Rare Ride: 1955 Ford Courier Sedan Delivery

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Pampano Beach, Florida is where this super cool ride is located. This is a 1955 Ford Courier Sedan Delivery and it’s listed on eBay where there are seven days left to get your bids in and line up your preferred shipper. The current bid is just under $1,500, and of course the reserve isn’t met. This is one sweet rod.

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This is a rare beast and it actually looks pretty good. No, it looks very good! I have no clue how much bodywork will be involved here, I’m guessing that this car is loaded with filler, it’s just too rust-free-looking for being 59-years old. And, it looks a little wrinkly and uneven and.. weird in a few spots. The seller says that it came from a very hot country (not a clue) so there is basically no heating system installed, ever, since it was new, in some other country that apparently is hot. That split tailgate is super cool!

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We’ve probably all done a bit of bodywork and in looking at this car it probably wouldn’t take a ton of work to make it look good and flip it for a profit, if that’s what a person was in to. Well, scratch that, if you look beyond the decent outer body you’ll see where most of your time and money will be spent. But, even with that, if the reserve is low enough a person could theoretically throw $30,000 into this car and still make a healthy profit. Of course, if you bring it into a restoration shop you’re not going to get it back in perfect condition for $30,000 so you’ll have to do a lot of the work yourself.

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We all know that this car will never be restored back to original specs. Some cars just lend themselves to be restomods for the rest of their lives. Any Willys coupe, of course. A Henry J? Forget it. A bathtub Nash? HA, give me a break; all restomods. A sedan delivery is in the same camp. And, there is not one thing wrong with that, I’m just stating the obvious. I can see the appeal for this car to become a gumball-colored custom, it just has that cool shape and persona about it. The interior will, of course, need as much work as the exterior will, but other than welding on the floors and maybe some roof/headliner work, hopefully it won’t be a money pit.

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This is the original engine, Ford’s Y-block 272 V8 that would have had around 160 hp. It looks good in there, obviously it’s been out and has at least been painted, but no word on if it’s been rebuilt or not. Supposedly this is a running car, but just enough to get it on a trailer; although the brakes all work and under the front end of the car it looks pretty good to me, just from looking at this one photo. Is anyone else a fan of these sedan delivery vehicles? I think they’re cool as heck.

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Comments

  1. Larry K

    Bondo asside, I like the paint scheme. “It has a certain ” I don’t know what”

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    • JimmyinTEXAS

      “je ne sais quoi”?

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  2. Jon

    Cool.. Have never seen one before…. Heck yeah…. put a big block ford in it with an eight stack induction system….

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  3. RicK

    where are the Courier script emblems that go on the sides?

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    • Jon

      Rick,
      Well possibly someone was doing a mild shave and an haircut to it and thought it would look better with the emblems removed….

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    • JimmyinTEXAS

      The ad says it has been imported from another country. Maybe they didn’t have script emblems. Maybe.

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  4. mike young

    Rear door should be one piece. Unlike the wagon.

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    • Jon

      Special factory build ????

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    • Ronnie Gentry

      May came from Bearville tx.

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  5. JW

    Cool and much more rare than the Chevy versions of deliveries. You are correct this has resto-mod written all over it.

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  6. jcs

    The Courier Sedan Delivery was a Ranch Wagon (base model station wagon) without the side windows and rear seat. Mike is correct – it was only offered with a one piece “side door” style door in the rear, not a station wagon rear door. If you look, you will notice that all of the badges on the car are missing. There should be Ford emblems on the hood and the station wagon back door along with V-8 emblems and script Courier on the front fenders. Also, the rear lift station wagon window should have a handle on it to open from the outside. In addition, the car has a 3 speed floor shift which the seller lists as “original”. Ford has not offered a 3 speed floor shift in a passenger car since the late 30’s, except for the T Bird. The seller mentioned that the car was from a hot country. I wonder if these differences are because this was an export model.

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  7. Skip

    The “car” I learned to drive in was my dad’s ’52 Ford Sedan-delivery. Looked a lot like this ’55 but was one of the early ones with automatic transmission.

