1947 Ford Custom Convertible Coupe - $24,900
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This 1947 Ford custom convertible coupe is one of those cars that definitely has the California look.

In the world of customs, all the great cars seem to come from the west coast. Maybe that’s because that’s really where hot-rodding and custom car building began, and there’s a definite California style that’s instantly recognizable. In the 1950s, it was all about taking something old and making it new, putting a fresh twist on a familiar design, and creating something that nobody had ever seen before. Along the way, some very talented guys made cars that have withstood the test of time, and if you were inspired by them when you went to build your car, well, you could certainly do worse than standing on the shoulders of giants.

This 1947 Ford custom convertible coupe is one of those cars that definitely has the California look. That’s easy to understand, because that’s where it was built, although not back in the early day. But you can clearly see the inspiration, from the lowered stance to the fender skirts to the chopped Carson-style top to the louvered hood, it has the right look. It was actually completed more than 20 years ago, so it does have some history behind it, and judging by the way it looks today, the workmanship was simply outstanding. The dark burgundy paint has a wonderful shine and the bodywork underneath is laser-straight so it looks great from any angle. The long, low stance comes from a 4-inch top chop and the fender skirts, both of which are traditional pieces of the custom puzzle. You’ll note that the trim has been selectively deleted from the bodywork, including the door handles, hood ornament, and trunk hardware, as well as the usual stainless side trim. The hood was punched full of louvers, which is not only attractive but functional as well, and the headlights were frenched into the front fenders for a smooth look. In back, Studebaker taillights were used and give the Ford a unique look, which is really what customs are all about. Chrome bumpers add some contrast and work well with the stock Ford grille, which has been fully restored and looks awesome against the burgundy paint. And one of the car’s most clever tricks is the buttons for the door poppers hidden in the spotlights, a cool look that’s useful, too!

The tan cloth interior is a combination of late-model parts from a ‘70s Pontiac and custom details designed to match those factory-style parts. We’ll admit that it’s a bit dated, but the workmanship is rather well done and if you wanted to update it, it probably wouldn’t take much more than a new headliner to make a pretty thorough transformation. As it sits, it’s comfortable and spacious, and since it’s loaded with power features, it’s a real pleasure to drive. The front seat is power-actuated and the travel is long enough that even taller drivers can get comfortable behind the seat. There’s an Eldorado tilt/telescope steering column topped by a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and custom door panels incorporate what appear to be GM armrests and door pulls. The carpets are in good shape and feature neatly bound edges and a heel pad for the driver, and the factory instrument panel was filled with white-faced VDO gauges, including a tach over where the clock used to live. There’s a custom panel under the dash for the A/C vents and it has all been painted a nice shade of metallic tan for a clean, uncluttered look. The bottom line is that someone spent a lot of effort making sure everything fit together neatly, giving it a very polished feel. Again, the upholstery is easy to change, but getting these other details right can be difficult and expensive. It’s equipped with Vintage Air A/C, a Sony AM/FM/cassette stereo that sounds great with lots of sound-deadening material behind the scenes, and the back seat is big enough to be functional. The top still latches to the windshield header, and it may lift off, but we didn’t experiment with it, just in case, but judging by the way the upholstery is done in the rear quarters, it appears that the top is fixed in place. The trunk is also fully lined with sound-deadening insulation and then finished with tan carpets and cloth side panels, with the battery hidden behind the bulkhead.

This is one custom that doesn't drive like an antique with its springs removed. Thanks to a frame-off restoration, there's a thoroughly modern set of parts underneath, starting with a great-running 302 cubic inch Chevy V8. Yes, everyone uses a Chevy V8, but if there's a more reliable way to make horsepower, nobody's found it yet. It's pure traditional hot rod, of course, with a 4-barrel Edelbrock carb, Chevy Orange paint on the block, and some chrome dress-up to make it shine. The air cleaner is a '50s Cadillac piece, painted to match the bodywork, and that's a nice touch. The A/C system uses newer components, there's a chrome alternator feeding a new 23-circuit Painless Wiring harness, and a heavy-duty cooling system means this custom never gets cranky. You'll also find power steering and power front disc brakes, both complements of a late-model front clip from a '70s GM product. The brand new NOS firewall is nicely finished, there are custom side panels, and while it's not perfect in the engine bay, it does show signs of proper maintenance, which is what you want from a car that you are going to want to drive.

The transmission is a fresh TH350 3-speed automatic feeding a GM 10-bolt rear end with easy-cruising 3.23 gears inside, so don't be afraid to hit the road with this cool custom. The undercarriage is extremely clean and you can see evidence of this car's California history throughout, from the spotless floors to the original frame members that are still as crisp and solid as they were in 1947. There are obviously a few modifications, from the aforementioned front clip to the reinforce springs perches for the leaf springs in back. A custom 100% stainless steel dual exhaust system with glasspack-style mufflers gives it a fantastic V8 burble that settles down nicely when you just want to cruise. And despite the lowered stance, it rides and handles beautifully, with a big car luxury ride that you'll appreciate when you're on the road. Recent 205/75/15 radials fit neatly in the fenders and are finished with Cadillac hubcaps as a nod to customs of the past.

This car drives extremely well and we love the look. Yes, the interior's a little dated, but try to look past that and look at all the many virtues that you get instead: A/C, power accessories, bulletproof powertrain, plus gorgeous paint and bodywork. You couldn't duplicate this car for the price and if you invest a little on an interior remodel, you'll probably be able to add quite a bit of value, as customs like this are suddenly red hot. Give us a call, or better yet, come see this car in person, because we promise you'll be impressed.

Vehicle: 1947 Ford Custom Convertible Coupe
Price: $24,900
Stock Number: 113109
Mileage: 8277
VIN: 1747860
Engine: 302 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.23
Wheelbase: 114 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 205/75/15 radial
Exterior Color: Burgundy
Interior Color: Tan cloth
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