By on December 22, 2011

Everyone likes a nicely customized, lowrider-style 50s Detroit bomb, but sometimes the execution isn’t so great. Such is the case with this late-50s Ford— I’m going to say it’s a ’58— that I spotted in a Denver junkyard.
It’s been hacked up pretty well by someone that wanted the roof, but that just serves to expose the inner workings of this nightmare.
Like, say, the waterlogged, crudely-cut plywood interior.
Or the Pinto floor shifter and switch panels lifted from who-knows-what kind of car.
It’s hard to tell whether or not it ever drove under its own power with this configuration, but The Crusher doesn’t care about that. The Crusher just hungers for steel!

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30 Comments on “Junkyard Find: Customized Nightmare 1958 Ford...”


  • avatar
    rpol35

    There’s is no accounting for poor taste but what a shame! A’58 Ford is a real rarity, hardly ever seen at auctions or in restoration circles, especially compared to its cross-town rival from Chevrolet. One can only hope that it lost most of its existentialism to support another, better-off example elsewhere.

    (Seeing that seat gives me doubts however!)

    • 0 avatar
      Dynamic88

      I shaved my dog’s butt and taught him to walk backwards. When people see him coming they assume it’s a ’58 Ford.

      ’58 was not a good year in general -for any automaker. Of course I have an aversion to quad headlights.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        The 1958 Ford isn’t THAT bad. It has the same basic shape and proportions of the attractive 1957 model.

        The problem areas are the front and rear. Up front, Ford grafted quad headlights and a gaping grille inspired by the new four-seat Thunderbird to largely unchanged sheetmetal. At the rear, the attractive “pie plate” taillights that had become a Ford trademark were ditched in favor of four oblong units that, again, were designed to ape the four-seat Thunderbird.

        Overall, though, it isn’t any uglier than that year’s Chevrolet to me, and it’s far better than a 1958 Pontiac, Oldsmobile or Buick. In profile view, I prefer the Ford over the Chevrolet.

        The Mopars from that year were 1958′s most attractive cars by far (aside from the Thunderbird and Corvette), but they rusted badly and fell apart at a very rapid rate.

      • 0 avatar

        Alfa Romeo had some good-looking cars in ’58.

      • 0 avatar

        Exner’s Forward Look ’57 Mopars shook up the industry pretty badly. Ford reacted by building some very bizarre looking cars like the Edsel and the ’58 Lincoln. GM’s styling team reacted by completely revising their ’59s, a palace revolt while Harley Earl was in Europe. Earl returned, was presented with a fait accompli and decided that time had passed him by and retired. What’s interesting is that the ’58 and ’59 GMs are about as overstyled as cars get but that the ’60s GMs done under Bill Mitchell, Earl’s successor as head of GM styling, are notable for much cleaner lines and less gingerbread than GM’s ’58s and ’59s. 1957 was the tipping point. The ’55 Chevy is like a well tailored man’s suit, fashionable, but not overly so. The ’57 Chevy, on the other hand, is more like a very trendy sport coat. Good looking, but not quite as timeless. By ’58, styling had gotten excessive and in ’59 things got extreme like the chest high tail fins on the Caddys and the horizontal bat fins/wings on the ’59 Chevy.

  • avatar

    Assuming that front clip wasn’t swapped off a ’58…it’s a ’58.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    No shot of the tail lights . Thats how I tell the 58 from the 57 or 59

  • avatar

    I owned a ’68 Ford Falcon for a while were a previous owner had fit a late 80s Ford Tempo interior into. Very odd. Back seat was a couple inches too narrow for the body.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Crap happens. Sometimes things sound and look better in your head than in real life.

  • avatar
    dvp cars

    ….even if this one once belonged to a beloved parent, I doubt there’s anyone out there with the resolve to rescue it from that hungry crusher. The math is simple enough………cost of a mediocre restoration.. $35,000. Auction value when completed….$7,000, maybe. Two door posts with cooking motors may never be in vogue with collectors, even in that nice Robin’s Egg Blue with White coves combination. Wonder what that “shaggin’ wagon” seat is out of?

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    So – you found it, eh?

    Look – you guys have no right to criticize. I had it all planned out. I could have put together an awesome ride if I had enough time. I talked to a lot of guys about this, and we all agreed it would have been a totally bitchin ride once it was finished.

    I thought I could have gotten it all done for under $2,000. Honest. But it seemed like I never got the $2,000 to get the job done. It seemed that whenever I was ready to work on it, suddenly some crap would come down like a ton of, you know, crap, and I would be like – “Can I please get this stuff done?”, but NO – something else would keep me off this awesome project car.

