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Custom Driver: 1950 Shoebox Ford

Previously worked on with a twist of subtle customizing, this running and driving ’50 Shoebox Ford looks like a fun and possibly affordable classic. Apparently built/restored in honor of someone’s passing, this Ford is a fair enough looker, but is in need of cosmetic work. With no bids, this Ford is currently offered for $2,000 with no reserve. Check it out here on eBay out of Palmyra, Missouri.

The flat head V8 is a runner, and looks to feature all new tune up gear. The car has been converted to 12 volt, so that is a bonus as well. The factory air cleaner is missing and has been replaced with a modern air filter. I think it needs the original cleaner, or something period correct versus the modern appearance. Strangely the fuel feed line has been wrapped with household water pipe insulation and electrical tape. Also there are some stray wires that could stand to be tidied up.

I would say that the interior is partially original. The dash, steering column, and steering wheel appear original with a couple of minor additions to the dash. The seats look to have been reupholstered, and modern floors mats and a center console have been added. The carpet and door panels do show signs of age, so there is a possibility that they could be original. There are some aftermarket speakers installed on the rear parcel shelf, so I would imagine that there is a modern radio somewhere, or at least that there was a modern radio in the car at one point.

On small feature that I and the seller are not crazy about is the removal of the exterior door handles. Yes, you will need to leave the quarter glass vent windows unlocked so you can open the door. As you can see from the photos the paint and clear coat are pretty tired on this Ford. Although it appears that the paint quality was not that great to begin with. The worrying part about this car is that bondo was used to fix some areas, and the seller has not elaborated much on the topic. Also there are no clear photos showing the areas of concern. I see a few areas along the bottom of the driver rear door, as well as along the top of the driver rear wheel arch. It is unclear how rough or decent this car may be, but I will admit I hold some concern for the rockers. With a great opportunity to be an affordable and simple driver, you could easily work on this one over time to make it as you see fit. Would you take on this Shoebox Find?


  1. Avatar photo Wayne

    I have never like the body style of these. They do absolutely nothing for me. The only one that I have ever seen that looked desirable to me was one that had a major channel job done and was made into a fast back without a rear deck. (Think ’40 Ford coupe with a ’50 nose)(Chrysler Crossfire?) I really like the Ford body style before this one and after. This style just looks to me like a big “Oops, I accidentally submitted my 6 year old’s design drawing instead of mine Mr. Ford!”
    No thanks. I know some people like these and I am sorry to discredit your feelings. I just really have a strong dislike for these that have a lack of style like a shoe box.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo don

      I totally agree with you ! The front styling was good, but from there on its awful IMO . The doors look they could be swapped front to back left and right , the lack of any body lines except the odd taillight extensions , the trunk hinges look like an afterthought and the interiors look like it came from an old truck . I know this style was innovative when it debuted and they sold a ton of them , but this and the 48 -52 Dodge and Plymouth bodies just don’t do anything for me . Like Wayne said, I know there are a ton of guys who love these ; its just not my thing.

      Like 1
  2. Avatar photo don

    I totally agree with you Wayne ! I don’t mind the front , but the rest is awful .The lack of any body lines except for the odd taillight bulges , the way the doors look like they could be swapped front to back/left to right , the trunk hinges that look like an afterthought and a bare bones dash that looks like it was off a truck. This styling and the 48-52 Dodge /Plymouths have got to be the most uninspired looks of the 1950s. I know some guys love them ,and the styling was quite innovative back then , but it hasn’t aged well to me .

    Like 1
  3. Avatar photo Jose Cantu

    The ’35 Air Flow has better lines than this. I actually had one just like this four- door as a kid in HS. And believe it or not, I traded in my ’46 Mercury convertible for it. God, I wish I could go back and know then what I know now. :<(

    Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Beatnik Bedouin

    Remember, guys, that ‘Slab’ styling was all the rage at the end of the 1940s. Have a look at Kaiser-Fraser, Hudson, Nash and other’s ‘new’ post-war cars to see the trend.

    At least the Shoeboxes finally got what was then considered a ‘modern’ chassis with IFS and parallel leaf rear springs…

    Like 4
  5. Avatar photo David Mika Member

    Not sure if what’s between the seats should be considered a “console”…looks like a Wall-Mart item…

    Like 4
  6. Avatar photo Tort Member

    Owned a real nice 51 convertible in the mid fifties that I really liked but on this one I would be interested in the flathead only. It is a two door sedan or a four door with the back doors filled it? Didn’t see a complete picture of the front seat.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo moosie

      It’s a 4 door, if you look close enough at the Ebay listing you’ll see the seam of the door to 1/4 ppanel.

      Like 1
  7. Avatar photo canadainmarkseh

    Nice way to store your classic car in a swampy puddle. I think if you look closely youll find that the Plymouth / dodge cars were much more contoured then these slab sided fords they still had the bolt on rear fenders until 52 after that they were like this Ford. The fact that all the doors are modified and have no handles would be a deal breaker for me. Frankly this is nothing more then a parts car, and the engine / trans being the money.

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo James Turner

    Someone really damaged this car by taking the side chrome trim off including the door handles not to mention that amateur tapeing/ insulating of the carburetor fuel line due to fuel peculating. It also couldn’t be in a worst area to take profile pictures parked in a mud puddle on a rainy day. The misspelled words and bad sentence structure reads like a 10 year old wrote the add. makes you wonder

    Like 1
  9. Avatar photo charlie Member

    The insulation on the fuel line is an attempt to deal with vapor lock, drove a 51 a lot and it was a real problem.

    Like 0

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