Chevy-Powered Restomod! 1951 Ford Victoria

Ford’s 1949 cars were their first all-new models after the conclusion of World War II and the design was in production through 1951 before being updated. The Victoria Coupe was a pillarless 2-door hardtop, also a first. The seller’s ’51 Victoria looks to have been cosmetically restored while mechanically it’s a different car now with a Chevy drivetrain. Located in Skull Valley, Arizona, this “Chevrolet Victoria” is available here on eBay where only one bid has been cast at $5,000 (without passing the reserve).

The 1951 Fords would be the third and last year for the so-called “shoebox Fords” due to their styling. The presentation of these cars often attracts customizers who like to turn them into low-riders. You could only get the Victoria hardtop with a V8 engine which was a 239 cubic inch “flathead”. However, that’s moot with the seller’s car as that engine is long gone. More than 110,000 copies of the stylish car were built in 1951, indicating the buying public’s interest in products that did more than just move people.

We guess the seller or a prior owner had a vision for this Ford that was a huge departure from what the folks in Dearborn had envisioned. The most notable is that Chevrolet hardware has been employed over Ford when it comes to the engine and transmission (horrors!). A 350 Chevy V8 and a TH-350 automatic transmission have been sandwiched under the hood. Underneath, the suspension has been replaced by apparatus from the Mustang II (the Pinto-based subcompact of the 1970s?). And there is a 28-spline differential and 11-inch disc brakes to round things out.

We’re told that all the mechanical updates have resulted in an automobile that “drives smooth and rides like a dream.” The body looks stout and the two-tone paint is beautiful. We assume that’s a redo as is the interior which deploys more modern fabrics and a non-stock steering wheel. From what we can tell, the rest of the Ford is stock. If you don’t mind the Ford-to-Chevy change and want a 70-year-old-plus car that probably handles better than new, would you dip your toes in the waters for this one?


  1. Brad460 Member

    Appropriate place for it, skull Valley, since it had to be an empty skull to put a generic chevy 350 in a ford vehicle.

    Many Appropriate Ford powerplants are available before someone resorts to the Briggs & Stratton 350.

    Yes this is one of the few things I get grumpy on.

    Like 27
  2. mike

    Was a nice car till you open the hood.Keep a Ford all Ford.

    Like 22
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    No big deal now but there are plenty of 289 Ford engines around that would have fit nicely in this car. Good workmanship though and a very nice car.

    Like 8
  4. Dave

    Well a 350 Chevy is always a nice motor. Certainly a ford would make it more real. I’d drive it, and I bet it goes nice.

    Like 8
  5. Big C

    Nice car. Too bad they ruined it with that GM driveway oiler.

    Like 12
  6. Dave

    I like it even if it does “drive smooth and rides like a dream”. Can’t understand it when someone improves the reliability, power and safety of a car. Shoulda kep it all Ford flattie so it wouldn’t go fast enough to need real brakes and get hurt in…

    Like 7
    • chuck

      They’re just jealous that the SBC is such a great engine.

      Like 10
      • mike

        Yes if you keep them in a Chevy product.

        Like 2
    • mike

      Or put a 302 or another FORD it.

      Like 2
  7. BigBlocksRock

    Why a lot of Ford owners have converted to GM powerplants on their builds for decades, very rarely have I ever seen a Chevy owner swap in a Ford motor. Why is that?

    Like 12
  8. Kendra Kendra Member

    just needs Super Sport 350 badges, lol

    Like 2
    • Kendra Kendra Member

      I had a 1936 Ford Cabriolet restored for my dad before he passed away – it was the actual car he bought when he was at Napa High School. He literally shoveled chicken crap after school for a year to come up with $475 cash in 1948. Car ended up with a family member, rotted when a shed collapsed on it. What was left hadn’t moved since 1957 until I dragged it out of the mud. I aimed for a 100% correct restoration, accomplished that with the help of a retired machinist. I respect and like some hotrods and that’s up to each owner. But I don’t understand removing a flathead from a 1951. Sweet sounding stock engine, easy to hop up. Then again I guess not everyone enjoys driving a stick. So yeah, might as well slap SS350 badges on this one.

      Like 5
  9. Joe Haska

    WOW! All you have to do is show a Ford with Chevrolet engine and the “Critics” come out with their guns blazing. Critic, is not really the correct term, I think it is the Grand Poo Pa cult leader ,who speaks for the cult and what they believe and support. They want an organized group that supports their ideals and goals and what they agree to ,is the status quo. They can vote on it ,but they only accept it ,if they win the election. We all need to be on the same page and support the Grand Poo Pa. The platform will be based on segregation. Fords and Chevrolet will not be able to co -mingle even if in the privacy of their own garages with their owners. There will also be no modifications to any Marque, they must be pure and original. Creativity and freedom of choice, is not an option. OK ,I am getting carried away, just trying to make a point. Our cars are suppose to be ours.

