CC Outtake: 1971 Ford Custom 500- The Plain Tail Light Ford


I’m in Albuquerque this week visiting my sister, and I spotted this 1971 Ford Custom 500 sitting in an apartment complex along Juan Tabo Boulevard. The sun lay low in the sky, overpowering my camera and wrecking my interior shots, but I ended up with a couple of outtake quality shots. Since Jim Grey posted a 1966 Ford Custom 500 this morning, it made sense to post this car as a counterpoint.


As Jim noted, the 1966 Ford tail light stood out as modern automotive art, unequaled by other brands. Jim called them “Futuristic and Brash.” Five years later, the big Ford’s tail light lacked the complexities of the 1966 model. No chrome ring, no starburst, no built in reverse light. The cool factor was completely gone. What word now comes to mind? Oh yes- Cheap.


Cheap like the rest of this fleet special sedan. Jim’s Custom 500 included a unique engine package, with a two door body. While I could not find any engine markings on this car, I’m willing to bet this four door comes with a very pedestrian engine package. It did come equipped with an automatic transmission, but that may have been standard fare for all big Fords in 1971. I’m sure someone will be able to weigh in on the topic in the comments. In the meantime, enjoy this basic Ford fare circa 1971.