Tag: 1951

1951 Ford F-4 Flathead Abandoned in a Barn Roars to Life for the First Time in 50 Years – Humphrey Bwayo @Autoevolution

1951 Ford F-4 Flathead Abandoned in a Barn Roars to Life for the First Time in 50 Years – Humphrey Bwayo @Autoevolution


Scouting for old rusty relics isn’t something we can all sign up for as a hobby. But for Thomas Mortske of Mortske Repair YouTube channel, it’s a lifestyle he’s unwilling to give up. Together with his loyal ‘Doggo” Duff, the duo will stop at nothing to get a beat-down classic up and running.

Remember the V8-powered go-kart barn find we featured back in August? Well, Mortske went back to his colleague’s barn to pick up the red flathead 1951 Ford F-4 truck that had been sitting in the corner.

This thing has been sitting in the barn. His daughter didn’t remember ever seeing it come out of the barn, so I guess it’s been sitting for at least 20 years, probably closer to 30 or 40 years,” Mortske revealed.

According to Mortske, the truck appeared to have been last regularly used in the early 1970s. The previous owner might have tried to get it running 20 years ago (probably failed).

The 1951 Ford F-4 truck was a first generation of Ford F-Series truck and came with the flathead V8 engine and a 4-speed manual transmission. These trucks were perfect farm hands used for hauling grain, feeds, or ferrying cattle. They came with a hoist and trap door ideal for offloading cargo off the bed.

he interior needed some TLC. The door panels were falling off, and the seats had seen better days.

Luckily for Mortske, the engine turned over when manually pulled, a good sign it would fire up.

The old truck let out a few secrets when Mortske tried firing it up. The starter couldn’t turn, and upon inspection, he discovered someone (the previous owner) had gone all ham on it with a hammer and chisel, tearing up the stamp steel cover.

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How Does 1964 Hawk Power Make a 1951 Studebaker Champion Business Coupe Go? – David Conwill @Hemmings


Three-on-the-tree is one of my favorite setups to drive. When I saw the clutch pedal and column shifter in this 1951 Champion, I grinned. You see, I had a ’50 Champion with the same arrangement, and I drove it all over Michigan’s Lower Peninsula back in 2015.

Well, not exactly the same arrangement. For one thing, although Mark Klinger’s bullet-nose is generally similar to a ’50, the ’51 cars were pretty heavily reworked right from the factory. More importantly, this one is hiding a V-8 surprise.

“Foul!” some purists will cry. “A hot rod in the pages of Hemmings Classic Car!” But consider that even the Studebaker faithful love this one, which we discovered back in late August, at a regional Studebaker Drivers’ Club gathering in Rutland, Vermont, just an hour or so north of our Bennington home offices. Lucky us, because the car had been driven the four hours from Auburn, Maine, where Mark and wife Lynn run the Sleepy Time Motel, which itself looks straight out of a 1950s road trip.

Gray leather replaces the factory broadcloth. Note lift-latch seatbelts.

A big factor in the acceptance of Mark’s car is the Studebaker V-8 used in the conversion. It’s a 1964-vintage 289-cu.in. version, which would have been rated at 210 or 225 horsepower, depending on whether it was topped with a two- or four-barrel carburetor. It has a four-barrel now. At first blush, it seems like it would be a pretty straightforward swap, as the Commander used an earlier version of the engine in the same chassis, but the original builder, an engineer, went above and beyond the factory in making the conversion as dialed in as it could be.

Even barring an engineering background, Studebaker owners from the beginning of the V-8 era have a lot of options to make their cars road ready just by combing through the factory parts bins. The new-for-’51 front suspension design, for example, was essentially the same as that used under the final Studebaker Larks in 1966. The design remained in use in the sporty fiberglass GT, the Avanti, up through 1985.

Thanks to that, rebuild parts for the 1951 chassis, along with brake and handling upgrades, remain remarkably accessible thanks to a large cache of Studebaker NOS items built at South Bend in the days before its 1964 closure. It was the foundation and remains the core of the Studebaker aftermarket. It also helps that Studebaker used the same Carter carburetors, Borg-Warner manual transmissions, and Dana 44 axles as much of the rest of the industry

Despite air conditioning, the car does without a heater or a radio.

