A letter arrived from J. P. (Pat) Murphy of Etobicoke, Ontario. “Hi Bill: my 1955 Ford Customline was sold new on June 29, 1955 through Lawrence Motors at 2500 Yonge Street in Toronto to its only other owner. The Ford was driven until 1963, when for some unexplained reason it was stored in a barn in Kincardine, Ontario, with the 1963 plates still attached. I purchased the car for $2800 from the estate of the owner in October 2005 with 57,302 original miles on the odometer.
“The car was moved down to my brother’s body shop in London, Ontario, where it underwent a complete body restoration and was repainted in its original colour, using the information shown on both data plates on the firewall.”
The serial number of Pat’s car is #470BK55-59559. He contacted John Albano, Historical Consultant, Ford Motor Company of Canada, in 2007 to ask what that number means. Mr. Albano wrote back, saying the “4” is Ford – 8 cylinder engine, “70B” is Tudor Customline Series, “K” is left-hand-drive, unit built at Oakville, ON, assembly plant, “55” is the model year, and “59559” is the unit number built in June 1955. The paint code “17” indicates Canyon Cordovan Metallic Exterior Paint Colour. Mr. Albano added that a total of 236,575 of this model were built in North America.
Ford of Canada switched its manufacturing from Windsor to Oakville in 1953. Ford in 1955 offered three series: the budget-conscious Mainline, the intermediate Customline, and the top-of-the-line Fairlane, named after Henry Ford’s ancestral home in Ireland. All 1955 Fords had wraparound windshields, a popular new style at that time.
Pat continues: “The 272 Y-block V8 in my car was completely rebuilt through ‘Answer Engine Works’ in London. This Ford is, as its new plate suggests, a ‘PLN JANE.’ It is 6 volt with a 3-speed manual transmission, no overdrive, and no options. It is a radio-delete from Oakville. This Ford was built at a time when major 8-lane highways were just coming into vogue, so my Ford prefers the 2-lane blacktop. We travel in the granny lane on today’s major roadways.
“Bill, why not start a column on BARN FINDS? I will bet there are a lot of interesting stories out there.” So, readers, do you have an automotive treasure stashed in your barn? We would love to hear from you!
If the story of your car is published in this column, you will receive a copy of Bill Sherk’s latest book “Old Car Detective Favourite Stories, 1925 to 1965.” To share your stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write Bill Sherk, 25 John Street, P.O. Box 255, Leamington, ON N8H 3W2.
Written by Bill Sherk The Old Car Detective