    Like 13
    • Howard A Member

      Hey Joe, yeah, it’s a slow day in the Rockies too. 1st, I believe it’s “Grand Poobah”, the exalted one, and not sure that applies here. In “our time”, there was a clear line, Ford=Ford, Chevy=Chevy, and never the two shall meet. Bitter rivals. That was then, this is now, and people aren’t that loyal anymore, and this falls into the category of a “resto-mod”. Few today care or know what a “shoebox” Ford was, and it’s just an old car with the most recognizable motor made, the SBC. The “Batwing” air cleaner is totally out of place for both makes, but looks pretty cool, I’ll admit. Doesn’t matter if, to us, it’s like oil and water, it’s just a hot rod today, and I suppose that’s okay too.

      Like 6
    • Jimbosidecar

      Good Point! Sounds kinda like our society in a nutshell in 2022

      Like 5
    • Robt

      Joe H,
      Me thinks you get a bit carried away with current reality. Back in the day, sure it was the easy, fast way to build a good solid ride. Slip a generic chevy small block under the hood and call it a day. More cheap hot rod parts available for it than almost any other motor around.
      But these days ford v-8’s have found their footing and are easy and cheap enough themselves to get the job done.
      Doesn’t have anything to do with cancel culture or denying a persons right to do whatever they want with their own ride.
      Peoples opinion can and will change over time to reflect a current state affairs. I believe we are talking opinions here more than anything else.
      Since being a kid in the early 70’s and able to buy my own ‘hot rod’, ‘popular hotrodding’, etc, have always detested seeing a sbc in any Ford. I didn’t care if it was cheaper, easier or whatever. But that’s me, and my opinion. So I’m glad to see the sentiment come around to keeping fords fords.
      If you need to stick a chevy in your ford build have at it. But don’t expect me to like it.

  10. RalphP

    For whatever reason, the Mustang II’s front suspension was legendary and is a very popular replacement component when performing restomods.

    Like 4
    • SubGothius

      Legendary mostly as an easy bolt-in swap to convert earlier Falcon-based models to superior rack’n’pinion steering.

      Like 1
  11. RalphP

    Additionally, I’d switch out the steering wheel for something more period correct.

    Like 3
  12. CJ

    Way to go goober. Putting a Chevy drive train in a beautiful Ford just took the value down to Zero to me.
    Not trying to be rude just my opinion!!!

    Like 5
  13. T. Mann Member

    That engine mistake can be fixed…
    A roller cam 302 will be an excellent upgrade…

    Like 4
  14. Ted Land

    Back in the early 50s before there was a small block Chevy, Cadillac engine transplants were a thing. Fordillacs and Studellacs were some of the quickest and fastest around. And an Olds Rocket engine in a Ford roadster was a dream car.

    Like 5
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Put a warmed up Olds engine and modified 4 speed Hydromatic in my ’53 Studebaker coupe and it was fast and good looking. Been trying to remember when putting small block Chevys into just about everything wasn’t going on in the hot rod realm.

      Like 2
  15. Phil Warner

    My first car in 1960 was a 53 Studebaker Commander Starliner Coupe that came to me from a mechanic who had installed a Chevy 283 v8 but retained the stude 3 speed tranny. I loved that car and never had a problem with the Chevy V8, especially after a friend swapped a 4 barrel carb on it for free. I also put a Corvette steering wheel on it and never felt guilty about it. I wish to heck that I still had that car today

    Like 5
  16. Psychofish2

    Gee. I wasn’t aware that Ford ever sold a ‘pillared” hardtop……

    “Pillarless” hardtop. You’re just adding filler words, Russ.

    • Psychofish2

      I was wrong. In the 70s Ford tried to palm off it’s sedans and coupes as “Pillared Hardtops”.

      They weren’t hardtops of course. Because they had a B pillar: Mustang II, Torino, LTD.

      Ford marketing speak for ordinary sedans. Like “More Road Hugging Weight” . All Madison Ave BS.

      A hardtop is a specific version of a body style: coupe, sedan or wagon. They’re not just offerings that are missing B pillars.

  17. Joe Haska

    ROBT, I think you are right, I do get a little carried away, Like a puppy with a bone. I don’t want to come across that way. I am just saying the great thing about building a “Custom Car” is that it is your creativity and choice. It is also a fact that not everyone is going to approve of it ,even if it has won awards at significant events. I think both sides are entitled to an opinion and allowed to express it ,in a responsible way. However, in the final analysis “Tie Goes To” the owner. PERIOD, their car , their creativity, their time , their money. It is a creative process and their are no enforceable rules of how it is done. Otherwis it wouldn’t be creative.

    Like 1
  18. SHO-NUFF

    The small block Chevy swap is popular in 50’s Ford cars and trucks because of oil pan clearance.
    Chevy uses a rear sump pan while a small block Ford uses a front sump pan that will not clear the frame crossmember. Aftermarket rear sump pans are available but the oil pump and pick up tube has to be modified as well.
    Millions of 350 Chevys were made and not to many years ago, a good running engine and transmission from a rusted out Impala could be bought for $300 bucks.
    I have done the same swap in both a shoe box Vickie and an F1 Ford truck to replace flatheads. I used an adapter plate to retain the original manual transmission on the truck swap.

  19. Dave W

    Sho nuff put it correctly. The front sump Ford needs a lot of work to fit; the Chevy just drops in. Not sure how many of you complainers actually own a car – anyway I bought this one; nice driver; see ya cruisin’ !!

  20. T. Mann Member

    Sold for:
    US $11,000.00

    Like 1

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.