OT 1950 Ford coupe opinions

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: OT 1950 Ford coupe opinions
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wes Nelson ........Bucyrus, MO on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 10:20 am:

I am thinking about getting a 50 Ford coupe, because it's an early flathead v8 and the year of my birth and Grandpa had one. I like the T's but am afraid to drive them on the road to town because of the idiot drivers out there, so I want to get something a little faster and still be original. I was wondering if someone here has one in their old car arsenal, I would much rather do business with someone here than spend money elsewhere. Thanks, Wes


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 11:35 am:

Just don't get a 6 cylinder version.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier Savannah Tn. on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 11:43 am:

John, why not the six? Five more horses than the eight and not the problem with cracks in the valve seats. Just my thoughts. KGB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 12:43 pm:

Both only and will get cracks in the block from a cylinder and into a valve seat if you cook them enough.
Today parts for the 226 flat head six are very hard to find.
valve lifters are not available anyplace for the '50 and later 6.
When I was a kid on the farm we had both.
No problems with either except the sixes didn't seem to start when colder than -20 unless it was in a garage.
My daily driver is a '51 V8, but I drive with one eye always on the two temp gages.
It runs normal always, even in 100 degree weather but I know if I overheat it it could crack the block. Two water pumps, two upper hoses, two lower hoses and two thermostats increase the chances of a leak.
I'd be looking for a Ford or other make with overhead valves.
The Fords and Chevs are the best when I comes to getting repair parts. Buicks also are not too bad when you need parts, Cads, Studebakers and Packards too, but some makes like Nash, Hudson. Kaiser and Fraser can be very hard to find parts for.
I have not had much experience with Olds & Pontiac. I'd stay clear of then if you intend to drive it a lot.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Rigdon on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 12:56 pm:

Wes:
The '49 and '50 Ford coupes have a beautiful design and represent all that was automotive art in the '50's. Get a V-8 (please) for the sound. A good old Ford flathead V-8 sound is hard to beat. Be prepared to dish up some big bucks for a good one but it will still be less expensive than restoring a bad one.

Good luck. Meanwhile I'll just keep defensively puttering along in my T and trying to avoid putting myself in a compromised position with the non-understanding road idiots. If you want to have a different motoring experience, it takes a Model T.

Ajo Bill


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wes Nelson ........Bucyrus, MO on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 01:36 pm:

Bill, I love the V8 sound also, I didn't think about the duel cooling problems. I love driving my T, but the only road here for me to take to town, is like getting torpedoed in a bath tub, once you are on it for five miles you have nowhere to go but straight ahead.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 01:48 pm:

I owned a 1949 Ford club coupe. It was an great car, original flathead v8, dual exhaust. Always started, got me where I was going. I put an electric fan in it as well as a hd radiator, never overheated. They usually have a ton of rust in the front rear lower fenders and rockers, so look closely in those areas.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Thomas - Centerville, Iowa on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 01:48 pm:

Rebuilding those old flat heads can be expensive. Over $4000 for parts and machine work is pretty normal.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 01:51 pm:

The club coupe was smaller in the cab, notice the small flip out side windows. Club coupes are very desirable.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 02:15 pm:

Hello Wes - I think you are "right on" with your desire for a really neat "collector" era Ford, and my comment(s) are not worth much, but my first thoughts in reading your opening post on this thread are, first,.....I recall reading some time ago , that while they look nearly identical, there is quite a difference between the '49 and the '50. Nothing really terribly important (mostly body integrity as I recall) but that there were several significant improvements in the '50 over the '49. I guess that kinda' supports my theory that most completely new car designs were better after the first model year's production. And obviously, the first "shoebox" Ford was a very new design over the '48. My other thought (which you, and others, have already mentioned) is the there is absolutely nothing that compares to the sweet sound of a Ford flathead V8 with the right dual exhaust/muffler set-up. I have memories of some pretty worn-out "oil-burner" fatties in high school, that kids could buy pretty cheap, and they ran and sounded sweet as could be. Ha, ha,....if it ran at all on all 8 cylinders, the first thing you did with that used car lot, back row "C-note" special was to install dual exhausts and a pair of glass pack "Smitty's"!

Again,...."RIGHT ON" with the '50 Club Coupe! Pick a good one Wes, and maybe one with that cool windshield visor Wes! FWIW,....harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert G. Hester Jr., Riverview, FL on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 02:20 pm:

As wonderful as the stack music from a flathead V-8 is, nothing in the world beats the sound of an inline six with a split manifold and a pair of smittys. Just my humble opinion.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 02:41 pm:

Dang! One more thought,......overdrive is really neat to have if you can find one! Nice for cruising down an old country 2-lane highway, but with the "OD" locked out, makes for pretty snappy performance just running around town.