    My cousin Jack thought he knew where I could get a new transmission. My buddy Brad said he would be able to bang out the fenders and knew how to do the spot welding. The guys over at bar said they would be there to help customize it.

    But after four years my wife demanded I get rid of it. We fought about it about once a week. I had to keep the kids out of it and one time my oldest cut her foot and my wife acted like I had a rabid pit bull rusting in the back yard.

    Then the Association started bitchin. The weeds started growing through the floor. I had a really good tarp over the whole car, but after a couple of years, it ripped and didn’t look too good.

    Then there was the whole wasp nest thing that happened during the July 4th barbeque. No one was laughing when Grandma got stung through her girdle.

    No matter how much I promised and how much the guys said they would help, we couldn’t get this awesome car together. So, I had to have it towed away. Either I towed it, or my wife and kids were going to move out. And hey, my wife is the one with the regular paycheck when I’m not working, so there ya go, right?

    Look upon my dreams guys and see the reality of suburban restoration!

    • 0 avatar
      appel599

      Your posts are better than the articles sometimes!

    • 0 avatar
      SuperACG

      LMAO!! Oh man…I can always count on you for a laugh!! This made me laugh, but I don’t think anything can top the mooching brother and rubbing corns for a 2002 Camry!! That’s a challenge! ;)

    • 0 avatar
      wstarvingteacher

      I told you that you could drag it to my house. Nobody would even have noticed. The property values are already lower than whale dookie thanks to my tendency to keep things of no value. The rust has so changed the ph of the soil that I can’t even grow a garden. Or maybe it was the oil that leaked.

      Anyway, if you’re going to keep fussing I’m going to ask you to come get your other junk and I’ll tell everyone about your collection of saturns. Now knock it off.

  • avatar

    Those are the stock ’58 Ford switch panels. The ’57 panels are the same but with black knobs. The panels themselves have been chromed in all the stock examples I’ve seen, but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that they were originally painted in the low-end cars. My guess would be that the rest of the dash at some point was painted to match the exterior but the panels were kept in the original dash color.

    • 0 avatar
      SuperStock413

      I dated a girl for years that had/still has a ’58 and it was the low end Custom 300 model. I know that the bezel around the instruments was plastic and plated, but I’m trying to remember what the panels around those knobs looked like, but I can’t. Seems to me they were painted but she had redone hers so it may not have been stock.

    • 0 avatar
      SuperStock413

      So a quick search online of images and cars for sale yielded no painted trim pieces, all chrome ones even on Customs. That being said, there probably aren’t too many fleet model survivors, so who knows.

      My guess is that this guy spent all of his money on such high quality customization everywhere else that he probably didn’t have the budget to re-plate those trim pieces. Being the kind of guy who has a “top quality or nothing” attitude, I imagine he opted to paint them instead of leaving pitted or poorly plated pieces in.

      Just a guess, though.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    I wonder if the original customizer decided to chop the top and the job just never got finished. It reminds me of the chopped Stude starlight coupe I had. The guy had left the windshield posts the same angle, and just moved the top forward. The tops of the doors came forward too; the vent windows were easy because they didn’t have chrome rings, and the door windows worked without modification. But he never could figure out what to do with the wraparound rear windows. I couldn’t either. I thought of half a dozen different ideas but ended up just saying the hell with it.

  • avatar

    Ford helped you remove that roof in the 50s. Here’s a nice example. http://www.mystarcollectorcar.com/2-features/stories/1278-october-2011-1958-ford-fairlane-500-skyliner-retractable-hardtop-fords-better-idea.html

  • avatar
    autojim

    Yep, a ’58. They also had, for some reason, more tendency to succumb to the tinworm than ’57s or ’59s.

    Looks like someone did a 351W/C6 swap, hence the shifter. That car would’ve likely had a 292 Y-Block or 332 FE (possibly a 352 FE) originally.

  • avatar
    dvp cars

    ……..can anyone come up with a plausible explanation for the plywood upholstery job?……some kind of deranged take on a Ranchero?, rolling sauna?, what?

  • avatar

    The gorgeous Ford of that era was the ’59. This thing is just sad.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Here is the two-door hardtop wagon version, called the Mercury Voyager. I think its handsome, and am amazed it survived. Its the only one I know of.

    http://www.57heaven.com/Images/mercuryvoyagerwagon.jpg

    I came across it about a decade ago quite by accident when I was looking for a nice old wagon to fix up. Couldn’t afford it now either.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    That shifter looks like it came from a Pinto/Mustang II


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