Road Kings: The cars of 1948 – 1962


Introduced in 1962

Ford introduced a longer, heavier engine in 1960, knocking down the body height in the process. The 5-liter turbo V8-powered 1:12-mile Model A was a sensation, earning five North American Automobile Club Design Awards and 44 Top 10 Road Car Awards. The frugal hot rod has disappeared from driveways, but this hydraulic-assisted hot rod restored to its 1960s glory by the Detroit Automotive Museum can be found, at last, on a demolition bench in Dearborn, Michigan.

Mysterious deaths

In 1983, Jim Disney crashed the original remanufactured 5-liter motor before selling the vehicle. No one has ever located the car. A 1969 Redline P2CI/RFP sold at a garage sale for $2,500. She was in terrible shape, but I was able to get it started and drove it. It didn’t run well (only 12 miles to the gallon) but it didn’t do much more damage than that. Another one was lost to dust while I was building a garage.

Recycled parts

Only one of the body panels came from the new 1955 Ford Thunderbird. The muffler was salvaged from an old Brougham Westerner and the five-speed transmission was a newly refurbished spare from an Aston Martin. A 1950 Super 3500 armored sedan was a $5,000 build. Its dust cover ($2,300) and toolbox ($400) were shop junk from the ’50s.

Upside down

The paint job was done with leftover Bonneville Reddy 500 primer from a Chevrolet Corvette. Any others in the gallery?

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