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Money No Object: Factory Special? Shine Runner’s Dream? This 1957 Ford Custom Rules!

Money No Object: Factory Special? Shine Runner’s Dream? This 1957 Ford Custom Rules!

Okay, Ford guys, let’s make a deal. I don’t know much about Fords older than 1970, so I’m simply presenting what facts I can find for you on this 1957 Custom. Save your skewering for when I screw up and call a Galaxie a Fairlane, and vice versa. Why feature the car in the first place, then? Because even if you don’t believe the description for the car’s auction, there is plenty going on here to like from just about any standpoint. I don’t have to be a dyed-blue Ford freak to know that this plain-jane two-door has something special going on after reviewing the photos. My own eyes tell me that it’s a beautifully restored vehicle that looks better than new. Already, that earns points in my book. I’m digging the utility/police-spec vibe of the look, with the single color, basic trim and the dog-dish caps on steel wheels. You can almost picture it as a fire chief’s car, can’t you?

If that was the case, Chief had some connections at the local Ford dealership, that’s for sure. The car looks poverty-spec on the outside, but under that hood it’s all class. That would be the 312ci Y-block engine, and it’s sporting a McCulloch supercharger. That equates to 300 horsepower in a 1957 automobile, and in this Ford that’s serious oats for the day. In fact, you can consider this a factory special: in 1956, Robert McNamara, then head honcho of Ford, had seen the trouble that Chevrolet was about to bring to his doorstep and wanted to take the challenge head-on. In a notice put out at the end of 1956, he urged that 100 supercharged Ford products of various models needed to be built so that they could be available for the Daytona Beach events. Those 100 cars were built, and are often identified as either “Phase 1” or “D/F” cars (the “D/F” mark is for the engine code identifier in the VIN number). Now…between us, readers, do you think all of those cars actually made it to the sands? We don’t. We suspect that some good natured folks in the southeast with their finger on the pulse of what Detroit was thinking saw some opportunity and might have squirreled one or two away for some enterprising uses that didn’t exactly involve racing. Good horsepower in a plain wrapper, with connections to all sorts of hot rodder lore. No wonder we like this thing so much.

Mecum Auctions’ Indianapolis 2019: Lot R417 – 1957 Ford Custom “Phase 1”

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7 thoughts on “Money No Object: Factory Special? Shine Runner’s Dream? This 1957 Ford Custom Rules!

  1. geo815

    Didn”t involve racing? BULLSHIT. WOT against Motorola is racing in its purest form, especially if the delivery was successful.

  2. Scott Liggett

    Way back in HS, a friend’s dad bought a 57 500 from Kentucky by only seeing a bunch of pics. He knew it had been modded with a dual quad 428 4 spd and a later 9 inch. It was a very dark green with black bench seat interior. What he didn’t know was the car was a tanker car. It’s rake came from 2 extra leafs on each side, extra shocks on all four corners, The back seat had all but 1 inch of padding because there was a huge moonshine behind it. It was filled by the gas tank filler neck. There was a fuel cell in the trunk. There was also a dump valve that was connected to the ashtray by a cable. Pull the ashtray out and the dump valve opens. It was crazy.

  3. Geo

    I had one in 1996 I bought one from a friend. I had no clue what it was and how rare it was when I bought it for $2700 it. The car had a 406 and and auto not running. My intention was to get it running, tub it and cruise it which I never did. Years later I was on the internet and ran across a register for 57 fords and so I registered it. I was contacted within a couple days and told it was a super charged factory car and would I sell it. I was offered 10K as is, with out the 406 or trans so I sold it. Years later I get a call from another guy who bought it from him telling me he had 4 others. These cars are rare. Of coarse now I regret it now.

  4. claymore

    That engine with various air filter arrangements was available in all the Ford Products including the T-bird. Ford station wagons and 4 door hard tops held many NHRA records in there time. The 283 fuelie in Cheys couldn’t beat them LOL.

  5. Tom P

    Cool car. In the 80’s before hot August Nights started I was at a car show in Reno in a park and there was a 57 Retractable supercharged, a 57 convertible supercharged and a 57 Mercury convertible dual quad M335

    Really cool to see those preserved.

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