Out In The Wilds Find: 1958 Ford Consul

What looks like a 1949-1951 Ford but isn’t? A 1951-1962 Ford Consul! And here is just such an example with one of the most interesting listings that I have encountered. This British Ford is located in Willits, California and is available, here on craigslist for $475.

Much as a Vauxhall Victor looked like a mid-’50s Pontiac, both brands owned by GM, this Consul, in profile, has the unmistakable lines of parent company Ford’s “Shoebox” sedans. Actually, there are additional Ford hints with the headlight hoods, they resemble a ’55 Fairlane. This example is technically a Consul Mark II, based on the Ford Zephyr, and was produced between 1956 and 1962. Offered in four-door sedan, station wagon, and two-door convertible body styles, there were about 380K assembled in its seven-year run. I think there was even a Consul Matchbox car produced in the ’60s; I probably have one buried away in a plethora of stuff.

The listing really caught my attention as the seller states, “I am in Willits, CA 95490 approx 500 miles north of LA on 101. Yes that’s a long way to go for such a deplorable car. You don’t need to tell me. But maybe you want it anyway, for whatever reason“. I love a good sense of humor! The seller adds that there is plenty of rust in the floors but otherwise, not bad, along with, “Found in the wilds of inland Mendo County, just trying to save it from the crusher”. The body of this Consul is dented in different places and there is surface rust, as well as rust-through that has permeated its faded gray finish. Most of the trim is still in place and the front bumper and grille don’t look half bad. Out back, the rear bumper shows signs of encountering an entanglement and one of the taillight lenses is missing. As near as can be told, the glass all appears to be good.

The seller claims that the bonnet is stuck but he’s pretty certain all is original under there. Well, original would be a 59 HP, 1.7 Liter, in-line, four-cylinder engine. A magazine entitled The Motor performed a road test on a ’56 Consul Mark II and measured a 0-60 MPH time of 23.3 seconds – there’s some food for thought.

The interior of this little Ford is really a mess. Besides the aforementioned rusted out floors, the remainder appears to have no value to it; front seat, back seat, instrument panel, and dash all have typical issues of what happens when a car is parked out in the “wilds” for an extended period of time.

So why would anyone want this Ford Consul? Well, as the seller concludes, “The value of the Black plates gets you 1/2 way to my asking price. If you want to leave them here, deduct accordingly“. So what we really have here is a pair of California black plates with a ’58 Ford Consul attached to them. It also gets you what looks like a U.K. plate that is attached behind the front California tag. What to do with this Ford? Well, if you didn’t want the plates, you could buy the hulk for $237.50 and build an old school dragster, Ford Anglia style. Beyond that, check the price of scrap I guess; trying to restore this example would seem to be a lost cause based on effort and the required investment. So, how about some suggestions, thumbs-up to turn this Consul into something rash, or thumbs-down and fuggedaboutit?

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Comments

  1. MattR Member

    Fun write up Jim. I vote for a Consul version of the Animal House Deathmobile.

    Hey where’s the hat tip? ;)

    Like 4
  2. Doug F Member

    Why not do something with this car ? When is the last time you saw one ? Kinda looks like a Sunbeam Alpine or early T Bird from the front. I like obscure. Passed on an Ami 6 last week.Bring it home and teach the kids in your neighborhood how to do something other than play video games. We need more mechanics and less You Tube technicians. ” Just Sayin “

    Like 9
    • MattR Member

      Doug I went for the joke, but as a Dad with a 10 year old that seems to do things just to ‘earn screen time’ I have to agree with your sentiment … teaching a kid how to fix it up would be something they would remember longer than the latest version of some game.

      If you could deal with the rust, you’d have a cool little car here.

      Like 2
  3. Mr.BZ

    Thanks for the laughs and memories, Jim. Around 1975, Dad was offered an early retirement at 50 and interviewed for a job outside of Willets. Little bro and I were the only kids left at home and reluctantly travelled to this hick town to look at houses, schools and the surrounding area. We went by the movie theater and the marquis read “Deep-sixed”. I said “great–only 1 theater in town and its porn!” Surprisingly, the folks LTAO.

  4. Matt Watson

    Yeah, they don’t make bad old-school dragsters
    https://forum.retro-rides.org/thread/148103/henry-hirise-pics

    Like 2
  5. Ben T.Spanner

    Just before I was drafted in 1968, I drove a 1959 German Ford Taunus 17M, which was the same length, had a 1.7 L engine but with 8 more horse power, and was styled like a 1955 Ford. Bought it for $50, rebuilt the fuel pump, and sold it for $50.