    Chapel of the Roses Funeral Home in Odessa, TX had an unusual ’55 Ford sedan-delivery ambulance. Among other things, it was a fast runner. It came with a 6-volt system, but the first owners replaced the 6-volt battery with an 8-volt Jeep battery, which allowed the warning lights to be brighter. The only downside was that the big Q siren was 12-volt; so putting only 8-volts to it only got the siren to just past half-speed. But that truck remained in service until the funeral home ceased ambulance service and then shut down completely c.1967. I worked just a few blocks away at Rix Funeral Home. Paul Rix was one of Chapel’s original owners when it opened in 1951. Paul and the late Riley Parr were partners, but they never got along well, so Paul backed out as an active partner, going back to his original place that he had opened in the late ’30s. However, Paul kept a small interest in the place. Riley sold his interest in the place, while remaining onboard as funeral director. In 1962 Paul built a new place just a few blocks from Chapel of the Roses, and I went to work for Paul in 1963, when I started to school at Odessa College. To call Paul “thrifty” would be an understatement. He spent no more than absolutely necessary on his ambulances. When I started there we had a ’58 Chevy wagon and his original ’56 Ford wagon. But when Paul opened his new place he sold his interest in Chapel, ending up with Chapel’s relatively new ’59 Pontiac station wagon ambulance. That retired the ’56 Ford and made the ’58 Chevy back up. Now in Odessa we had a rotation system on city-oriented (from fire or police dispatch) calls which was for a month. With three funeral homes in the rotation, we would be on call for the city every three months.

    In Nov. of 1963 we were on call. One Wed. morning very early an explosion occurred at a gas plant NW of Odessa to which Chapel had responded their three ambulances. They were contracted for emergency services with the oil co. that ran the plant. Three patients, all critically burned, were transported. About mid-morning we were called by the ER requesting that we send an ambulance over because the three burn victims, still in surgery, would be airlifted to a burn center in Galveston, some 500 mil away. So for the transport to the airport, one ambulance each from the funeral homes was brought in. Paul sent two of our men in our 1960 Cadillac hearse/ambulance combo, leaving Paul and me to cover ambulance calls. We got a call on another burn victim, this one from an apt. incident, and Paul and I transported to the ER. We were met by our other crew who told us that we needed to switch vehicles because the transfers to the airport would be full Code 3, and our Caddie had no lights or siren. So everything was quiet for a bit, but just after lunch we got called on a vehicle accident right next to the central fire station. Paul and I ran the call in the old ’58 Chevy since the Pontiac was tied up still. As we approached the scene we noticed Chapel’s old ’55 Ford sitting in the intersection. Paul had a sour look on his face and say, “Well, hell, looks like they beat us.” But then I noticed a big dent in the Ford’s right front fender and told Paul that they were the wreck. Paul couldn’t help but chuckle. Because all of the first out ambulances were tied up on the pending transport to the airport, we were all running backup units: hence Chapel’s run in the old Ford. They were crossing an intersection against a red light when they were hit. The ambulances warning lights were all working properly as was the siren, so the guy who hit the ambulance was ticketed.

    Despite the crash, the old ’55 went back into service when it came out of the body shop. It remained in service as third ambulance until the place changed hands around 1965; but was retained by the new owners. It was still equipped and running when the funeral home shut its doors permanently in 1967. The two primary ambulances were sold to a then-new private ambulance service, Baker Ambulance, which would become Odessa’s primary ambulance service until the early ’70s. The old ’55 Ford was not part of the sale to Baker, and to this day, no one knows where the old Ford went. It was still equipped when the funeral home closed, so speculation was that a nearby volunteer fire dept. may have gotten it. Regardless, I would’ve loved to have grabbed it myself!

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    • Lion

      Love your story, Skip. I moved to a small city in “72 and became friends with one of the local funeral directors. There were 2 funeral homes and both ran ambulances but I cannot remember what they were. Anyway, there was no smart ideas like on call, so these two businesses used to race to accident scenes. It was nuts.
      But I wanted to say that after a separate ambulance business was set up, a unit on a run with lights and siren was hit in an intersection and the ambulance driver got the ticket. Where I live, and I think across Canada, this is the law. An emergence vehicle cannot run a light or stop sign until checking that it is safe to do so.

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  8. jcs

    By the way, total production for the ’55 Courier was around 13,000 rather than “less than 1,000”.

