Pick of the Day: 1953 Ford convertible in old-school custom style

The Crestliner Sunliner is a showboat cruiser with features of ’50s street rods

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The Sunliner has been stylized with various pieces of '50s chrome trim and 'bubble skirts

On this, the final day of Restoration and Customization Month at the ClassicCars.com Journal, the Pick of the Day is a 1953 Ford Crestliner Sunliner convertible that looks like it was customized in the 1950s. 

Although the Lake Orion, Michigan, dealer advertising the Ford of ClassicCars.com does not indicate in the ad when, where or by whom the Sunliner was built, it appears to be a classic custom created back in the day, judging by the trim and metalwork, and how a set of 1956 Packard taillights has been grafted to the rear. 

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Either that or the custom Ford was designed later by someone emulating how it was done back then. Whichever, a prospective buyer would need to ask.

“This custom modified 1953 Crestline Sunliner convertible has graced the pages of many classic car magazines and is always a crowd favorite,” the seller says in the ad. “She represents pride of ownership, years of great memories and fun with family and friends.

“With a little bit of TLC she will be back in the winner’s circle and gracing the cover of many more magazines with your name as her owner.”

The car is Ford-powered, with a 351cid Windsor V8 with dual exhaust and a 4-speed automatic transmission.

The seller ticks off a lengthy list of the Ford’s custom attributes, including solid steel body,  Bright White Pearlescent body paint by House of Kolors, tastefully detailed with medium purple accents and painted pinstripes, very nice chrome and bright work, white Naugahyde seats and interior with purple accents, Sun Pro gauges, adjustable air shocks,  dual dummy spotlights, tilt steering wheel, upgraded dashboard, fiberglass bubble skirts, 1954 Pontiac grill, 1951 Kaiser bumper guard, 1956 Packard taillights, 1952 Buick chrome, purple neon lights underneath, custom-made Naugahyde convertible boot and a custom-made convertible top. 

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The Ford even has a “wolf whistle” horn, which would seem to date it back to the ’50s, although the newer powertrain and purple neon lighting would be more-recent additions. 

Old or new – or maybe even a classic custom that was later redone – the Ford is a good-looking street rod that the seller points out is a regular Woodward Dream Cruise favorite, among many other shows.

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The asking price seems modest at $22,000.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Beautiful!!! If I had the 22 Grand, I’d certainly consider making it mine…Visions of “Car Craft” from the early 1960’s are favorite memories, and this car makes a dream come true, Mid century modern style!!!

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