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Posted By: Dick Johnson
Posted On: Monday October 7, 2019 at 6:06 PM
 
Message:
My story about the 1955 Fords, enjoy, This is along story and I tried to
get the major parts of the story in.



This is a twin to the one in this story.

This is the exact 55 in the first part of my story. This picture is one I took with a friends 55 Chevy in front of the Tom Tom restaurant where I also worked at the time 1964,


I walked out of Hoover Sr Hi in San Diego two weeks before graduation in 1961, that is a long story, I went across ElCajon Blvd and walked down a couple blocks, went into Boulevard Auto Supply, ask for a job and I was hired on the spot. I was paid every Friday $48.50 cash out of the drawer. It was owned by Jake Padget and his son-in-law Myron two great guys. My job was to drive their 57 Chevy pickup to down town San Diego and pick up our stock of items at several warehouses, it was a fun job.
One day I saw this 1955 Ford Fairlane across the blvd at Dovey Motors used cars and I went over after work and bought it. I have liked the 55 Ford from the moment I saw my first one and just had to have one.
This Ford was low mileage but did have some issues so I set out to fix them. Problem was I had very little experience and no place to work so I took it apart out front of my little cottage I rented from my later to be father-in-law, at the curb. I set out to rebuild the 272 V-8 and then the steering needed some attention so I pulled that out as well and attempted to rebuild that as well.
So I did manage to get it all back together but little did I know there were issues that I had made and would find out the hard way. My close friend and his wife came down with my mom and was going to drive it up to Oregon. I had to leave a 1939 American Bantam panel truck behind sitting at the curb because mom would not agree to towing it to Oregon.
Well the further we got the worse the Ford ran and by the time we got to Oxnard, California the engine was pounding hard and leaking oil like mad so we left it at a truck stop and finished the trip in my folks 58 Chevy wagon.
Once in Roseburg, Oregon I made arrangements to have the Ford hauled up and taken right to Lockwood Motors Ford where they installed a new engine, it seems that I installed the main bearings wrong and the half with the hole for oil was installed wrong and couldn't get any oil. Then they rebuilt the steering box and I came away with a big bill, with the hauling from California and the bill at Lockwood Motors it was far more than the 55 was worth. The rest of the car was very nice so I kept it for some time.

This was in 1962 with the 55.

Fast forward to 1966 and I got married in San Diego to the girl I dated from hi school and we started out in Roseburg, Oregon but in January 1967 we moved to Portland, Oregon and I went to work for Harlan Griffith Ford as a new car get ready man and lube and undercoat new Fords. I had learned a lot over the years but still did a lot of crazy things.
One of the mechanics at Harlan Griffith had two 1955 Fords and I really liked his and I just had to have another one. He had a Crown Victoria and a sedan delivery mild custom.
One day I came upon a 55 Fairlane sitting at the curb that looked like it had been sitting for a while and I went to the old house and ask if it was for sale and I bought it for $75.00. It had an issue where the front frame cross member rusted through and the lower control arm had pulled away and was on the ground. Well I didn't let that stop me so I borrowed a floor jack from work and a chain and padlock and got the lower control arm up in place and chained it there and locked it in place with the padlock.
The Ford ran good and I drove it over to my friends house who had the two 55's and showed him my new purchase and he had a fit about me driving it like that and he did a quick weld job with a piece of metal to hold the control arm in place. I took the Ford to work and put it in the body shop where they installed a new front frame cross member and it was as good as new.

Then fast forward again to 1968 and I found a 55 Crown Victoria sitting in a field just a few blocks from my house, again in Portland, The engine was all apart, it set up on blocks and all the wheels were off of it. I managed to get that crown and started cleaning it up. I found a crown for sale in the Oregonian news paper and went to look and it had hit a telephone poll dead center, bent the frame and tie rods the fan was lodged in the radiator but I bought it because it did have factory AC.
It was just five miles from home and I decided to drive it that distance and what a blast that was. The tie rods were also bent and as I drove along at 20 MPH some chrome trim started falling off, the thing over heated and was steaming and then it blew a front tire. so I parked it in an old closed down service station for the night. I went back the next day, poured water in the radiator, put a tire on it and drove it the rest of the way home. I pulled the engine and trans out of it and all the dash and AC parts and installed them in the 55 I had and junked the rest and two weeks later had a U-Haul on behind it and heading back to San Diego. That 55 did real well.

There was also a place in Portland out on Union Ave called Johnson Motors and all he sold were 1955 and 1956 Ford Crown Victoria's in all kinds of condition, some with no running gear and some with no interiors and a few that were complete. He sold them for $145.00 regardless of condition so after we made the trip BACK to Portland I had to buy one and I then transferred all the AC and running gear into that Crown.

Back then it was real common to find abandoned cars sitting all over Portland and I would often leave for work early in the morning and stop and pick off a few parts that I needed for mine. I even had a Portland Police officer sit and watch me, at my request, as I got some parts.

There were many 55 Fords later and all Crown Vic's, one a glass top.

More stories to come.

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Message thread:

My story about the 1955 Fords, enjoy, This is along story and I tried to by Dick Johnson #44434
Dayum, you sure do know how to entertain us! I love it..every word! by Steve Jakubczak #44434.1
Keep 'em coming! (EOM) by David Holcombe #44434.1.1
Yes Please! (EOM) by Jerry Vinson #44434.1.1.1
+1 (EOM) by Frank Kocour #44434.1.2
I have a million questions and comments for you with no idea where to start. You definitely have an by Frank Kocour #44434.2
Huh, I guess we could have crossed paths afterall, I graduated high school in 67 in Vancouver WA by Duncan Pohl #44434.3
Great story! Reminds me of all the pains we used to endure keeping our heaps running! (EOM) by Jack Dodds #44434.4
As I said before, you're a brave man. I would never consider doing extensive repairs by myself. (EOM) by John Bono #44434.5




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