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    • JimmyinTEXAS

      Maybe the Venezuelan ’55 Couriers weren’t counted in the U.S.production numbers, since it could have been made in Brazil or even Venezuela. Maybe.

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    • John

      Courier 78A Sedan Delivery….7,754 produced .
      via Ford Pickup Red Book.

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  9. WLB

    What about the speedometer, is that export or SVO?

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  10. jcs

    WLB, you’re right – the speedometer is in kilometers per hour (200) rather than MPH. Hadn’t noticed that first time around.

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    • GB Fisher

      also, the tag says “Venezuela”

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  11. terry

    Gasser. Leave the body alone.

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  12. G 1

    My dad drove one of these when they were new for a job he had. It had only a driver bucket set. When I rode with him, he would pile up bundles of news papers for me to sit on.

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  13. Ck

    I was at a swap meet in Mansfield Ma about 3 years ago.There was a 57 chevy sedan delivery done up like a gasser for sale for 13K. It had a metal flake paint job and a blower stickin through the hood.This thing was BAD ACE .It also had a back seat.Acording to the guy that owned it the back seat was a option only available in 57,thought it was kinda kool. I tried to swap my 70 Elcamino SS for it (thats how kool it was) But the guy wanted no part of that deal .If I would have had 13k that day that car would be in my barn for sure.

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  14. Rolf Poncho 455

    Cool wagon !!

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  15. Jaime Andrade

    http://www.milanuncios.com/venta-de-coches-clasicos/ford-ranch-wagon-186974000.htm

    Have a look at this. A little far from your contry, it was used as a hearse back in the day.

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  16. Skip

    Lion: I loved your comment about the two funeral homes trying to beat each others. Reminds me of what happened in Odessa back in the ’60s. Two of the three funeral homes: Rix and Chapel of the Roses were heavy competitors. Hubbard-Kelly could’ve cared less! What was funny was that two of the radio stations got involved in the competition between Rix and Chapel. Bob Robin who was news director at KECK was friends with a guy at Rix, while Rick Reynolds from KOSA had friends at Chapel. Whenever there was a bad wreck in those days, both stations would cut in with live reports. KECK always made it sound like Rix ran all the ambulance calls in town, while KOSA did the opposite. That went on until Rix exited its ambulance service late in 1966. Chapel continued until 1967. In the meantime a private ambulance co., the first ever in Odessa, opened c.1965, and they just laughed at the antics between Rix and Chapel.

    Talk about competition, though, my late great aunt often told a story from the late ’30s. She and my great uncle lived on a farm in Grayson County, TX. There was an inter-urban bus line that ran near their neighborhood, and one day two of the buses collided, injuring a large number of passengers. Auntie said that she had heard the collision and thought it was an explosion! Presently she heard the sound of sirens coming up her road, so she walked to the fence and saw two ambulances, both competitors, running side by side hollering at each other as they passed her place. She always thought that was humorous. But several years later she was involved in a bus wreck near Ft. Worth and was badly injured. She said what scared everyone on the bus was seeing multiple ambulances approaching from different directions, looking like they were all on a collision course. She said that she had thought to herself, “If this damned wreck hasn’t killed us, those ambulance idiots are going to.”

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  17. Lion

    Good stories, Skip. I won’t mention the names of the competitors here cause one couple are our good friends. They were losing the battle because of unscrupulous tactics of the more established funeral service, like going into nursing homes and somehow getting their business name on the old person’s chart. They also conducted funerals for people who had already prepaid to our friends place. Completely unethical. This small city was growing and there was plenty of old folks so if they would have cooperated they would have both done well and our friends would have stayed here. But, almost bankrupt they got out , left town and eventually retired with millions, so hey, worked out for them.

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  18. chad

    how can “the Spanish one” (C link) still have such good paint?

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  19. Bob

    Notice the trailer hitch & homemade bumper, fabricated rear lower shock mounts, heavy duty rear springs; a workhorse, maybe a farm vehicle. Also the front lower control arms – looks like one is round tube, the other square. Fixed with whatever was handy. the workmanship looks safe & durable, but pretty far from OEM.
    How the hell does a valve cover get dented?

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