Can't resist relating a funny story that this thread reminded me of Wes. My best friend in high school in the late '50's had an older brother that bought a cheapy '50 Merc coupe. Almost no oil pressure at all, but sweetest running engine you ever heard. It had overdrive, and with the OD locked out, it really was a pretty fast car. And one thing that all us kids really liked was how it would "rap off" on decelerating. (I can still hear it in my mind). Of course after Dick's big brother Elmer put the glass packs on it, there was lots of talk among all us kids about how neat it sounded when it would "rap off". After a week or so of hearing all this talk about Dick's big brother Elmer's '50 Merc and how it would "rap off", Dick and Elmer's Mom (and what a sweet lady she was) she kind of quietly on the side, asked my friend Dick and I,......"what does "crap off" mean? Ha,ha,......"no Mom,....it's "rap off",....not "crap off"!

Okay,...I'm just "reminiscing" now, so I'll shut up,......harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 02:43 pm:

Well, I didn't have a coupe, but I was satisfied with the heavier 1950 convertible. This was in 1954 and I beefed up the engine with an 8CM Mercury crank (254 cid), Winfield SU1-A cam, Offenhauser heads, Edelbrock with 2 97's. headers. Nice street machine for the times. Should have kept this one too.
50 Ford


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 02:46 pm:

The modern Smittys are not the same construction as the originals from the 50s, and they sound quite different. I run Brockman Mellowtones with steel pack, the sound is amazing. I have owned quite a few flatheads and have an ear for the "sound" that makes them purr. I remember an article in which an original Smitty was cut in half and the innards compared to a new version. Not even close to the same.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Justin H. - Western PA on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 03:52 pm:

Porter steel packs are also good for taking the "buzz" out of a six cylinder.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 04:28 pm:

John - That is the definition of cool. Thanks for sharing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kirk Peterson on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 04:36 pm:

John
Very Nice!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 04:41 pm:

I'm guessing the convertible was shot on Kodachrome. Very nice.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 06:12 pm:

Steve,
Yes it was. Thanks to my father, many of my projects were recorded...I never seemed to take interest in taking photos.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 06:29 pm:

And here is my father... the photographer... enjoying the car as much as I did. I think I took this shot.
Also another shot showing a T wheel in lower left...part of my T project...a '27T touring with a Rajo BB. My Dad was great in capturing many of my car projects.



T wheel


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary H. White - Sheridan, MI on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 07:01 pm:

Ah. Memories. Had a 49 Business coupe in high school. It had an overdrive that went bad so my dad had it removed before he gave it to me. Check the motor mounts if you ever look at one. Had to replace them twice. Next car was a 51 Victoria convertible. Took it to RI when in service. Blew the Fordomatic on my way home on the NJ turnpike.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 09:09 pm:

John - Any shots under the hood or of the T?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Killecut on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 09:19 pm:

I have been involved with Flathead V-8's since I was seventeen (53 Merc Hardtop). They are the best sounding engine ever produced. They sound like they have way more horsepower than they actually do. Great driving cars. I still have a few. The one I drive the most is my 51 Merc Convertible. For how heavy the car is, the performance of the Flathead is surprising. The 14 and the 51 Merc are my two favorite drivers. I put about equal mileage on both.



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Barrett in Auburn Ca. on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 09:32 pm:

What I have heard often about flathead V8s is "They don't make much power, but at least they're really expensive to build". I agree they do sound neat with the right equipment.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Killecut on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 10:00 pm:

Rebuilding a flathead is way cheaper than a total rebuild of a T engine and transmission. Parts and machine work including sleaving one cylinder was about 1500.00. I did all the assembly.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Monday, June 29, 2015 - 11:02 pm:

I always figure when I am bombing along at 60mph or more in my '51 V8 everybody thinks my old Ford probably has Chevy in it.
I do like the exhaust sound but the brakes need a little updating to stop decent at freeway speeds. It is especially scared with a heavy load in it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Gruber- Spanaway, Wash. on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 12:56 am:

My '40 coupe has straight pipes...I love the sound!
Warmed up flatty.
A little crackly but not near as loud as most Harleys.



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Killecut on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 07:03 am:

Aaron, I have a 50 Panel truck, I used to use it to haul my 14 to National T meets. I used a single axle trailer with no brakes. I would haul this trailer down the highway at 65 mph easily all day long. I never had an issue with the Panel truck brakes. If you're truck won't stop well, you may be having some brake issues. One issue might be newer linings with no asbestos. I had this issue with another 51 Merc I had. I used this Panel truck to haul my T for many years until I bought a new F-150 in 1991.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 07:36 am:

Dan -- That's a nice looking F-1!

