1953 was Ford’s Golden Anniversary year celebrating 50 years in the car business. The new body shell introduced the previous year continued untouched as it would over the next several years. The newly-designed cars were lower and wider. The Crestline became a top-of-line V-8 series. 110 bhp, 239 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission with overdrive, coil-spring front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf-spring suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.
While Chevrolet and Ford actively competed for “popular-price” sales during the early 1950s, the Blue Oval consistently outsold its rival when it came to such specialty models as station wagons, convertibles, and hardtops. In fact, Ford outsold Chevrolet during the 1953 calendar year on the strength of its flathead V-8 engine, a design which had a massive following and appeared under the hood of nearly 70 percent of Ford production. Nonetheless, an all-new Y-Block OHV V-8 was planned for 1954, so this would be the last year of a truly legendary engine.
In many ways, the 1953 Ford combined the best of old and new. The flathead sat on a chassis riding atop ball-joint front suspension, which eliminated the outdated kingpins, and a growing number of convenience and comfort options were included, such as power windows, power seats, and power brakes. The carefully updated bodywork included a revised grille treatment, minor trim changes, and striking “Jet-Ray” taillights.
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