Engine Controversy! 1955 Ford Crown Victoria

Most cars turn into a project sometime after you purchase them. This 1955 Ford Crown Victoria in Saint Francis, Arkansas demands a research project (or personal experience) before the purchase. The original engine expired in about a year. Enter a replacement mill from Canada. In those days of “numbers matching” engines, the owner filed an affidavit of change of engine, after which the car was titled with the new engine number, rendering the body tag useless today. A third motor installed in the ’60s further complicates matters as the car’s paperwork references nothing installed in or affixed to the vehicle. Experts please comment below! If you’ve got this all figured out and want the car, or want it for parts, cast a bid here on eBay where it’s sold as a parts car with Bill of Sale. The Buy It Now price of $10,000 seems optimistic, but fans of the ’50s “Crown Vic” can render opinions below.

Engine number three! A 1966 Ford 289 cid (4.7L) V8 and three speed C4 automatic transmission (running condition unknown) should suit the car well if sorted out. Rust spots include bottom of radiator support, spare tire well, and a bubbled right fender.

The two-tone interior has fared well, even the seats! The seller says the headliner is perfect, though the dash has been cut for a later radio. Missing keys render the condition of the electrical system and trunk contents a mystery.

Other than the license plate holder, the tidy design out back looks almost show-car smooth. No wonder these classic Fords make sweet customs. What looks like a fairly clean ’50s Ford needs a new owner with the knowledge to fix the paperwork and the skills to get it running. Would you drop $10,000 on this project?


  1. Sal

    I guess I’ll be that guy…
    I don’t know if i would buy a car from someone that: can’t be bothered to pull the back seat (to open the truck), pay a locksmith for some keys, or photograph the underside of the car. Yet they know to still ask 10k…

    Like 35
    • BillGannon

      Agreed !
      I always pull the door panel and go to the locksmith to have them take the numbers off a cut two keys .
      Alas but that’s to much work I guess for ten grand offer… lol

      Like 5
      • Richard R Martin

        To add to the mix, I believe it has 56 tail lights.

    • rojo

      I wouldn’t. I just bought a 1951 ford with an three speed overdrive and drove it home. For $1000. About what I would pay for a problem child like this one.

      Like 7
  2. Ron H

    All good points, Sal, but these days every one thinks their old car is worth 10k. No matter what it is.

    Like 17
  3. mike

    It has 1956 tail lights

    Like 4
  4. karl

    I was wondering where the master cylinder was, but then I saw that they left it on the back seat ……

    Like 12
    • Sal

      That was a one year only option for ’55…
      It was for back seat drivers….

      (I’ll show myself out)

      Like 26
      • Mountainwoodie

        The Best!

        As for the car, the 8 track in the dash tells you how long ago the block was swapped………….a longgggggg time ago

        Like 2
      • Jim king


  5. moosie moosie

    I wonder whats going on at the bottom of the deck lid ?

    Like 5
    • Steven Ligac

      I was gonna say!

      Like 1
    • Little_Cars

      Looks like a little body work was done, as things were done back in the day, on the cheap at the bottom most part of the deck lid. Then, as time and weather took over, the repair trapped rainwater which eventually penetrated the outer skin to produce rust bubbles then rust-through.

    • John Deebank

      Are they speaker holes for the stereo 8 Track?

  6. TimM

    Nice car for a project the mustang shifter on the floor is a real turn off!!!!! Seems like to many hands have spoiled the broth!!!

    Like 9
    • ACZ

      A whole Mustang powertrain.

      Like 1
  7. Gaspumpchas

    If anyone is interested in this crown, do check the front crossmember, where the lower a frames attach…55 and 56 notorious for these rotting out. Would need a good inspection anyway, I’d have no problem with this with the small block and the c4, as that’s a much better combo than what it came with. Like you guys, think 10 large is high. Good luck to the new owner.

    Like 6
    • rojo

      Correcto mundo. I drove my mothers 55 ford convertible towing a small uhaul across the country with my wife and two kids. This was 1962 and after I got here the front end dropped off. Rust. Maryland rock salt kind.

      Like 2
  8. egads


    Like 2
  9. CanuckCarGuy

    I see we’re entering another summer of ‘pull a price out of your arse’ when it comes to diamonds in the rough. Eventually the market will right itself to a certain degree…but not today. I’d want a decent driver for that asking price.

    Like 7
  10. Winnipegcarnut Member

    Kind of looks like something that one might run moonshine in!

    Like 4
  11. Bob C.

    Good upgrade with the 289 and the c4. Ten grand? NAH!

    Like 3
  12. Troy s

    Think it needs a fourth engine, all 347 cubic inches of stroked small block Ford, back by a 5 or 6 speed manual transmission, flowmasters for ear candy. Ha! Got nothin on a ’55 Chevy really, but it’s still cool
    Ford actually outsold Chevrolet in ’55 didn’t they?
    My first impression of the this was “police car.”

    Like 4
  13. lc

    Check your DMV – Forget about all the ancient paperwork and apply for a new title via an inspection….that is after you acquire this for a more reasonable amount. Lots of possibilities here.

    Like 3
  14. bill

    Most people who convert them from Y block are very disappointed, those small blocks do not have the torque like the Y’s to pull those heavy cars around. Y Blocks Rule!

    Like 6
    • ACZ

      If you’re not satisfied with the Y block, an FE engine is an easy swap, nuts and bolts, and it’ll run like crazy with that light body.

      Like 2
  15. JagManBill

    really depends on where you are (geographically) I guess. There’s a 55 Crown here local (Denver, CO area) for sale. Not much (if any) better condition, has the 292 w/3spd manual and doesn’t run. Guy is asking $13,000. Ten large sounds like a deal compared…

    Like 1
  16. John Oliveri

    At least it’s a Ford AM/FM 8 track

    Like 2
  17. Del

    Joke of week.

    Non runner

    Cannot spend 100 bucks for new keys

    No pics of rusted oot bottom.

    And wants 10 gs for a parts car. LOL

    Like 4
  18. Del


  19. Wayne in FL

    I have a 1 family owned 55 club sedan 100 bone stock except 12 v conversion still have round face Radio no Rust Solid cross member 89 k miles that I will sell for 8500

    Like 3
    • Mountainwoodie

      List it on Barn Finds- lots of pix! :)

      Like 3
  20. RJ

    And – correct me I’m wrong, but it looks like a ’56 to me.

    • ACZ

      It’s a 55 and someone bolted 56 tail lights on it. It would look better with 56 Merc Wagon tail lights.

      Like 2
  21. Paul

    My parents had a 1956 Ford Customline with the 272 V-8 and the Fordomatic transmission. That car stayed in our family for 32 years. 1956 was the first year of the 12 volt electrical system. Given the cobble job this car has had, I’d be willing to bet the wiring in this car was overloaded and shot. $10k with no keys and lost original power train? Nope! I think $5k would be a generous offer.

    Like 1
  22. John S

    As much as I love the ’55 ’56 Fords, this one is just wrong for the $. It’s been wet… probably for a long time and if it sat outside the engine & trans are most likely junk, as is most likely the frame & floors. Non-runner, no title, no brakes, … RUN AWAAAY!

    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.