I see you had the AC on in the pic. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim williams Baldwinsville NY. on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 07:52 am:

Love those flatheads I have had this one for 16 years
Finally finished it and put all the goodies on the motor
It's a 51 with three on the tree overdrive .
I have alot of fun with my TT wrecker but when you want
Hiway speed you gotta have a flattie.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 08:13 am:

Dan Killecut,
Yes a '53 Merc Hardtop. I had a '52 into which I transplanted a '49 Cadillac V8 with a '37 LaSalle floor shift transmission. I later *improved* the engine with high compression pistons, Engle cam, 4 jugger manifold. Notice the fuel block in the engine pic. A good runner..some time at the drags.

52 Merc
engine reduced


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 08:23 am:

Jim's beautiful red Flathead must've been in Australia when he took that picture!! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 08:34 am:

Dan B,
No '50 engine shots...but here is the T with lowered front end, BB Rajo, dual '97s, Ruckstell ..1955. This was our high school fun car.
t


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 08:48 am:

Wow, John, :-)
How fast did you dare to run in the '27 tub with wood front wheels back then?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Harris from Long Beach & Big Bear on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 09:58 am:

My six was far faster than the V8's. I put a Clay Smith track cam with .373" lift in it with a Nickson dual manifold and two Holly glass bowl carburetors. The finned aluminum cylinder head was a Knudson. I had the flywheel chopped to 20 pounds and it turned 82 in the quarter mile. Oh yes no cooling fan. I had it painted white in 1953 when Buick came out with its white paint. All of the add-on chrome was rusted when it was two years old so I put in a straight grill bar and removed all of the chrome that was rusty and braised up the holes. I nosed and decked it and installed 1949 tail lights. The trunks on 51's were counterbalanced with torsion bars and I put a solenoid on it and could open up the trunk with a button on the dash. I had the headliner done with white naugahyde with the little pin holes in it. the Naugahyde was just invented and I had the interior done in white with green piping. It had a split exhaust with twin mufflers and I used the gas filler tubes from 37 Chevy's for cutouts. Simply remove the gas caps and the headers are unplugged. I put in green wool carpeting and painted all of the garnish moldings and the dash green. I had the front window frame chromed. I caught Mary with it.


51


51 6


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 10:54 am:

Frank Harris,
Perfect..I retract my earlier comment about 6 cylinders. Your experiences sound exactly like mine...those were the fun car days. Neat.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary R. Bussell on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 12:08 pm:

If memory{lacking with age}serves me correctly, I thought the Ford tractor shared alot of the same parts as the Ford 6 cylinder? Especially valves.
Anyway the photos you folks have posted are righteous. At 15 I was racing flatheads out on the Missouri levee in KC. I could out run a small block chevy until I hit 3rd gear. As for cooling a flathead, we used washers to restrict flow which actually slowed liquid flow to cool better thru the radiator. I had a restored 34 and could barely hear the engine running. I have had soooo many old cars and trucks and my only regret was selling the 34 Graham/Paige 3 window. I gave $50 and pulled it home using a chain run thru a pipe as a make shift tow bar. A good friend at the time, cr. 1972, had an Ardun conversion for his flathead. I was green with envy. Now I play with chevy's best production engine, the 427. IMO


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Harris from Long Beach & Big Bear on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 12:20 pm:

We used to grind down the water pump vanes to slow the water down


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert G. Hester Jr., Riverview, FL on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 12:26 pm:

The guys racing the flatheads around here would break out every other vane in the water pumps.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 12:36 pm:

That was a nice rig Dan.
There's a nice black '51 like that here in town.
He takes it to the Thursday evening free show we have in San Leandro once a month.
I have hauled cars with my F-1 too, and the brakes were not a problem because I never tow over 50 MPH and I keep plenty of distance.
It's when going over 60 or 65 in heavy traffic that I sometimes have to make a panic stop or slow-down.
I will look into better brake lining material.
There is a brake place in San Jose that is good with brakes for everything old and new and big trucks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Killecut on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 09:09 pm:

Thanks Mike. The AC works very well as long as there is no grit on the floor when you first "turn it on", otherwise you get an eyeful
John, 52's are very rare, you hardly ever see them, 53 and 54's are fairly common. I have 53 and 54 hardtop's and a 53 Convertible.
Thanks Aaron, another tip on the brakes is to have them fit the brake shoes to the drum.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Wednesday, July 01, 2015 - 08:42 am:

LOL, Dan, your comment reminded me of when I first got my 1969 Dodge Dart GT convertible. A friend of mine and I took it out for a test drive and he decided to open the vent door on his side. We immediately were covered with a cloud of 30 year old dirt, lint, and pieces of rotting leaves, what a mess! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Wednesday, July 01, 2015 - 12:45 pm:

I keep a pair of safety glasses on the seat so when I open the cowl vent I don't get dirt from the floor in my eyes.
I am going to try a flat tray just below the vent to see if that helps keep the dirt from flying.
I have used the garden hose several times to flush out the floor area.
Turning the 1/4 vents out also helps get air movement in the cab.


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