All of that is to say we didn’t even realize we were looking at a non-stock Studebaker at first. Sure, the blue hue seems a bit brighter than the Maui or Aero Blues of 1951, but you could write that off as variations in modern paint mixes and the bright sun. That’s a 1952 steering wheel, but unless you’re already an expert on 1947-’52 Studebakers, that’s not obvious. It’s got bias-ply whitewalls and full wheelcovers, for Pete’s sake. And, as hinted above, there’s little external difference between a Champion and Commander, which can make them difficult to tell apart.

The big clue ends up being the body style. It turns out Studebaker didn’t build a Commander Business Coupe in 1951 (some records suggest they built only one —but this isn’t it). That three-passenger light-weight was exclusive to the Champion line with its 85-hp, 170-cu.in. flathead six, barring would-be scorchers from the potentially most potent power-to-weight combination. If you wanted a Business Coupe with the brand-new 120-hp, 233-cu.in. OHV V-8, you’d have to build it yourself. Instead, the few buyers thinking that way just settled for the gorgeous five-passenger Starlight coupe with its wraparound rear window and 65-pound weight penalty.

A fellow named Dave Carter, then in California, now in South Carolina, originally put this car together back in 2005-’06. Mark bought it this way, back in April of 2021, after he found it for sale in Tempe, Arizona. Luckily, Mark is from that area originally, and his brother (who owns a 1952 Starlight) was willing to go check it out for him. The modified ’51 appealed to Mark for the same reasons it appealed to us: Aside from some non-stock details, it feels just like something Studebaker could have, should have, and maybe would have (had anybody asked) built back in 1951. Right down to the column shifter.

Package shelf is modified for storage access.

Lightweight body aside, Mark’s car ups the ante with what was originally the 225-hp, 289-cu.in. engine in a 1962 Hawk. The Hawk was Studebaker’s creative but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to keep its 1953-vintage bodies relevant as a sporty, full-size car into the ’60s. This engine has been bored over 0.080-inch, bringing its displacement to over 302 cu.in., but “as far as I know,” Mark says, “it’s otherwise stock.” The engine’s current horsepower is unknown, but presumably a skosh higher than the original 225, which was already more than double that of a ’51 Commander engine. Nevertheless, the 289 is very mildly built, with road manners suited to interstate driving rather than drag racing.

In fact, Mark observed that the current 3.31 final drive ratio (in a ’64 Hawk Dana 44 with relocated spring perches) don’t necessarily play well with the Borg-Warner R10 overdrive (pirated, along with its siamesed T86 three-speed, from a 1959 Studebaker Lark) and somewhat hamper acceleration from a dead stop. Overdrive cars in the era of 55-mph roads usually came with a ratio in the 4.10s or deeper, suggesting something around 3.90:1 would be suitable today in the flyweight coupe. With the 0.70:1 gearing in the overdrive, the current 3.31s cruise along like a set of 2.32s, while 3.90s would act like 2.73s.

None of this is to say that the Stude’s performance was in any way lackluster. Accelerating with traffic was no difficulty at all: with 3.90s it would probably outrun most of today’s milder commuter cars from stoplight to stoplight. Front discs, from a conversion kit supplied by Turner Brake in South Carolina, mean the car can stop just as well as it accelerates

An engine bay dimensionally identical to a Commander means a ’51 Champion accepts a Studebaker V-8

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Pick of the Day: 1951 Ford Victoria hardtop with flathead-V8 power – Bob Golfen @ClassicCars.com


In the early 1950s came a particular style of hardtop design favored by US automakers, a rounded roofline that flowed into the C-pillars in a graceful curve.  This is the roofline seen on the Pick of the Day, a 1951 Ford Victoria 2-door hardtop that appears to have been restored to original. 

In an appealing shade of pale green with an ivory top, the Ford packs a classic flathead V8 that makes 100 horsepower and is shifted by a 3-on-the-tree manual transmission.

“This ‘51 2-door Victoria is a real time machine for those who remember these years fondly,” says the Orlando, Florida, dealer advertising the Ford on ClassicCars.com. “The swooping body lines combined with whitewall tires and polished hub caps really give the car an eye-catching stance.

