The 1951 Cadillac Series 61 Sedan / Photos, All Details

The automobile featured in this article is a beautifully restored 1951 Cadillac Series 61 Sedan. The 1951 model year was the last for the Cadillac Series 61. The Series 61 was popular in as much as it offered a lower priced Cadillac but still offered the smooth Cadillac ride not to mention carrying the prestigious Cadillac badge.

1951 cadillac series 61

1951 Cadillac Series 61 Sedan

Cadillac initially came up with their Series 61 due to the Great Depression which of course put downward pressure on prices. Price point, even to sell Cadillacs, was important. Some of the independent luxury automakers that didn't have the resources of a company like GM simply went out of business.

The New Post War Cadillac Design

New post war Cadillac design was introduced with the 1948 model. Up until that point designs had their roots in the pre war models. The 1948 Cadillac came in a Sixty-One model and a Sixty-Two Model. Among other differences, the Sixty-One Series had less trim than the Sixty-Twos.

The new post war design was spearheaded by Frank Hershey, working under Harley Earl, who is credited for the first tail fins on a Cadillac, and the 1955 Thunderbird.

These automobiles considered some of the most elegant automobiles of that period with smooth flowing lines. The new design also sported a tail fin that housed the tail lights. These new tail fins were reportedly had their origins based on the P-38 military fighter airplane. Fins would become a trademark of Cadillacs for many years thereafter. The 48 model year will always be remembered as the year Cadillac came out with tail fins which hit it's most extravagant design in the 1958 to 1960 period.

In 1949 the most significant engineering change involved the introduction of the new overhead valve 331 cubic inch V8 engine.

cadillac series 61 specificationsThe 1951 Cadillac Series 61

A major design change occurred in 1950. These changes included a longer rear deck, a lower and heavier look and a broken rear fender line. Also, 1950 saw the new one piece windshield. The 1951 model had a minor facelift from the previous year.

As mentioned above, the 1951 Cadillac Series 61 was the lower priced Cadillac. This model also had a shorter wheelbase than the Series 62. (122 inch vs.126 inch)

Cadillac had mixed results catering to middle class buyers. No doubt a strong effort was made to accomplish this but the Series 61 was discontinued in mid-year. The most popular seller in 1951 was Cadillac's Series 62 four door sedan. The Cadillac Series 62 was available as a pillared coupe, convertible or Coupe de Ville.

1951 Cadillac Series 61 Specifications

Standard engine for the 1951 Cadillac 61 Sedan was a 331 cubic inch V-8. Horsepower was rated at 160. Top speed for this model came in at just under 100 MPH.

Gearbox was a three speed manual or a four speed Hydra-Matic.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.

Front suspension were independent coil springs with rear being semi-ellipical leaf springs.

Dimensions and weight include a wheelbase of 122.0 inches, an overall length of 211.5 inches, width 80.123 inches, height 61.69 inches and a curb weight of about of 4,000 lbs. The Hydra-Matic model about 4,100 lbs. New car price for the 51 Cadillac Series 61 Sedan was about $2,700.

Total 1951 production of the Cadillac Series 6

was about 4,700 vehicles. Out of this total 2,300 Series 61 Sedans were built.

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1950 car fins

Distinctive tail fin with enclosed taillight

Reference material for this article included, GM Archives, The Book of Collector Cars, American Automobile History, NADA.

1951 Cadillac Collector Cars and Values

We believe that basically all Cadillacs from the early 1900's through the 1950's make good collector cars. The 1948 Cadillac can be considered a milestone car in as much as it represents the new post war design.

Cadillacs from 1950 through 1956 are especially popular starting with the significant design change of 1950. Cadillacs had the distinction of looking unique. During this period when you saw a Cadillac you knew beyond doubt that it was a Cadillac. The 1955 classic Coupe deVille is an excellent example.

1951 cadillac design

Taillight in fin styling

In general, values for very good conditioned and better 1951 Cadillac Series 61 range from about $11,000 to $25,000. The top price in this category is a professionally restored model. Interestingly enough, the Two Door Coupe appears to garner $5,000 to $10,000 more than the sedans. For the 1951 model year the Cadillac Series 62 Convertible comes in at the highest valuation in a range of $50,000 to $90,000. Again, this range goes from very good to excellent. The higher prices are not considered daily drivers.

