2002 Ferrari 360 Spider
Friday August 16, 2019
1955 was a great year to be shopping for your first new car. Chevy finally had a V-8, and their new styling looked as cool as Kim Novak in a swimsuit. Plymouth was hotter than ever, strutting the first year of Virgil Exner’s “Forward Look” styling and boasting a V-8 of its own. Ford, whose overhead-valve V-8 was now in its second year, sported many advanced styling themes, with a deliberately strong association to the exciting new Thunderbird. The top of the line Crown Victoria, new for 1955 and sporting a new wrap-around windshield, tubeless tires, disc wheel covers and tons of new options, was one of the icons of the “2 tone paint and chrome” era, sporting a unique chrome-pillar roofline, and in the case of the car presented here, the factory correct two-tone turquoise and white color scheme both inside and out.
This good looking vehicle was a solid, no rust Texas car when it received a ground up restoration in 2001. New paint, chrome, and a great two-tone interior remain in outstanding condition, and beautiful wire wheels round out the spectacular presentation of this fine Crown Vic. The owner reports this is one of his prized cars and with good reason – the turquoise and white paint job is excellent, and the color scheme continues right into the classic 50’s interior as well. The paint retains a fine lustre, and the trademark “bright metal roof transverse molding”, along with the distinctive side spear, showcase the impressive level of attention to detail this car received during restoration. With a huge new panoramic windshield and that distinctive roofline, Ford designers had succeeded in setting the car apart in the crowded luxury car field, and established the Crown Victoria as the very top offering from Dearborn.
It retains it’s complete and correct drivetrain, and was meticulously restored to original stock condition. Suspension, brakes, exhaust, and cooling systems were also completely replaced, making this a fine driving Ford once again. It is nicely equipped with the 272 ci Y-block V8, Ford-o-matic automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes, and everything is very tidy and correct under the hood.
As you would expect from a comprehensive restoration, the vehicle runs and drives wonderfully, with solid handling and great highway road manners. After 10 years of ownership in a renowned collection, it shows as lovingly maintained, garage kept, and used for only shows and special occasion drives.
The Crown Victorias were lower and longer than any fixed roof cars that Ford had ever produced, and certainly one of the most attractive and rare post-war Fords, this Crown Vic is also one of the nicest examples we have seen in quite some time. It’s great to see solid western cars restored to such a high level of originality, with absolutely nothing skipped or added. The quality is evident inside and out, and exclusivity is assured, since these rare Crown Vics were only produced in 1955 and 1956. It’s a significant car who’s timeless style, sheer presence, and strong performance will provide a welcome entry into any vintage show or tour.
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