Those of you that know me know that I’ve recently purchased a 51 Ford, affectionately known as a shoebox. I’ve loved this body style for quite awhile and I’m excited to get started working on mine later this year (after finishing some upgrades to the 63 Galaxie).
So as I was looking through my site I realized that I have a ton of shoebox photos! I started gathering them up and so far from the first gallery up through the 2012 Lonestar Roundup gallery there are over 414 photos of shoeboxes of various forms and levels of kustomizing. You can see the whole gallery here if you’d like to look around.
I am no expert but here is some info that I’ve been able to pick up along the way. (for more detailed info you can go to the Wiki page here)
So what years of the Ford are considered shoeboxes?
1949-1951 due to their “slab side” design, gone are the bulging fenders and they are replaced with a relatively straight body shell.
How do you tell the years apart?
Here is an example of a 49, note the single “bullet” grille, triangular turn signals at the end of the grille bar and the FORD letters on the hood.
The 50 carries on the single bullet design but moves to a rectangular turn signals in the trim pieces that wrap around the front bumper and badge at the front of the hood.
By 1951 they moved to the easily identifiable double bullet grille design and round turn signals.
From the factory these cars came with flathead 6’s or 8’s. My 51 came with a 239 cu. in flathead V8 “8BA” motor and a 3speed with Overdrive transmission. I have heard that there were automatics available in 51 with the Ford-o-matic transmission. Atomic Hot Rods just released a cool documentary on the Flathead last year called A Sweet Sickness: The Flathead Movie Go to the site to order a copy for yourself, click here to see the trailer.
These cars all have coil springs in the front and leaf spring setups in the back. The most common way to get them down a ways is to use Moog CC850 Variable Rate Coil Spring in the front and simple Lowering Blocks in the back. For a ton of info on that see this thread on the H.A.M.B.
Some kool kustoms that have inspired me
My buddy Jack’s 50.
With kustom work by Premier Body & Paint’s Jeff Myers in Arkansas City, KS Michael Shea’s shoebox is way kool.
Here’s a clone of Junior Conway’s 50. For more info on the original go to this link at kustomrama.
See you at a show,
9/14/13 Update: I had my buddy Chris over at Shoebox Central look through here for any errors, thanks for taking the time Chris! If anyone needs parts for their Shoebox Ford or even some Merc stuff of the era, head over to Shoebox Central.