An excellent website for Cadillac enthusiasts is ...   Here you will find information ranging from classics to the new Cadillac Escalade. For a list of Cadillac Car Clubs see website...

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

1935 Ford Deluxe Fordor Beauty / Photos, Specs

The automobile featured in this article may be the nicest looking 1935 Ford Deluxe Fordor Sedan you'll find anywhere. This automobile is a real head turner. The 1935 Fords were the Model 48's which replaced the Model 40A's.

1935 for fordor specs

1935 Ford Deluxe Fordor Sedan

The New 1935 Design

Ford Motor made changes to their 1935 V-8. (The V-8 from Ford was first produced in 1932 with the Model 18.) These included moving the engine eight inches forward, increasing the size of the passenger compartment, decreased hood length and making the grille even with the front fenders. The fenders themselves were much more rounded.

Moving the grille forward actually gave the vehicle a more modern look. The windshield was also more sharply sloped. Ford named this new makeover as the Center-Poise Ride.

Two trim lines were offered for 1935, the Standard and Deluxe. The Deluxe models had chrome accents and the Standards did not. Ford marketed their 1935 models with the phrase..."Greater Beauty, Greater Comfort, and Greater Safety.”

The original 1935 design was minimally changed each year beginning in 1936 until 1941 when an entirely new design was introduced. The new 1941 design was relatively short lived since all civilian car production ended in February 1942 due to the Second World War.

1935 ford fordor deluxe photos

More modern look than the 34 models

The entire list of 1935 Ford automobiles produced include...

  Deluxe Roadster
  Deluxe Phaeton
  Deluxe Coupe 5 Window
  Deluxe Tudor Sedan
  Deluxe Fordor Sedan
  Coupe 5 Window
  Coupe 3 Window
  Tudor Sedan
  Fordor Sedan
  Touring Sedan
  Convertible Sedan

1935 Was A Banner Year For Ford

The year 1935 was very special for Ford Motor in as much as they overtook Chevrolet in sales. It was the first time this happened since 1930. As mentioned above, the space inside the vehicle was increased by using a boxed side rail frame and increasing the distance from the firewall and the rear axle. The 1935 model's doors were larger, making access easier. The cars also offered a new roll-up window device.

1935 Ford Deluxe Sedan Specifications

This automobile is powered by a 221 cubic inch Flathead V-8 with aluminum heads. The engine delivers 85 horsepower which was the same upped HP that came out with the 1934 models. The four cylinder engine was finally discontinued in 1935 leaving the Flathead V-8 to power all 1935 Ford models.

An interesting side note regarding Ford's V-8's of the early 1930's involves the infamous bank robber Clyde Barrow of the Bonnie and Clyde duo. Supposedly, Clyde sent a letter in 1934 directly to Henry Ford in praise of the powerful new Ford V-8 which enabled him to outrun many police vehicles of the day. Ironically, the 1934 Ford V-8 ended up as the car riddled with a hundred bullets that ended the lives of Bonnie and Clyde.

Gearbox was a three speed manual.

Brakes were mechanical four wheel drum.

Suspension was a solid axle on a transverse leaf spring front and rear. This was an old suspension design that actually came from the old Model T's. Ford Motor Company would stick with this type suspension for years afterward.

Ford Fordor interior photo

35 Ford Model 48 dashboard

Dimensions for the 1935 Ford Deluxe Fordor included a wheelbase of 112.0 inches and an average weight is about 2,600 lbs.

The 1935 model year of course was in the middle of the Great Depression and automakers were scrambling to sell cars. The Ford Fordor Deluxe featured in this article had a new car price of about $640. The Standard model was priced at about $575.

The new 1935 design was very attractive and the price was right. Ford sales were excellent pushing the automaker ahead of Chevrolet for the 1935 model year. In fact 1935 Ford sales was almost twice what 1934 was. Total Ford 1935 production was 820,000 units. Total 1935 Model 48 production was 787,000. Out of that amount, 105,150 were Deluxe Sedan models.

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ford fordor deluxe sedan

Newly designed rear with sloping spare wheel and integrated trunk

The 1935 Ford Collector Car Values

Most will agree that the 1935 Ford is a very popular collector car. Current values are different depending on model but the higher priced would most likely be the Phaeton, Convertible, Woody Wagon and Three Window Deluxe Coupe.

