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Ford Customline

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Customline
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Wikipedia: Ford Customline

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A car produced by Ford from 1952-1956.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Ford Customline page on 15 November 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Ford Customline is an automobile that was produced by Ford in the United States for model years 1952 to 1956.

First generation: 1952

The Ford Customline was introduced in 1952 as the mid-range model in that year’s US Ford range, positioned below the Ford Crestline and above the Ford Mainline. It was offered in 2-door sedan, 4-door sedan, 2-door coupé & 4-door station wagon body styles. The coupe was marketed as the Club Coupe and the station wagon as the Customline Country Sedan. 1952 Customlines were available with 215 cid inline six-cylinder or 239 cid V8 engines. Production totaled 402,542 units.

First generation: 1953

The 1953 Customlines utilized the 1952 bodies with only minor changes. Production totaled 761,662 units.

First generation: 1954

The 1954 Customlines utilized the 1952-53 bodies with only minor changes. The Customline range now included a new 2-door Ranch Wagon. Engines were now 223 cid inline six-cylinder or 239 cid overhead valve V8. 1954 Customline production totaled 674,295 units. Some historians suppose that at 1956 the Soviet car designer Lev Eremeyev studied the design Ford Customline for ideas to create the new Soviet automobile GAZ-21 "Volga".

Second generation: 1955

The 1955 Customline was redesigned with new longer, lower and wider bodies. It continued as the mid range trim level, now positioned below the new Ford Fairlane and above the Ford Mainline. It was offered in 2-door sedan and 4-door sedan body styles only, with the wagons now included in their own series which comprised the Ford Ranch Wagon, Ford Country Sedan and Ford Country Squire. Customlines were available with 223 cid inline six-cylinder or 272 cid V8 engines. 1955 Customline production totaled 471,992 units.

Second generation: 1956

The 1956 Customlines utilized the 1955 bodies with only minor changes. A Customline Victoria 2-door hardtop was added to the range. 1956 Customline production totaled 368,653 units.

The Customline was not carried over to the 1957 model year.

Australian production

The Customline was also produced by Ford Australia from 1952 to 1959. Cars were assembled using Australian built bodies and imported chassis kits which included all front sheet metal. In addition to the Customline sedan, a limited number of station wagons and the Australian developed Mainline Coupe Utility were produced.

The 1952 model was updated in 1953 and 1954 along the lines of the US Fords. All were powered by the Flathead V8 which went into Australian production in 1952. This included the 1954 model which was fitted with the older engine rather than the new overhead valve Y-block V8 which had been introduced in the US for 1954.

The 1955 body was used for four model series in Australia. The 1955 model was powered by the overhead valve Y-block V8 which had entered partial Australian production with locally sourced components. The 1956 model featured the 1956 US Customline grille, 12 volt electrics and a new Fordomatic automatic transmission option. The 1957 model retained the 1956 body but featured a large V8 badge positioned in the grille and utilized 1956 Ford Fairlane trim. The 1958 model used the 1955 Canadian Meteor grille with a four-pointed star and 1956 Meteor side trim. The 1958 ‘star model’ was badged as either a Customline or as a Fordomatic. Production ended in September 1959 with the introduction of Australian assembled 1959 Fairlane 500, Custom 300 and Ranch Wagon models. An estimated 18,000 examples of the 1955-1959 sedan were produced.


Video

Family at Gas Station (1956 Ford spot)
Family in 1956 Ford Crown Victoria driving down country road, looks a bit like Central California.
This film is available courtesy of the Prelinger Archives (public domain).
Download Family at Gas Station from The Internet Archive - 19.4MB - 0:52


Images

1953 Ford Crestline Advertisement Subject:  1953 Ford Customline & Crestline Advertisement
Source:  The Saturday Evening Post
Date:  19 September 1953
View photo of 1953 Ford Advertisement - 22.5MB


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