The second stop on my trip down to Pistons and Paint (see show coverage here and 1st shop visit here) was at Oklahoma City’s Shoebox Central. Owner Chris has owned shoeboxes as far back as high school, so he knows them inside and out. He has a ton of parts cars out back and shelves and shelves of various parts inside, pulled from parts cars, some N.O.S., some reproductions, all kinds of parts for just about anything else you could need.
A while back someone asked me if I had a way to search for a specific kind of car on my website. I don’t. It would take a tremendous effort to go back now and label each of the 36,000 images as to what the cars are. So I decided to try to find a work around. The solution for now is having Vehicle Specific Galleries. The goal here is to gather up images of similar cars so you can quickly and easily see many different ways that each body style can be done. The hope is that you might find inspiration in these photos and go build something of your own to enjoy.
The last 2 are not 100% up to date, I try to go and add a few each night until I’m done but they have a good start.
I hope to have more in the near future but it does take a significant amount of time to collect these images together so bear with me. If there are any specific models that you would like to see collected as a gallery let me know by using the email form at the top of this blog or by commenting below.
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 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.
Here’s an example of the side of the body.
Compared to the 46-48 style before it.
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.
While many chop their shoeboxes, I am torn on what I will do. Speaking of roofs though, here’s an example of the Victoria model roof.
VS. the standard sedan roof
Here’s an example of the factory coupe roofline
They also came in the Country Squire “woody” version
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.
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.