The Ford Crown Victoria, or Crown Vic, was first produced in 1955 and lasted only two years until the Crown Vic name came back in 1979 as an LTD Crown Victoria. Later there was a Crown Vic for the police as a Police Interceptor; this was a
“Crown Vic in name only”.
hope to find found the owner of this car and find found more about it at a Lombard Cruise Night soon. My friend Sam is not the owner but he’d like to be. Finally I met Jerry, the owner of this great car on June 8, 2013 after having shot dozens of pictures.
In the Spring of 1955, Jerry’s favorite uncle returned from California behind the wheel of a Tropical Rose and White 1955 Crown Victoria. It was ‘love at first sight’ and a desire to own his uncle’s car stuck with him his whole life.
Ford changed designs in 1955 and all models were called Fairlane including Customline (this is a ’55 Customline) , Victoria (133,372 produced, this car is a ’55 Victoria), Crown Victoria (33,165 produced) and Skyliner (the convertible, 1,999 produced; here’s a photo of a ’56 Skyliner) In 1955, sedans and wagons had a K-shaped frame cross member while extra strength with an X-shaped support was used in the Skyliner, Victoria and Crown Vic. (source)
Jerry bought this machine about 1987 from someone in Arkansas, where it had seen it’s first 32 years, and it’s been in his garage ever since. It was built in California in June of 1955 and Jerry’s only the third owner. The paint and interior are twenty five years old. He started going to car shows but then chose to attend Cruise Nights (2-3 a week from May to October) which are ‘more fun’ and ‘less time consuming’. Cruise Nights take Jerry as far South as Morris and as far North as Mundelein. His longest trip with this car was to St. Paul, Mn. for the annual ‘Back To the Fifties’ Car Show. The Crown Vic’s original seats are not comfortable enough to be recommended for long trips.
My car originally had a 272 cubic inch engine. I picked up another block to rebuild while I continued to drive my car. The new block was a 292 cubic inch engine which was standard in the T-Bird in 1955. I had the block bored to .060 over bringing the displacement up to 301 cubic inches. Back in the late ’80’s the car was restored to original. The body has not changed. Just the mechanicals have changed.
In the mid-Nineties he decided the ‘tired motor’ needed a rebuild. Opel Engineering in Streamwood performed the machine work but he did the assembly over the Winter in his basement. The two-speed Fordomatic transmission gave way to a three speed C4. The stock rear end was replaced with a 9-inch posi-traction differential. Disc brakes from a ’78 Grenada replaced the front drums. He upgraded the power steering with rack and pinion from an ’88 Chevrolet Cavalier. The whole suspension has been replaced/rebuilt and front and rear sway bars were installed. The car was lowered 6 inches in the front and 3 inches in the rear.
Other than the machine work on the engine, I (Jerry) have performed all of the work on the car with a few close friends either in my garage or driveway.
The Crown Victoria leaving Lombard on 6/29/13
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Ford TV Ads for 1955
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