    Like 2
  6. Will Fox

    Parts would be nearly impossible to locate for this without huge shipping costs to get some from the UK here. UK Ford products weren’t brought in here in any huge numbers, and unless you can locate a parts doaner car, it’s not going to be easy to restore.

    Like 1
  7. christopher swift

    “0-60 MPH time of 23.3 seconds ”

    Yeah, not much acceleration but my buddy back in the day had his foot pressed to the floor for about 85 MPH on a rainy country road. And then it turns around for no apparent reason and we’re going backwards while he tries to steer. Then rolling over.
    No set belts and nothing but a few bruises.
    Too bad because it was still in good shape.

    Like 1
  8. Gary Irwin

    Sad to see it in this condition. It’s either a lost cause, a parts car or someone’s labor of love. The UK plate could be worth saving too.

    Like 1
  9. luke arnott Member

    Yes,it’s got a UK registration plate on the front,but it can’t be original as the car is LHD.My father had a convertible one of these – didn’t have much go in it.He replaced it with a Zodiac,which was a lot better.

    Like 1
    • Andrew S Mace Member

      Actually, that UK number plate could be original to the car, if it was purchased and delivered to the owner in the UK (working, in service or on vacation) and later brought back to the US.

      • luke arnott Member

        But why buy a LHD car in the UK if RHD was available?

        Like 1
      • Derek

        Squaddies might’ve been able to buy them tax-free and registered. There was something about pre-registered cars and black plates in the silver 356 thread the other day.

        That one looks in reasonably good nick compared to those here.

  10. princeofprussia

    It’s kinda cute. One question: do the rats that made their home in the interior come with it?

    Like 1
  11. Neville

    I’m almost positive the front windshield fits TVR Grantura and Vixen, Griffiths. If you have TVR this car is worth the asking price just for the glass, engine shouldn’t be a problem to sell to 50-60’s vintage race guys etc😀🏁

    Like 2
    • ken tilly UK Member

      @Neville. I spent 9 years restoring, and ten years driving a 1959 Ford Zephyr Six convertible, and for the whole nineteen years that I owned it I never managed to find a spare windscreen for it.

      Like 2
      • Derek

        I had 3 and 2 rears. Couldn’t find a taker for them.

        Like 1
    • Solosolo Member

      Trying to find a replacement windshield for this Mk 2 Consul, or a Zephyr, is almost impossible. I bought a 1959 Zephyr convertible from a junkyard and the windscreen was lying on the front seat. I restored it and owned it for 19 years during which time I tried to find a replacement screen just in case of a breakage but never did. As for the tail light that might be slightly easier but rather you than me and at the end of the day you still have just a klunker.

  12. Charles Lambour

    How about adding 49/51 taillights and grill? 3/4 size shoebox!

  13. Mark

    O sir just one more thing! It’s Columbos car LoL

    • Andrew S Mace Member

      Columbo’s car was a Peugeot 403 cabriolet.

      Like 2
  14. Njohnb

    The Consul name lived on. The Consul Classic, one of the ugliest postwar Fords. It had a suprisingly attractìve yòunger sister, the Consul Capri, (not thè Capri usually seen). Then the Consul Cortina, wonder what happenèd to that…

    Like 1
    • ken tilly UK Member

      I owned the very first Ford Consul Cortina produced in the Port Elizabeth factory in South Africa. The plastic script on the bonnet didn’t say Cortina like the later models did, mine said Consul with Cortina on the boot lid.

      Like 1
  15. Steve Clinton

    “The value of the Black plates gets you 1/2 way to my asking price. If you want to leave them here, deduct accordingly“.

    ‘What choo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?’

  16. Andrew S Mace Member

    @luke arnott: One might buy a LHD car in the UK with the intent of bringing it home, not so much to drive while there.

    Like 1
  17. Ian

    ..there is a very active members club in the UK….and I think in Oz too..including remaking of parts and specialist garages . The Consul/Zephyr/Zodiac mk II in the UK is pretty iconic and much sort after..so hopefully someone will save this

    Like 1
  18. angliagt angliagt Member

    I’m pretty sure this is the same car that sat just off the road
    just South of Willits.A guy named Claude owned it.
    The seller,Alan,flips cars for a living,& runs one of those ads
    “Looking for….” constantly.
    They actually sold a fair number of these back in the day.
    I’ve come across many of them.

  19. Ricardo Rubio

    Just bought a 1956 Ford Consul, left hand drive. I need a windshield and a few trim pieces, engine and transmission would be nice. Rick at 361-415-4252

    • Solosolo Member

      Good luck Ricardo.

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