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Topless Shoebox: 1949 Ford Custom Convertible

1949 Ford Custom Convertible

Can you imagine how great it must have felt in ’49 to go for a summer evening drive with the top down in this Ford? Actually, I’d feel pretty incredible going for a ride in it today! Don’t get me wrong, back when it was new it would have been fair nicer and cleaner. But boy would it feel great to climb into it, lower the top and just cruise! After 20 years of storage, it isn’t perfect but still in fairly nice condition. The seller is the third owner and has it running and driving. They also have it listed here on eBay in Somers, Connecticut with bidding already over $6,500.

1949 Ford Custom Top Up

I love the color, the plaid seats, the V8 and the fact that it’s a convertible! What a great combo. It does have some issues though, like rust and some parking lot (or garage) battle scars. It could also use a new top, although I doubt the next owner will be driving it with the top up much, at least I wouldn’t be.

1949 Ford Custom V8 Engine

The flathead V8 isn’t a powerhouse by modern standards, but it was a nice upgrade at the time. It should also provide a nice soundtrack while your cruising around town with the top down!

1949 Ford Custom Plaid Interior

You don’t see these Shoebox convertibles very often and fully restored examples can go for decent money. It would be tempting to fully restore it, but I like driving my convertibles too much, so I would probably focus on making it a nice driver and enjoy it the way it was meant to be! How about you?


  1. fred w.

    Sold for $7450- an absolute steal.

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  2. Rob

    UPDATE: **Car is being relisted do to the winning bidder defaulting on payment**

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    • jaygryph

      Man I hate it when that happens.

      Happened to me when selling my hearse. The guy backed out “because he’s a college kid and didn’t think he would actually win”.

      Funny, he backed out, an ebay account with zero feedback and purchases of course, and within an hour someone else, with a lot of feedback on their account, called me to offer me $1500 less, someone who had not at all bid on it…and whose account info was in the same town. Reasonably sure it was the same person, trying to undercut the sale price and prey on a confused seller.

      Reported both of them to ebay, relisted it, got what I wanted for it.

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  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    Damn! I love Ford shoeboxes. Maybe not quite as much as the ’52-’54 models but I’ll always have a special place in my heart for them. This one is tempting but my better half just might say something less than encouraging. I could always say: ‘the devil made me do it…’ I just noticed that this car appears to have the same aftermarket signal lights as my ’49 Chevy. I think they’re JC Whitney.

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  4. Mike Young

    Seat covers prob came from JC Whitney too! …. engine room looks excellent on that ‘lil Ford ! Prob runs sweet!

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  5. TBAU Member

    A naive question; why shoebox ?

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    • grant

      I’ve wondered that for years. Anyone?

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    • Arthur Heisler

      first car with no tacked on front or rear fenders. people at that time had never seen a car like this. it looked to them like it was from outer space it was modern. shoebox was a name given to it for it’s flat sides and retangle boxy look. it was the first modern looking car and changed the way all from detroit looked from then on.

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  6. Barry T

    That sure is a wrinkled looking top. Nasty gash on the right side also.

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  7. Wayne

    Shoebox, because it has the shape of a shoebox. Square.

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  8. Capt Doug

    Down the shore in NJ the locals call the daytrippers to the beach ‘shoobies’ — because they arrived with their lunch in a shoebox — I doubt it meant they were riding in a beautiful Ford like this though!

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  9. DENIS

    I love the old shoeboxes….have owned dozens. Was sold before I saw it or may have been mine…nice buy.

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    • MeToo

      I have had dozens as well……….actual shoeboxes I mean.

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  10. David Wilk Member

    I don’t think it sold on eBay. Listing says “reserve not met” and since the seller is a hot rod shop, they probably sold it locally. Guessing they know this car is worth a lot more than the final bid amount showing now. Great looking car.

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  11. Bill

    Love it.. I’d drive it (after mechanical inspection) as is. Maybe a new rag one day, but so much character and fun as it is. Wish it were headed for my garage!

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  12. bowtiecarguy

    “Shoebox” because of the streamlined incorporation of the fenders and quarterpanels into the overall design of the car. (Also known as ponton.) Pre-WWII cars had swoopy protruding front and rear fenders. Immediately after the war, in an effort to get new cars to the car buying public, the 1942 designs were recycled. With the first update in styling in the late 40’s the side become a unified “slab.” This car is an excellent example. Look at the side view with the top down, especially compared to the styling of the ’46 panel also featured today and it becomes clear why it received the Shoebox designation.

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  13. Gary

    WOW! Is that a cool looking car. And a great price. If I had room to keep it then I would have jumped all over this. It’s even on the correct coast……for me.

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  14. Tony Carter

    Just wondering what the story is with the starter motor and solenoid on the firewall, was it a cable or long shaft drive down to the ring gear on the sidevalve motors ?? Seen plenty but never worked on one.

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    • geomechs geomechs Member

      That’s to raise and lower the top…

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      • Tony Carter

        Wow, strange place to put a top motor, they’re usually at the other ‘end’ !

        Like 0
  15. Jim Marshall

    My first car in 56 was a 51 shoe box convertible exactly like this one.

    Like 1

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