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Camaro Frame? 1954 Ford Customline

Well, here we go again, a Ford product, a 1954 Customline to be specific that has been imbibed with Chevrolet parts. Some of it is clear and some not. While similar to its ’52 and ’53 predecessors, the ’54 Ford is noteworthy for being the first of the modern-era cars to chuck off the immortal flathead V8 and replace it with a more current overhead valve V8. So, what’s running this old Customline Tudor? Follow along and find out; Goodrich, Texas is from where this blue bomber hails and it’s available, here on craigslist for $2,200.

Ford put up a production volume of 1.1 M in ’54 placing it in the catbird seat and just edging out Chevrolet. As for the Customline Tudor, it managed a very respectable 293K copies, besting its four-door sedan counterpart by about 30K cars – a surprising result. The Customline however, wasn’t the only trick in Ford’s bag, the Crestline series resided above and the Mainline brought up the rear.

The seller tells us that this Ford is, “a good worthy project I don’t need“. OK then, I guess it’s time to find someone who will need it.  The surface rust is obvious but the body of this sedan looks pretty solid – except for areas of the lower edge of the roof. Most of the trim is still in place though the grille is missing its upper section. There’s a dent or two that can be noted but the body is mostly straight. Sometime in the past, the seller, or a previous owner adorned this old Ford with American Racing Torque-Thrust wheels and they still look pretty fair. The seller also comments, “I believe it’s sitting on a Camaro frame“. What ‘da? Why would it be sitting on a Camaro frame? After all, a Camaro frame is just a sub-frame so why would that be warranted in this case?

Well, forget about a first-year 221 239 CI Y-Block V8 engine, this Ford is sportin’ a Chevrolet small-block, provenance not disclosed. The seller states that the engine doesn’t run, but it can. Nothing is said as to what would convince the engine to do exactly that. It’s a ’69 or later small-block and it looks like it hasn’t run in as many years. An automatic transmission backs up the mouse motor but which automatic is not stated. Back to that Camaro frame business, note the upper A-arms, yup, does look like the arrangement used on GM’s F-body.

The first thing that I noticed inside the open driver’s door was a GM-style steering column and a Chevrolet four-spoke steering wheel. The floors appear to be solid and the seats look like something out of a taxicab though they seem to be useable, once thoroughly cleaned, as is. The environment is a starting point but it’s going to need some work to be presentable.

We’ve all heard about putting Chevy engines in Fords, and I know that grinds Ford Fan’s gears, but an entire subframe? That’s a new twist on me, how about you?


  1. 8banger 8banger Member

    Looks like a mess – a rather cheap mess, but just the same…

    Like 6
  2. Wademo

    Camaro subframe swap used to be pretty common

    Like 17
    • Kyle Skiles

      Yep, wait till the author finds out about mustang ll suspension. 😯

      Like 1
      • Jim ODonnell Staff

        What about it? It’s used on many, many conversion projects.


        Like 0
  3. NovaTom

    Thought for sure it was going to be one of those “wheels not included” sales.

    Like 2
  4. Uncle Ed

    I am upset that someone sacrificed an ultra rare full frame Camaro to make this mess happen

    Like 7
    • al

      love 1954 Ford’s much moree than any comero

      Like 10
  5. Bob C.

    The y block in its first year would have been 239 cubic inches. The 221 was a Windsor used in the 1962 and 63 Fairlane.

    Like 4
    • Jim ODonnell Staff




      Like 1
      • Rw

        I think it’s cooler than hell, would make good dependable daily driver.

        Like 2
  6. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Been for sale for awhile now….he has a few others posted as well…..

    Like 0
  7. Big C

    Take her out behind the barn…

    Like 5
    • Pat Ward Jr

      Lol. Good one!

      Like 0
  8. robt

    Nice looking car, till you look under the hood or sit behind that steering wheel. Sad what people do to good machinery.

    Like 6
  9. SteveRM

    I wasn’t liking it to start and then I got to the pictures of the roof. Besides not thinking that is worth fixing for a car like this, if that rust is there you can be sure that there is more. Probably a lot more.

    Like 3
  10. Jack

    Definitely NOT the ’54 Ford Customline that I had as my first car in ’59. Had the original OHV V-8 & 3 speed stick. Formerly owned by an old farmer, probably never driven over 40 mph and this (then) 17 year old promptly blew out the clutch. Of course back then it “only” cost $50 to replace, but my farmer Dad wasn’t too happy with me! Don’t think I’d travel to Texas for this mess, though. I’ll keep waiting for my #2 car, a ’57 Ford Fairlane 500 2 door hardtop to show up, lol

    Like 1
  11. V12MECH

    Nothing wrong with a Camaro front sub-frame if done correctly on an old car, better brake options and better suspension, plus engine swap is a bolt in.This one looks a bit hacky, not to mention the rust, and the rest of the car not too impressive.

    Like 3
    • Paul

      The Camaro front sub-frame swap was totally unnecessary, 1954 Ford a simple spindle swap was all that was needed. Granada spindles along with their disk brakes in a simple bolt on.

      Like 1
  12. Matthew Dyer

    I once grafted the front section of a ’77 Monte Carlo frame under a ’59 F100 and yes a 383 stroker with a 4 speed. That truck was transformed by the 11″ disc brakes, coil springs, power steering and power brakes. Oh yes a GM telescopic tilt wheel too.
    No apologies but I’ll never do that again.

    Like 2
    • scottymac

      And we thank you for that promise.

      Like 4
  13. RacerDave

    I’ve owned all but 5th Gen Camaros & that A Arm does not look like it’s off of any Camaro. Cool looking Old Ford! Love the American Wheels!

    Like 0
  14. Jim ODonnell Staff

    Here’s an image of an upper A-arm for a gen-two Camaro (’70-’81). I’d say that it’s pretty similar.


    Like 0
  15. Bama

    Front subframe swaps were common before all the Mustang II kits came out. If done correctly they are fine. Many Camaro and Novas donated their subframe after they were wrecked. This car needs a lot of rust removed and decent paint before it goes cruising around.

    Like 0

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