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Owner: Ron Bales

Richfield, NC

Just as so many cars have really good stories connected with them, this one does too. Ron's first car was a '50 Ford convertible which he had in high school. I'll bet he was popular when he was in high school! Back then he could only afford to read about customized cars in magazines and dream of all he'd like to have been able to do to his car. Fifty-two years later Ron acquired the '50 Ford convertible you see in the pictures and now he had the time, knowledge and money to build what would have been an extremely good custom of the fifties. He didn't miss a thing on this car, even though I'll miss pointing some things out,

You already know it's a 1950 Ford convertible and it's been painted a nice pure white with bright red trim below the '53 Buick moldings. It has '49 Plymouth bumpers which were a popular bumper on custom cars in the fifties. It has had a '54 Pontiac grill bar and '54 Chevy parking lights very nicely fitted into the grill opening. The '51 Ford hood allowed for the straight grill opening and has 120 louvers perfectly cut into it. The '51 Ford deck lid allowed for the inside mounted hinges which were introduced on Fords in the 1951 model year. It has '50 Ford taillights recessed and mounted from the back with blue dots in the lenses. The custom made fender skirts have been mounted into the body for a nice low and smooth look.

The car is powered with a '89 Chevrolet Corvette engine with modifications and a lot of chrome. For comfort, air conditioning has been nicely added. The car also has a set of red plastic air deflectors, or Breezies, as they were called, which we thought were great back in the fifties because they literally scooped the air in on you as you drove. They were the best air conditioning we had and I think they cost under a dollar.

The twin spotlights are real Unity lights produced for Ford as you can see on the name tags. The twin mirrors are Yankee Tri-Bar mirrors which were the best of the day. As shown in the close-up picture, they not only had a screw that could be tightened to keep them adjusted, but they also had a ring around them to protect them from being bumped. They were the finest money could buy in the fifties.

The dual rear mounted radio antennas are from a '57 Chevrolet and have been popular ever since Chevrolet first made them. The real continental wheel kit and painted pin-stripping were also very typical of the fifties. In those days a fill-up of Standard brand gasoline would get you a set of red crown valve covers and Ron has a set on his car. The red crown was the Standard Oil symbol.

Ron has carried the "Betty Boop" theme inside the car both on the throw in rubber floor mats and the steering wheel spinner, another accessory younger folks may have never seen or heard of. It was a steering wheel attachment that made it easier to turn, or spin, the front wheels, thus the name, spinner.

When you're enjoying Ron's fine car, don't miss the sign on the right hand front fender inner panel. This is the finest example that I've seen of what a really good custom of the fifties might have looked like. Ron has still more things from the fifties that weren't on the car the night I took the pictures, including fox tails and a serving tray like they used at the drive-ins, fully equipped with a soda glass and artificial food.

I don't think Ron has missed a thing, do you? I just want to say, it was worth the fifty-two year wait and we all thank you, Ron, for sharing it with us.

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