Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

Nifty Fifty Barn Find: 1950 Ford Convertible

One of the problems facing collectors is the ever-increasing costs of restoration.  To completely renovate a vehicle, even if you do the majority of the work yourself, plan on spending many thousands of dollars.  Often, the price at completion is far north of the street value of the vehicle.  This trend has made choosing a collectible vehicle a risk vs. reward equation.  You usually will never get your money back from unpopular cars or vehicles with more than two doors.  Sad but true.  A bright side to this is the barn find trend.  Cleaning up and driving a solid car with some age on it makes a lot of financial sense.  This 1950 Ford convertible, found on craigslist in sunny Phoenix, Arizona, appears to be a magnificent example of a drivable barn find.  Discovered by faithful reader Michael, this drop-top shoebox has a lot going for it at a $15,000 asking price.

The owner of this pretty little Ford is as tight-lipped as former President “Silent Cal” Coolidge.  The ad only says that it was a California barn find with a solid body.  The basic craigslist information bar states that it has eight cylinders.  Unless someone sacrilegiously stuffed a small block Chevy under the hood, then we can probably assume a Flathead Ford rests between the fenders.  There is no picture, however.  I think it is safe to assume that the car runs.  Otherwise, the seller would have surely suffered from heatstroke shoving it into the sun-baked Phoenix street for pictures.

Looking down into this dreamboat, the interior appears weathered, but certainly useable.  The driver’s seat is mysteriously covered by a Harbor Freight moving blanket.  Given that this is the area of any car’s interior that wears the most, it would be nice to see under that blanket.  There also appears to be a silvery band between the darker and lighter portions of the seat.  It might be duct tape, but it is hard to definitively tell from the picture.  Even if all of the vinyl is intact, the stitching is surely weakened by age and stress.

It would be nice to know more.  The car appears to be as solid as the seller states.  Too bad we have just three pictures.  Yet the pictures show a car that appears to be running, has a useable interior, and all of the trim is there.  The only flaws I see are the hubcaps and yellow painted wheels.  1957 Ford hubcaps just don’t look good on this car.  The look of the rest of the car is near perfect. Is the car worth $15,000?  Would you drive it “as-is,” or would it be worth restoring?  Let us know what you think!


  1. Dirk

    Not much one can say without more information.

    Like 5
  2. Fred H

    Love the duel spotlights )) A simple E-Mail would get you more photos.

    Like 2
    • Chinga-Trailer

      Isn’t dueling illegal in most states now?? But I suppose less lethal with spot lights than pistols.

      Like 5
      • jcs

        Dual working spots are illegal in most places but many states will permit a right side spot if it is not wired.

        Like 0
      • chad

        funny, there’s one a yr newer in the shop right now w/dual spots. They don’t have the usual twist it handels inside the passenger’s compartment but R self directed w/a hand on the back of em. They have the rearview mirrors on them too. A lill different. Deffinatly period correct (due to age). Seems frm what lill we can C that the top may B good too?

        Also not a vert. His is a 6.

        Like 0
    • len little

      spoke with the owners brother, very pleasant fellow named Fred and wish we would have connected again so I may have had a chance to buy. The price was less than the 15k. Car came out of northern Calif. from a lady that had it quite awhile. It’s still a Flathead, non overdrive, new tires,fuel clean up,brake cylinders and few other thing so it will go and stop

      Like 0
  3. Kenneth Carney

    Just clean and polish the chrome, recover
    the seats if needed, then drive and enjoy.
    I would also sort out what might be left on the mechanicals since this car already
    runs and drives well according to the seller. While the seller has got my attention, I’d still like to see more pics
    of the car so that I might make a more
    informed decision about buying it. His
    asking price is indeed reasonable considering the fact you couldn’t even
    build a car like this one today. Could
    see myself tooling around town just
    enjoying it.

    Like 11
    • On and On On and On Member

      Good insight Mr. Carney. I was thinking the same way. This one could be a great driver/enjoy/invest car. Do the work as needed. What fun.

      Like 7
  4. Jimmy

    My folks brought me home from the hospital in one of these in 1953 but a hardtop. It would be cool to have this one as a reminder for my mom but she’s 90 and near blind so no use in thinking about it.

    Like 8
    • Will Fox

      God Bless your Mom Jimmy! Love her all you can WHILE you can!
      I sure miss mine every single day.

