Junkyard Find: 1951 Ford 2-Door Sedan

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

We’ve been seeing a lot of 21st century Junkyard Finds lately, so today we’ll change up and go to one of the older cars I’ve seen in a self-service yard lately. This ’51 Ford showed up at a Colorado yard last month.

It has the look of a long-abandoned project: interior gutted, bodywork, etc. You’d think that a non-rusty two-door shoebox Ford would be worth enough to keep it safe from the clutches of the wrecking yard, but such was not the case here.

Someone put some work into the body and paint and then forgot about the car, but it’s impossible to say whether that happened in 1968 (with indoor storage since) or 2008 (with outdoor storage).

You could get the ’51 Ford with the famous flathead V8 or the 254-cubic-inch flathead straight-six engine. This car has the six.

A Denver friend owns this ’49 sedan project, so he was all over the junkyard ’51 within hours of learning of its existence, grabbing bits and pieces for low prices. When you have an elderly project vehicle and one like it shows up at U-Wrench-It, you drop everything and pull what you can!

This generation of Ford was the first true postwar design from the Detroit Big Three, and the first Ford to be mostly free of the late Henry’s erratic leadership and limitations as an engineer. Other than the Type 1 Volkswagen Beetle, few cars you’d find in this sort of junkyard will have this level of historical significance.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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2 of 72 comments
  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Sep 05, 2015

    Note the 1991 Accord floormat in the back. Oh the humanity!

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Sep 06, 2015

    Isn't that blue car next to this car a last generation Corvair? This car has since been crushed up and sent to China to become a Haier appliance to be sent back to the US and sold at H H Gregg.

  • Mike Beranek No, but I'm for a world where everyone, everywhere buys cars (and everything else) that are sourced and assembled regionally. Shipping big heavy things all over the planet is not a solution.
  • Jeffrey No not for me at this time
  • El scotto Hmm, my VPN and security options have 12-month subscriptions. Car dealers are not accountable to anyone except the owner. Of course, the dealer principles are running around going "state of the art security!", "We need dedicated IT people!" For the next 12 months. The hackers can wait.
  • El scotto Chip it, NOS it, Wrap it, go buy hipster jeans.
  • El scotto Bah to the lot of you! Now 8500$ is way too much; 5000$ would be much more reasonable. You see, every once in a while GM does something right. The two Saturns I owned were slow, I mean bog slow, poorly maintained VW bug slow. Then some GM engineers ran some sort of tippy-top secret project and put a supercharger on a 4-cylinder. Will this redline beat a Porsche? Please. Would this be worth thrashing on your daily commute? Of course. Imagine racing the GTI guys for lattes or IPAs. Those kind roll that way.