Live Auctions

1949 Ford Club Coupe With Chevy Power!

UPDATE 3/4/17 – The seller just left a comment and offered to drop the price to $10k! He has invested $18k and has a folder of receipts to prove it. Seems like a bargain to us!

FROM 2/17/17 – I know, some of you will say that installing a Chevy engine in a Ford or vice versa should be a crime! But I have to say, this Shoe-box Ford is strangely appealing to me. The paint job is a bit interesting, but with a Chevy 350 crate engine sitting under the hood, it would be a great daily driver that will strike up conversations anywhere you take it! Imagine the look on people’s faces when you pop the hood and they see Chevy valve covers. You can find this mix up here on craigslist in Palm Coast, Florida with a $14k asking price.

I will admit for a none original Shoe-box with a Chevy engine under the hood, the asking price does seem a bit rich to me. But if you were to try and build something like this yourself, you would easily have that much or more into it. Really, my only complaint with this one is the current paint job, but I could live with it until I could afford to do something different with it.

Heck, I even like the ride height! I usually don’t like when cars are lowered, but it just looks right in this case. And since they used lowering spindles, rather than airbags or cut springs, it shouldn’t have a huge impact on ride quality. And even if it does add some harshness, the interior looks comfortable enough to make up for most shortcomings.

I think this Ford would actually be a fun buy! An all original Club Coupe would be worth more, but if you are going to actually drive it on a daily basis, this would be a better choice. The 350 would allow you to keep up with modern traffic just fine and it would get you lots of attention at events (it might not all be good attention though). And you won’t have to feel bad driving it or making changes to it, which is a nice plus. So would you make this Shoe-box your daily driver as is? Or would it need to have a Ford engine reinstalled before you could bring it home?


  1. Coventrycat

    Love the Tucker style light in the grille.

  2. grant

    Love it! Almost. This should have a period correct hot rodded flathead in it. I see a 2×3 carb setup and headers. Matte black paint with flames and “cherry bomb” mufflers.

  3. Terry J

    Of course a SBC is a typically recognized engine in about ANY pre-1955 car. Probably more of those drivers so equipped than with any other engine, and in most cases value isn’t really diminished. Put a Ford V-8 in a ’53 Chevy and ya got nuthin’. HOWEVER, you cannot put a Ford or a SBC in any MOPAR and get away with it. Odd but that’s the way it is. :-) Terry J

    • DD

      Rootes was owned by Chrysler in the UK. They built and sold Sunbeam Tigers with Ford V8s.

      So that was a Chrysler with a Ford in it right from the factory.

      • RickG

        Sunbeam Tigers had Ford V8-s UNTIL Chrysler bought Rootes. That was when Tiger production ended.

    • Glenn

      I’ve seen several SBC and BBCs in Mopars – up to 1956; ruins the car IMO. The practice is rampant in 30s and 40s Mopars, when a SB Mopar would be just as easy a modification. The ’55 and newer V8s are really easy to modify for more power, making it very unfortunate when someone who doesn’t know any better puts a chev engine in one. I even saw a 56 Plymouth Fury for sale that had a sbc in it; soooooo much work to change it back to the correct build.

      • Steve

        Unfortunately a sbc is cheaper to build, and was more abundant in wrecking yards to pull and install with nothing more than a re-gasket (sometimes not even that).

  4. Skip

    Nice old car except for being set up for racing. The big amber light in front caught my attention immediately. Back in the late ’40s or maybe around ’51, Texas DPS ran Fords and they mounted a big red light called a PropelloRay where the amber light on this car is located. The PropelloRays rotated in a circular motion like a propeller, hence the name, and could be seen for a long way off. The lights were also available free-standing for fender or roof mount, and were also mounted on the fronts of the larger sirens built from the early ’40s until 1959 by Federal Sign and Signal (now Federal Signals). In ’59 the PropelloRays were replaced by lights called SolaRays which oscillated vertically. But by the late ’70s or early ’80s, all of Federals motor-driven sirens were gone except for the big Q siren which is still in production.

  5. O'Dee

    I totally respect the ‘same old Chevy in a Ford’ as a means to get down the road much sooner, to me it just makes the car slightly less interesting -which is fair because it reflects slightly less commitment!
    In the same vein, a flathead with vintage speed parts is much more interesting than a cleaned up stockish flathead, but the level of commitment to find, purchase, and run vintage equipment is obviously much higher as well!

  6. Kurt

    I owned a 1950 Ford Convertible in 1961 which I loved, flat head V 8 with glass pack mufflers made a sound that to me purred. Red paint, white top and a black leather interior from a T-Bird. Ya, back in the days of “A white sport coat and a pink carnation” by Marty Robbins – thought I was Mr. Cool, maybe even James Dean with attitude. Oh well, dum & dummer.
    Had to sell the car when I enlisted, but these were GREAT cars.
    Love to have another one and I would if I hadn’t gotten so old.
    Love Barn Finds and “old iron” keeps me in memories. Best to you all,

  7. Don

    No .Flatheads for ever!

