopefully the original flathead V8, with a bit of tuning.

It makes a stark counterpoint to the tall cars everywhere. How the pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other. Now it’s jacked-up 4×4 pickups.

A relic from a very different time.