Não deveria ser, mas coisa difícil é conseguir que as pessoas contem um pouco de suas histórias, abram os arquivos, dividam suas experiências.
Contra a maré, a história a seguir recebi do senhor Glenn Davis, americano da Califórnia e com mais de 50 anos de história com Fords, entre eles os 49/51. Glenn é mebro do Ealry Ford V8 Club, e foi o único que respondeu ao meu pedido por histórias do Ford 51.
Não sei por quê ele se deu ao trabalho de me mandar estas coisas. Decerto não foi por vaidade, eu não sou a Collectible Automobiles ou a Hemmings. Talez, quem sabe, por querer passar adiante o amor por estes automóveis fantásticos e carismáticos.
Eu prometi ao Glenn que publicaria o texto em inglês, para não comprometer o conteúdo. E também por que o estilo dele é ótimo, suscinto e objetivo, e dá pra dar boas risadas com algumas passagens da relação dele com os Fords. De início falamos eu e ele somente sobre os 51. Mas depois eu pedi mais e ele me contou dos Ford 1949 e 1950 que teve. Alguns são carros raros, muito raros, mas quase todos se não todos, foram vendidos. Glenn só nisso se parece comigo, eu canso rápido das coisas.
No mais, é uma história de quem viveu no lugar certo e na época correta para conviver com tanta fartura de motores, carros e Fords.
Eis a história do Mr. Glenn Davis e seus Fords 1949, 50 e 51. Enjoy.
My ’51 Fords
by Glenn Davis
As I review the old Fords I have dragged home to rehabilitate over the last 50+ years I see that, statistically speaking, the ’51 model has been one of my favorites. So far I have owned six of these nifty Fords (seven, if you count parts cars). They were good cars but I didn’t keep them, mostly because I had to make room in the barn and the budget for my next project. None of them merit a whole story on their own, but each one provided its owns challenges and its own rewards. Here they are along with a few sentences describing their unique attributes.
This Tudor was a father/son project of a classmate back in Glendale in 1960. Together they installed a Buick “nailhead” V8 and a La Salle side-shift transmission (a great combination for both power and economy). Then a friend of mine bought the car and wrecked the front end. I helped him install a new front clip, but he soon went on to a ’56 Chevy and sold the still-primered Tudor to me. Some friends helped sand it smooth and we had it sprayed black at Daddy’s Body Shop in Burbank. I was out of money by the time I had paid for the paint, interior and chrome plating, so I sold it to a kid up the street who enjoyed it for several years.
My one and only Woody appeared in the Santa Barbara News Press classified section in 1973. It was a one-family car given to the daughter when she married. After it broke down on the wedding trip her new husband decided to make a dragster out of it. He disassembled the front body work and the interior and stripped the varnish off of one side before giving up on the project. I bought it for $200 and towed it home in pieces. The front fenders had been filled with fiberglass and presented a problem until a derelict ’51 Tudor appeared in the paper for ‘$50. Luckily the Tudor was also painted Sheridan Blue so it was an easy fix to switch the front end to the Woody. I bought a rebuilt flathead for it but had difficulty getting oil pressure. After removing the engine to measure the crank shaft at least twice, I got discouraged and gave up. The fellow who bought the car took it to a mechanic who discovered I had used the wrong oil pick-up tube when I assembled the engine. Lucky for him, but not for me. The last time I saw this car it was parked in front of Clementine’s Restaurant in Carpenteria some time during the 1990’s.
In 2003 this ’51 Fordor provided my introduction to buying cars on eBay. It featured a brand new interior and new chrome bumpers but it was missing its grille and several pieces of trim. I paid $2105 for it and had it shipped from Arizona. When it arrived I realized that I already knew the car because it had come from Santa Barbara in the first place. In fact, I had previously decided I would never buy it because it had spent its life in the parking lot at the yacht harbor and had serious rust issues. It took almost a year to fix the many holes in the body and collect the missing trim. My body and fender skills weren’t good enough to risk a shiny paint job so I put it back on eBay with an offer to deliver it to any buyer within 100 miles. The last time I saw it a dentist in Beverly Hills was happily driving it down Wilshire Blvd on his way back to the office following my delivery.
Undaunted, and by now retired, I tried eBay again with this attractive Custom Deluxe Club Coupe from Ohio. It had received a seemingly excellent restoration with new Mexicalli Maroon paint, fresh glass and chrome, and a beautiful new interior. Unfortunately, the car was junk underneath. I could have lived with the fact that it had been cut and spliced right through the middle of the firewall and fender panels and I could have repaired the broken overdrive and rebuilt the engine. However, the painter had not removed the surface rust from the body before spraying the paint and it felt like sandpaper in several spots. I sent it back (on my nickel) and was very lucky the seller refunded my money.
By now, smarter people would have given up on eBay and gone back to buying cars from their friends. I, however, had to try it again. This time with a Hawthorne Green Club Coupe from Missouri in 2004. The third try was the charm and I got a very nice car with 72K miles and good mechanicals. After my friend Charles Wells straightened out the brakes and the cooling and Richard Jeffers replaced the original seat upholstery with new “Green Starcheck Craftweave” material we had several years of happy touring in this beauty. I let it go at Nick Alexander’s swap meet in 2008 because I had heard about a ’41 Sedan Delivery from Idaho that needed assembly. Although the ’51 had over 75K miles on it and showed no evidence of ever having been apart, it was driven to Wisconsin with only a new fuel pump needed along the way. I recently heard that it has returned to Colorado, where it was purchased new, and is now in the hands of another V8 Club member.
I had thought I was through with shoebox Fords on eBay, but when this rare Custom Deluxe Club Coupe with a 6 cylinder engine and overdrive showed up in 2009, I just had to bid, especially because it was already in California. I won the auction and the helpful seller delivered the car to Paso Robles, which was about half way to my house from where he lived. While I enjoyed cleaning the car up and fixing lots of the little things it needed, I no longer had the motivation to do the mechanical work that was required, so I let it go a few months later. At last report it was still running around Los Alamos.
Some of these cars were excellent drivers and others still needed attention when I sold them. Nevertheless, I was able to get them assembled and running (if needed) and feel that I saved a couple that might otherwise have reached the end of the road. They all provided hours of enjoyment and more hours of conversation. I probably won’t drag home any more basket cases, but should our touring friends in Santa Maria ever put their beautiful, Dearborn winning, Alpine Blue Club Coupe on eBay, I will be among the hundred or so other guys bidding up the price.
Aqui começa o segundo e-mail do Glenn, com mais histórias dos seus Ford 49 e 50.
I have liked the shoebox Fords since my dad bought my mother an almost new ’49 Ford convertible in 1949. I inherited the car 10 years later when I got my driver’s license and drove it for several years. Lots of happy memories of family vacations and high school dates in that one.
I like ’50 Fords too and owned a Crestliner a few years ago (also an eBay car). I traded it for a ’34 and it now belongs to a friend. He has been driving it ever since.
Miami Cream ’49 Convertible (photo from 1959)
Acho que, depois do Crestliner (que o Glenn trata com uma naturalidade que, confesso, me dá uma baita inveja) o mais raro dos carros que ele teve foi o coupé Custom Deluxe com motor 6L. Isso sim, é raro. Mais do que o woody muita coisa.