  8. Russ

    Hi all! I’m the seller of the car. I’ve had flathead engines before, but this car had a Chevy engine in it when I bought it. When that engine went bad, I put a new GM crate engine in it’s place. A flathead isn’t going to get this heavy car down the Interstate at modern speeds like this overhead valve engine will. I wanted to go farther than to just putter around town. The car has been given power disc brakes, and an automatic transmission as well.

    • Big Mike

      Great Job IMO

  9. Russ

    If someone wanted the car without the engine, that could be negotiated.

    I had the grill re-chrome plated, and the light in the center is a vintage accessory. So is the hood ornament. The glass and seals are all new, the interior has been redone recently, and I just had the headliner installed.

    • Mark S

      The only thing I’m wondering Russell is why you didn’t put a 700R transmission in it to help with top end speeds and fuel economy?

      • Russ

        The last time I installed one (in another car) I had trouble with the ‘locking’ feature of the transmission. I installed a switch to manually lock and unlock the overdrive, which was a hassle. It wasn’t long before I overheated it and blew it up. The TH350 is as reliable as an anvil.

  10. Martin

    I have 3 pre 65 fords and 3 pre 40 fords only 2 have Ford motors for the simple fact that small block Chevys are the best engines ever built !

  11. Joeinthousandoaks

    I like it.

  12. Howard A Member

    There was an aftermarket kit to make that center headlight turn with the front wheels. Kind of a funky linkage connected to the tie rod. Not sure I’d like that.

  13. Rob

    Very cool.

  14. terry

    Great looking car as is. I had a 50 coupe with an S10 front suspension and 4.3 v6. Nice driving car with plenty of power.

  15. OldCarGuy

    Small block Chevys have oil pan sumps in back making swaps easier. This is especially true on the pre-war cars with transverse front springs. ‘Much easier than hacking up the firewall to set the engine back.

  16. Brent

    The eternal argument, as I’ve had lots of SBC in Ford’s for reliability and power the latest Ford Shoebox has a totally done flathead with a 5 speed and an 81 Meteor rearend
    Why? Because I wanted a restorod from the 60’s
    Sure building the flathead cost 3 times a SBC but it totally turns my crank and the car goes down the freeway at 80 mph all day. Personal taste, as the sign in my garage says “I didn’t build it for you” same as I didn’t chop it or bag it.

  17. Will

    I absolutely love that center light and that “patina” paint job. Here’s the saved ad with all the images and details

  18. Russ

    I haven’t seen a lot of interest from real buyers. How about if I drop the price to $10,000 if you tell me you saw this post? I have 18K invested and I’ll give you the binder of receipts to prove it.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Russ, don’t go nuts just yet. With all due respect to our beloved Barn Finds, this may not be exactly the right market for it. Not sure where else you’ve tried, but maybe a site that features Shoebox Fords. I found this,, and apparently, you aren’t too far off at 18. Good luck, it’s a sharp car.

      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

        Wrong there Howard. Barn Finds is a great place to sell just about any classic car. We have more coverage than any marquee specific site, so if a car doesn’t sell right away, it normally comes down to asking price.

      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

        Oh, and Howard don’t determine values off what other people are asking. Look up actual selling prices for similar condition cars instead. The prices seen in classified ads and price guides can be deceiving and could be the main reason we see so many cars sit on the market for months.

  19. Kurt

    Many years ago I sold real estate (actually the property sold itself). Other agents would often times tell the sellers that their property was worth more than the listed price – hoping of course to get the listing.
    Here is my point: the market sets the price, not the sellers.
    If your price is too high, it probably won’t sell. If it is too low – you lose. But the final question is this: DO YOU WANT TO SELL IT OR KEEP IT? Asking price is one thing, selling price is what ever you negotiate. Ask for offers.

  20. Terry J

    Yup, Ex Realtor myself Kurt. Used to tell sellers: “Will your place sell? Absolutely. If we list it right now for $100 it will sell in 10 minutes. It is always a matter of How Much vs How Long” . :-) Terry J

  21. Kurt

    Tis a shame that I don’t know of an appraiser for cars like we had for real estate.
    I sold a 1962 IHC Scout 80 last summer and used pricing from and any internet sources I could find. Sold very quickly as I priced it below, “supposed market value”.
    Sometimes we get more invested into our homes or other stuff than we should.
    In my ad I stated my price along with OBO. I took the best offer.
    This summer I’ll sell a totally rebuilt Model A Ford engine with a rebuilt B/W T -5 tranny and other stuff. I know I won’t get what I have in it, but I don’t have the energy to move forward.
    Such is life.

  22. Russell Monnin

    Since the car doesn’t have shiny paint it’s hard to convince people that a lot of good parts have been put into it. If I can’t get this price I’ll just keep driving it. Maybe I’ll get it painted.

    • Terry J

      It’s a great car Russell. If the existing “Buyer Pool” doesn’t bite, then folks that come into the pool are possible. Just takes awhile sometimes. Be patient. Keep it out there. :-) Terry J

  23. whippeteer

    Russ, I love the car. If I had the money I would go for it. Good luck with the sale.

  24. Jimbot

    Russ, you should post this on the HAMB.. make sure you intro there they’ll flame you right out otherwise. Great traditional hot rod / sled site, I’ve been part of it for years and got a lot of help when I had my own shoe box ’51 similar to yours.

    Good luck w/the sale!

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