Degree and age of restoration along with originality will of course influence value. The range of retail prices for these 1935 models are from perhaps $7,000 to $28,000. You're likely to find convertible models significantly higher than this range. Any vehicle fully restored will obviously garner higher values.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)


1958 Ford Two Door Ranch Wagon / Specs, Photos

The automobile featured in this article is the 1958 Ford Two Door Ranch Wagon. This particular vehicle is in great shape and looks real good. You don't see these restored Ford Ranch Wagons everyday and they are fairly rare at car shows.

1958 ford ranch wagon

1958 Ford Ranch Wagon

Ford Motor Company Station Wagons

When we talk about 1950's automobiles we tend to to look at the coolest looking vehicles. Much of this is probably the fact that 1950's designs were quite different than anything before them. The story of the tail fins with the latter 1950's models is a good example.

When it comes to station wagons the primary goal was to make a vehicle that could transport perhaps six to eight passengers. Style was important and the automakers did their best to carry over design changes as much as possible.

Ford Motor has a long background in the station wagon market. The first was the 1929 Ford Wagon. The first wagon that Ford built that was totally in-house was a 1937 model. These were wood trimmed mostly commercial vehicles. By the 1950's Ford reverted to the all steel body for their wagons, the last with any real wood ended in 1952. After that model year Ford Motor Company still produced wagons that had a simulated wood trim using exterior wood decals which were actually still framed with genuine wood. This stopped however in 1953.

ford ranch station wagonFord Ranch Wagon Long Production Run

Ford Motor Company produced the Ranch Wagon from 1952 to 1974. A very impressive twenty-two year run. During this production run the Ford Ranch Wagon was a full size vehicle with the exception of 1963 and 64 where it was an intermediate model. Whwen changes were made with 1952 Ford wood wagons two new wagon models were introduced. These were the Country Sedan, a four-door model in the mid-range Customline series; and the Ranch Wagon. After receiving cosmetic changes for 1953, a second Ranch Wagon model, a fancier version in the Customline series, was added for the 1954 model year.

Standard equipment on all Ranch Wagons included a one-hand, easy-opening tailgate that was a full foot wider than anything produced by the competition. Also, 97 cubic feet of luggage area with the rear seats folded, providing a luggage area that was about 101/2 feet long with the tailgate down, and was 62.8 inches wide at its widest point inside. Deluxe interior included standard foam padding for the front bench seat, along with vinyl and woven plastic upholstery.

In the late 1950s, Ford Motor Company completely restyled its lineup to compete with the offerings from General Motors.

For the 1957 and 1958 model year Ford Motor also offered the Del Rio Ranch Wagon. Buyers of the Del Rio wagon had the option of a two tone paint scheme, four way power seats and a better quality interior. The Del Rio also had the two piece tailgate which was utilized on all Ford wagons. The Del Rio was a sports wagon but was discontinued after 1958 with only a bit over 12,000 units sold.

The 1959 model year for Ford Station Wagons saw the nine-passenger Country Squire  rated above the six- or nine-passenger, four-door Country Sedan wagons and the six-passenger, two-door Country Sedan wagon and two- or four-door Ranch Wagons.

1958 Ford Two Door Ranch Wagon Specifications

The 1958 Ford Two Door Ranch Wagon was available with either a 223 Inline Six or a 331 cubic inch V-8. The six delivered 140 horsepower and the V-8 produced 240.

Brakes are four wheel hydraulic drum.

Front suspension has independent coil springs and the rear are longitudinal leaf springs.

Vehicle dimensions include a wheelbase of 118.0 inches...overall length of 202.7 inches...width of 78.0 inches...height of 58.6 inches.

Regarding production numbers for 1958 Ford Wagons, total station wagon production totaled 184,600 vehicles. Out of that amount, 34,575 were two door Ranch Wagons and 32,850 were four door Ranch Wagons. The highest production wagon was the Country Squire four door at 68,750 units.

For those wanting to decode 1958 Ford automobiles, the following website is very helpful for decoding that years serial numbers....

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1950's ford station wagonsStation wagons are generally not hot topics within the car collector community. On the flip side, if you're fortunate enough to come across a late 1950's Ford Wagon in reasonably good condition it might be a good buy. You may be able to find a good buy in the teens and certainly under $20,000 for an unrestored model.

As always, the price will and should reflect condition and mileage plus originality. If the wagon has been fully restored you could be looking at anywhere from $40,000 plus to the $80,000 range.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)