1949 Ford Custom Coupe - $25,900
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From any angle, there’s no question that it’s a 1949 Ford, but you’ll also be hard-pressed to find a single component that remains stock.

The art of the custom (meaning the true customs of the ‘50s, long, low, and wild) is steeped in tradition, but it’s also about doing something unique. Creating a fresh look from something familiar is a big part of it, but there’s also the idea that the art comes first and the automobile comes second. Rolling sculpture is a better description, and the intention is to create a look that nobody has seen before but which is also instantly recognizable. Getting it right is no easy feat, and you can quickly scan the internet for failures. But when it’s right, you get a car that’s interesting because of what it is, not because of what it used to be.

Take this 1949 Ford, for example. It’s easy to recognize even though there’s hardly a single square inch of sheetmetal that hasn’t been tweaked, cut, massaged, and altered to create this awesome custom you see today. From any angle, there’s no question that it’s a 1949 Ford, but you’ll also be hard-pressed to find a single component that remains stock. All the usual custom tricks are here, from the chopped top (which uses a 1949 Cadillac sedanette roof for that fastback profile) to the radiused corners to the shaved emblems and trim. Sleekness is a hallmark of all the great customs, and this blue coupe looks like it can slide through the air with hardly a whisper. Fit and finish are quite good, particularly for a custom at this price, and there’s evidence of professional workmanship everywhere you look. Check out how the grille is molded into the body, the flush fit of those doors, and the beautiful curve of the roof, which looks like it was built that way. That’s the hallmark of an artist at work. It also includes those cat’s eye headlights, custom bumpers, and blue-dot taillights that have been frenched into the original fender pods. The paint is two-stage urethane with a flattening agent in the clear, so it will be easy to repair in the future and it’s very low maintenance, unlike actual flat paint. Traditional pinstripes decorate the hood and trunk, enough to remind you that this is a tribute to the great customs of the 1950s, but not so over-done that you think someone just got carried away. There’s simply no part of this Ford that doesn’t look like someone spent A LOT of time thinking about it.

The bright blue interior is a bit more modern than you’d expect given the traditional exterior look, and it’s a nice change from all the half-finished customs you see at local shows. Low-back buckets from a late-model were covered in blue tweed, as was the custom center console, door panels, and even the headliner, so it has a very cohesive look. The original dash was smoothed and extensively modified to house a set of big analog gauges in frenched pods, and all the amenities are included—you just can’t see them because the switches and controls were cleverly hidden under the dash. Features include cold A/C, power windows and remote door openers, and a tilt steering column, so you’re not giving anything up to enjoy this custom cruiser. Everything remains in excellent condition with few signs of use, and even with the chopped top, it’s easy to get comfortable behind the wheel and you won’t feel at all claustrophobic with the bright trim. It also includes a nicely finished back seat that’s almost like another pair of buckets, complete with fold-down arm rest, plus a finished trunk with fuel tank access and the battery inside.

Remember that customs are about the art, not necessarily speed, but this one isn’t too shabby with a 305 cubic inch Chevy V8 under the hood. Built to be reliable and easy to service, the small block Chevy is a neat fit in the Ford’s engine bay and includes a few speed parts that make it feel quick around town. You’ll note that the block itself was painted Ford Green, a nice touch, and the inner fenders and firewall have been extensively modified to give it a smooth, clean look. Supporting components include an Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor and intake manifold, a giant aluminum radiator with electric fan, the A/C system hidden down low so you almost can’t see the compressor, and the ignition coil neatly recessed into the firewall. Nothing radical, but all designed to make this car as reliable as it is beautiful, which is entirely the point. And it remains completely drivable and surprisingly comfortable.

Underneath, it’s still very much a 1949 Ford, including the frame and most of the suspension. It has obviously been driven, which isn’t a crime when your car needs to go to shows like this one does, but it remains in excellent condition throughout. The original frame has been modified to accommodate the new suspension parts for that in-the-weeds stance, but nothing more substantial that a small C-notch in the rear kick-up. The front suspension is stock with lowering spindles, so it tracks straight and doesn’t have squirrely handling, while the 9-inch Ford rear end is suspended on a 4-link with adjustable coil-overs. A TH350 3-speed automatic transmission uses a custom drive shaft to send power back to the Ford rear end, which has easy-cruising 3.00 gears inside, so this car doesn’t mind modern highway speeds. It currently carries stock 1949 Ford drum brakes, which are perfectly adequate for this car’s performance, but just in case you need more there’s a full bolt-on disc brake kit in the trunk that’s ready to be installed. There’s rack-and-pinion steering up front to add a little precision and to reduce effort and the custom exhaust system uses glasspack-type mufflers for that traditional ‘50s sound. And speaking of traditional, modern Firestone 205/75/15 radials carry good old port-a-walls and full wheel covers to match the look these cars had when they first started hitting the streets decades ago.

This is an extremely usable, ready-to-cruise custom with an astronomical amount of work invested in that awesome look. It rides well, drives straight, and should be bulletproof reliable for years to come. If you like radical work with a bit of a traditional flair, this car should appeal to you. And at this price, you’re getting a heck of a lot of professional workmanship for pennies on the dollar. This is one heck of a car. Call today!

Vehicle: 1949 Ford Custom Coupe
Price: $25,900
Stock Number: 115091
Mileage: 1
VIN: 98BA294574
Engine: 305 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3
Wheelbase: 114 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 205/75/15 radial
Exterior Color: Satin Blue
Interior Color: Blue cloth
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