Vintage Ad: 1951 Ford Crestliner – If You Don’t Have A Hardtop, Fake It

Poor Ford (and the rest of the industry) got blindsided by Chevy’s 1950 Bel Air hardtop coupe, the first in the low price field. Both Ford and Plymouth worked overtime to bring out their hardtops for 1951 model year, but Ford’s Victoria was not ready until later in the model year. What to do? Dress up a Tudor sedan, rush it out for a late 1950 model year intro, and hope for the best.

That hope didn’t pan out, as the Crestliner sold rather modestly. This 1951 version sold even more modestly, but then the new Victoria hardtop did arrive finally.

Here’s the 1950 version:

Basically the same as the 1951, except for a bit of change in the side trim. Actually, for the $200 higher price, it was a pretty nicely trimmed Ford, with a vinyl top and spiffy upholstery, among other things. The Victoria added another $200, but it sold in huge numbers, over 110k in 1951 alone, despite the late start. Meanwhile the Crestliner chalked up some 17k sales in 1950 and 9k in 1951. I’ve never seen one, that I remember anyway.