1956 Ford Crown Victoria Display: Before and After
This brilliant before/after display is on loan to the Classic Car Collection by Lin Hoskins of Hastings.
Back in 1964, I fell in love with a car, a flashy 1956 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria. She was Peacock Blue and Colonial White, and was sitting on a car lot in Hastings. She was the best looking and fanciest car I had ever seen with all her sparkling chrome on the front and rear and that Crown over the top. In 1965, I was able to buy that car. It was thrilling. I was 16. I had other cars, but this would be the first car I could legally drive. I drove it until 1968 when mechanical issues forced me to put it into my parent’s backyard. Some kids came along one night and broke out all her windows. I was crushed. I didn’t think I would ever be able to replace those windows. In 1980 my parents moved and had no room to keep the ’56. Decision time.
I was deeply involved in drag racing by then and had no room to keep the ’56. When my race car engine blew, I knew it was time to sell the ’56 so I could afford to race. The car went to ’56 enthusiast Gary Stertz of Blue Hill who kept some good parts and sold the rest of her to another ’56 enthusiast in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
A few years later I started looking for the ’56 again. After all she was a very solid, straight, restorable car. Gary told me the name of the current owner and I called him and told him my story. He didn’t want to sell. Every couple of years I would contact him and see if he was ready to sell or if he had started to restore her. Each time he had done nothing. He was not interested in selling.
In 1993, he called! He wanted to sell! We headed to Council Bluffs. My ’56 was exactly like she was when I sold her, minus a few parts plus lots of dirt and a few cat droppings. We gave her a bath and took her home where she sat again. (That’s her on the right!)
One day my wife and I were walking across our yard, and I mentioned how much I wanted to restore my ’56 and probably would never get it done. I had acquired several ’56 Fords, trying to replace the one I couldn’t have. One of those (on the left) was an older restoration ’56 Ford Crown Victoria, Peacock Blue and Colonial White, the same colors, as my ’56. My wife joked that we could “always do a ‘Before and After Display’ with the 2 Crowns.” I laughed, but then thought “why not?”.
The planning began and we recruited Gary Stertz and started gathering pieces. There is a lot of work that goes into setting up the display, especially gathering the props (sand, digging weeds, building the fence, etc…). When was the last time you saw a rusty tin beer can, a bias tire, or this kind of barbed wire? Don’t miss the pheasant and the quail and the cow skull.
Oh, and don’t miss the two really great 1956 Ford Crown Victorias!
Thanks for LOOKING!
–Lin Hoskins, Hastings, NE
See also: http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Ford/1956%20Ford/1956_Ford_Fairlane_Victoria_Brochure/dirindex.html (Original dealer brochure)