1951 Ford Crestliner

In 1949 Ford took a big risk by completely redesigning their Ford line.  The 1949 Ford was a completely new car that looked nothing like their previous cars.  The 1951 Ford Crestliner that is the subject of this post was a direct evolution of the 1949 Ford.

Advertisement For The 1949 Ford

During this period of time, not only Ford but all of the North American car manufacturers were moving from pre-war designs to the new post-war cars.  Not surprisingly, in 1950 Ford was caught without a pillarless or “hardtop” car that many of the other North American manufacturer’s had.  As a result in mid-model year 195o, Ford came up with the Crestliner, which was a two-door sedan with many new trim features.  Eventually, at the end of January 1951, Ford was able to introduce their new “hardtop” model, the Custom Victoria.  With the addition of the Custom Victoria, Ford no longer needed the Crestliner and it was dropped from their line up, as a result, the 1951 Ford Crestliner shown below is from the last model year of the Crestliner.

1951 Ford Crestliner

While the overall body configuration of the 1951 Ford is the same as the 1949 model, the major difference is in the grill design.  The 1949 grill has a single “spinner” design, while the 1951 Fords had a dual “spinner” design.

Note the Vinyl Roof on this 1951 Ford Crestliner

The special trim features for the Crestliner were two-tone side trim, special hubcaps, vinyl top, and upscale interior trim.  Even with these features in 1951 Ford sold about 103,000 Custom Victorias at $1,925 compared to only 8,703 Crestliner despite selling for $330 less at $1,595.  Clearly the customers preferred the hardtop styling of the Custom Victorias.

Vinyl tops, like that on this 1951 Crestliner, made this brief appearance in the 1950s and then re-appeared again in the mid-1960s.

This Particular 1951 Ford Crestliner Was Very Well Restored

In 1951 Fords were available with an overhead valve six-cylinder engine or the famous Flord “Flathead” V8 engine.  The 239 cubic inch Flathead engine produced 100 horsepower which was only a few more horsepower than the six cylinder engine.  The V8 emblem on the side of the Crestliner, just ahead of the rear, lets people know that there is a Flathead V8 in this car.

Note The Presence of Seat Belts in this Car

This particular car had a set of seat belts installed.  I believe that these are aftermarket seat belts, because I don’t think that seat belts were available in Ford cars until about 1956.  The particular 1951 Ford Crestliner had a 3-speed manual tranmission with a column mounted shifter.  The original owner had selected this transmission despite Ford having introduced their three-speed “Ford-O-Matic” automatic transmission in this model year.

The Crestliner Interior Is Very Attractive

The “Magic Air” box seen in the area below the dash is a heater.  This was a $58 option that had a 25% percent higher air flow.  At first glance it appears to be an air conditioner, but it is actually a heater.

I found this car to be quite interesting with its early use of a vinyl roof.  I also followed this car on the road for a few miles and it seemed to run very well.

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18 Responses to 1951 Ford Crestliner

  1. jon baumgartner says:

    I would like to buy the 1951 ford crestliner= replay at jonbaumgartner@yahoo.com

  2. jon baumgartner says:

    I would like to buy the 1951 ford crestliner

    • Hopefully the owner of the this 1951 Ford Crestliner will see your comment and get hold of you. I do not have any information about the owner. I saw the car drive through my town on its way to the show. I remember speaking to the husband and wife at the show. They were nice people. They might have been from Uxbridge or Webster, MA.

      Good luck,
      Steve McKelvie

    • George Zeiler says:

      this is what I am looking for the one big draw back is the stick shift I just turned79 and I don’t want to shift NO MORE I really like the car thanks George Zeiler.

  3. Charles Berry says:

    I believe that with the introduction of the Victoria the Crestliner was discontinued which would explain the larger number of Victoria sales.


  4. Pam Smith says:

    I have a 1951 Ford Victoria a barn find trying to sell and it has the crestliner side panel on it. Did they do this at the factory or would this be an aftermarket? Can’t find out anything about it! Where could I send you a picture?

  5. Pappy Brown says:

    YOu mentioned that the 51 ford was available with the “overhead” valve engine, which didn’t become available until 52, ok

  6. Jon Baumgartner says:

    Still looking for a 1951 ford crestliner.

  7. Jon Baumgartner says:

    Is this 1951 ford crestliner for sale? jjbummy58@yahoo.com

  8. patrick says:

    jon are you still looking for a 51 crestliner pmr10dcx@gmail.com

  9. Mark Marson says:

    Have a 1951 ford crestliner for sale in Tucson . Has an az. title needs restore not running $3500 Mark 520 321 4635

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