Friday, February 12, 2010

1953 Ford Crestline Victoria 2-door hardtop

"You 'belong' in a '53 FORD. And with its 41 'worth more' features, you'll find it is worth more when you buy it . . . worth more when you sell it!"

Through the early 50s, Ford was on a mission: to overtake Chevrolet in sales and become the best-selling american company again. In 1952, the advantage was Ford's, when they introduced the second completely new-developed car in just three years after the presentation of the legendary 1949 Ford. While Chevrolet had to live with it's warmed-up lineup from 1949 through 1952, Fords new models looked fresher outside with completely new bodywork and a one-piece windscreen as the most notable novelty. Under the hood though, the tried and trusted construction didn't change so dramatically. For 1953, Ford buyers could finally order power-assisted brakes and steering, which had been previously available only on Mercurys and Lincolns, and the cars now offered a smoother ride due to improvements on the suspension. Fords answer to the extremely successful hardtops from GM was the Crestline Victoria hardtop, Fords V8-powered top-level offering for 1953.

In 1953, new Fords came with the inscription "50th Anniversary 1903-1953" embossed in the center of the steering wheel. Although Fords "Anniversary models" faced a strong competition by the new-for 1953 Chevrolet, the production numbers skyrocketed, because Ford and Chevrolet alike had started to flood the dealerships with cars, no matter if they were ordered or not. This practice should find its climax in 1954, but somehow these "sales wars" should hurt neither Ford nor Chevrolet: the losers were the "independents", who simply couldn't keep up with the aggressive pricing of the two "Biggest Three". Despite the massive sales gain, Ford couldn't beat Chevrolet, although the model-year production number was slightly higher than Chevrolet's. But sales numbers were counted in calendar-year, and with this measure, Chevrolet had an advantage of just over 17.000 cars in 1954.

Back in 1953, Fords advertisement looked strangely dated. While other brands blatantly hyped the styling of their products, Ford's advertisers still emphasized on the values of the car, just like it was en vogue in the 40s: "One of the nicest things about owning a Ford is that it is accepted everywhere! Likewise, Ford owners are known and respected for their good taste and sound business judgement for selecting the car that is not only beautifully built and finished but one that returns more of its initial cost when sold! Of course, this is perfectly natural when you realize what a '53 Ford really is and does."

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