“The interior is finished in a dark and light green combo, and the dash and panels will make it feel like a different time. With the bench seat, there is plenty of room for cuddling at the drive-in.”

Still looking great after an apparently older restoration, the Ford has an award-winning claim to fame, the dealer says.

“As shown on the bumper plaque, this vehicle was the 2003 national first-prize winner of the Antique Automobile Club of America!” the ad notes, although it in unclear how or where the AACA senior award was won.

The period options on this Ford include an AM radio, whitewall tires, what look like the correct full hubcaps, fender skirts and lots of chrome details.

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Charles Hunt’s ’51 Kaiser Deluxe – @GarageHotRods


I was embarrassed. I was at the Park & Shine Carolina Cruise-In at Carolina Detail Supply in Thomasville, North Carolina. I was looking at this beautiful classic car and I had no idea what it was. When Charles Hunt told me, “It’s a 1951 Kaiser Deluxe,” I felt less embarrassed – and even more interested. I’d never seen a Kaiser before.

Charles acknowledged that even he, as a Kaiser owner, doesn’t see very many of them. “I’m on a Kaiser group on Facebook,” he said. “There’s a few of these up north, but I’ve never seen one anywhere close by. I’d never even heard of a Kaiser until I saw this. That’s kind of why I got it. It’s something different.”

There’s a good reason you don’t see a bunch of Kaisers at your local cruise in. The company wasn’t around very long. Kaiser Motors built cars from 1945 to 1953. Then in 1953, Kaiser merged with Willys. In 1963 they changed their name to Kaiser Jeep Corporation. Eventually, the company sold the automotive part of their business to American Motors. For hot rodders, the Henry J, which became a classic gasser drag racer, is probably their most well known car. It was named after Henry J. Kaiser, the company president.

Charles got the Deluxe about a year ago. A friend of his, who was in the military, had it, and sold it to Charles when he shipped off from Camp Lejeune for his tour of duty in Iraq.

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Video: How to Care For Your 1951 Ford — Mac’s Motor City Garage – Reblog


Better late than never. We’ve got some awesome car care tips for your brand new 1951 Ford. Here’s one big takeaway from this neat old 1951 factory film: Cars used to require a whole lot more service and maintenance than they do today. We are so spoiled here in the 21st century. Back in…

via Video: How to Care For Your 1951 Ford — Mac’s Motor City Garage

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1951 Crosley Super Sport – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings


26.5 hp, 4 cylinder engine, 3 speed manual transmission. I purchased this from the estate of the second owner. Clean! only 19,000 miles, no rust, paint has some blemishes I can’t say for sure but I have been told it has the orignal paint. Runs good. Chrome is in great condition with optional front bumper guards and chrome wheel trim rings. The convertible top is in good condition along with side zipper-in-place windows and convertible top boot cover. Engine has been fitted with adapter for modern oil filter. Comes with a clear NYS registration.

See the listing here


1951 Mechanix Illustrated Roadster


1951 Mechanix Illustrated Roadster.


It’s unlikely that any modern magazine would run an article about building your own 100mph sports car for $500, but in 1951 Mechanix Illustrated ran one about how to do just that. The article covered the process of converting a 1932 Ford into this lightweight roadster. The reports of how many were built vary, but the seller of this one suspects it is one of the 17 originals built by the magazine. Reader David C. found it here on Craigslist with an asking price of $8,900.

The eleven page article covered much of the process, but if you wanted more detailed instructions and diagrams you could order the complete plans for five dollars. Digital scans of the article can be found on Hemmings Blog, but we probably wouldn’t recommend building one of these yourself without the plans. Even with plans, we wouldn’t recommend it for those concerned with safety.

While much of this one is original, the engine and much of the drivetrain has been upgraded. It currently is powered by a small block Chevy engine, which is mated to a Muncie 4-speed and a twelve bolt rear end. With a curb weight around a thousand pounds, there is no doubt this would be both a fun and terrifying roadster to drive. We aren’t sure whether this is a bargain or not, but it would be tough to build one for less and what other V8 powered roadsters can you get for $9k?