      Like 15
  5. Ronald

    The blanket may be on there so one could sit on those hot seats in the Arizona sun. Cool enough car though

    Like 9
  6. Scott Member

    Great looking car, looks to be a good deal

    Like 1
  7. Karguy James

    I just found one almost identical to this one today. Trying to buy it now.

    Like 3
    • On and On On and On Member

      Good luck, post pictures and details so we can learn and compare.

      Like 2
  8. CanuckCarGuy

    My uncle has told me about the ’49 Ford convertible that my late father owned in his youth; you heard it coming long before you caught sight of it, and you didn’t see it for very long. He was a gearhead until the end.

    Like 3
  9. Kenneth Carney

    @on and on: That philosophy’s served
    me well for quite a while now. I’ve always
    believed that old cars should be driven and enjoyed. After all, why spend all that
    time and cash on a car only to park it an
    airtight garage and then trailer it to a show. My heroes at Rod & Custom Magazine always used their cars as
    daily transportation to showcase the
    reliability of older vehicles. My first
    project was a ’52 Chevy 4-door I bought
    for $10.00 as a barnfind, and my Dad was
    able to drive it back to our house. After
    we sorted out the brake issues, changed
    the fluids, and tuned it up, my kid sister
    drove it to school ’til the engime spun a
    bearing and had to be replaced. And so it went with me. I can’t tell you just how
    many cars I’ve enjoyed in this manner,
    but I certainly enjoyed every one of them.

    Like 8
    • On and On On and On Member

      True that, mummies are for museums, cars are to be driven.

      Like 5
  10. Todd Zuercher

    I’m guessing that blanket is for protection from the roasting vinyl too. Pics look like south Scottsdale area.

    Like 2
  11. JP

    Have to do the top at a minimum, so that’s gonna be a setback on top of the $15k…

    Like 0
  12. 8banger Dave Member

    Reminds me of the one used in Grease.

    Like 0
  13. Hon. Larry Consolver, Disable Am Vet

    These are the finds that only should bring $1,000. Max. No Supportable Info No Green Dollars.

    Like 0
  14. Maestro1

    Jeff, thank you for your remarks regarding restoration costs. Since my Stroke I’m not able to do much anymore and therefore my restoration costs have gone up substantially. Certainly i can drive, get around, and all the rest of it but I can’t wrench any more. One of my favorite things in life. Regarding costs: I’ll be candid and say that most of my recent acquisitions are North of what the cars are worth, as you point out; but I have the cars because I enjoy them and I am not in the Hobby to flip cars. The cars in my asset class are appreciating at about 12%-18% a year, and they are being driven. I can;t get that return anyplace else. Thanks for the post.

    Like 3
  15. AP

    In all seriousness and with all respect – what cars are presently appreciating consistently at 12 – 18% and what are the ownership costs that offset those gains (storage, insurance, maintenance, repair, physical deterioration etc). And how does one sell these when ready – I find most people won’t buy unless they think they’re really screwing the seller, therefore if the alleged “book value” is X they will only pay X minus some big amount.

    Like 2
  16. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    49 Fords turned an era in automotive styling so much it started the square box design in every American automaker for years to come. My sister-in-law had a 2 door coupe with three speed stick and V8, she put over 300,000 miles on that beast before she bought her 58 Ford wagon. I’d like to buy this car for nostalgia sakes. But I won’t for health reasons.

    Like 0
  17. charlie Member

    It is not rare, there are plenty of pristine ones, original or restored, to populate all the auto museums that want one, so no sense spending a lot of money on this one. Make it run reliably, which means replacing all the wear items like tires and hoses and belts and weather strip and gaskets (but save the head gaskets until and unless they fail) and install a Ford dual master cylinder, and depending on where you live, replace the top, or if you live where I do, where it rarely rains, forget the top. I have not had the top up on my Allante since last fall. And, as I learned way back then, and it is still true, if you go fast enough, in the rain, with the top down, you don’t get wet! At least in the front seat.

    Like 1
  18. RicK

    I like the 57 Ford poverty/stripper/dog dish hubcaps. I think they look really good on this car.

    Like 1
  19. Roseland Pete

    $!5k — best laugh I’ve had all day.

    Like 0
  20. Mountainwoodie

    There was a time when old cars all looked like this and could be bought for 500 bucks………..Sherman , crank up the wayback machine, we’re leaving.

    Like 0
    • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

      Huh, I remember a time when they could be bought for $10-$50.

      Like 1
  21. Keruth

    I’m with Pete, too many out there done and cleaned up for that money!
    Usually with more pictures,,,!
    Gateway is not the one to gauge value from!

    Like 1

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.