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Dearborn Reds: 1952

"1952 Ford Customline Tudor Sedan." As opposed to the "Fordor" sedan, which had two Mordors. Color transparency from the Ford Motor Co. photographic archives. View full size.

"1952 Ford Customline Tudor Sedan." As opposed to the "Fordor" sedan, which had two Mordors. Color transparency from the Ford Motor Co. photographic archives. View full size.

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“Wind Wings”

Vent Wings and Aerodynamics

In our house my mother called them "Cozy Wings." Not sure if that name was used elsewhere or if it was just another Cincinnati expression or something unique that my mother came up with.

In addition to ventilation the vent wings served a very useful aerodynamic purpose.
With today's "vent wingless" cars if you have your side window open and are cruising on the highway above about 45 mph the wind passing by the window causes an annoying throbbing sound. Vent wings were also "throbbing sound minimizers". Try it using your hand as a pseudo vent wing and note the reduction.

Door Latches

Dad took us to the introduction of the 1952 Fords at Times Square Motors in Erie, PA. The pushbutton latches were right at my eye-level and I was proud to grab his sleeve and say "Hey, Dad! Look at this!"

Rear View

You can check out a rear view of the same basic model a few years later on this Shorpy photo.

Most of these cars from that era before air conditioning was common have a small opening front corner window, popularly known as a "no draft".

["Vent wings" in the Lower 48. - Dave]

Why did they name it after Henry VIII

When I was in seventh grade, the Ford dealership was diagonally across the street from school. I would wander around the showroom admiring all the new 1961 Fords. I particularly liked the Galaxie Starliner. I was always confused as to why they named so many cars after the English House of Tudor. I'm not going to say how long it took me to figure out what was really being said. The reason being of course that as such a recent immigrant from Britain, I pronounced it the British way, TYOO-der, not "two door," like Americans.

All New for '52!

How often do you hear those puff words in connection with a new car model? However, for 1952 Ford wasn't kidding! An all new body to begin with, and if it had the six, which this one obviously doesn't, it would be an all new overhead design. It also had three features that would become ubiquitous on almost all cars during the coming years. It had suspended brake and clutch pedals instead of the old style that went through the floorboard. Also a step-on emergency brake with Buick being the only other make to offer it. And I believe it was also the first make to place the fuel filler behind the license plate, making it able to use either side of a gas pump.

A Very Red Car, Comrade

This '52 Ford reminds me of Soviet cars of the late-'50s through '70s.

Pictured: the 1957 Volga M21V.

Time to get back to practice, kids

Very professional shot. But it's interesting to see what appears to be a wedding ring on the football player's hand -- he better be careful with the flirting. Fortunately, his coach is there keeping an eye on things, though he's probably a bit annoyed that this car is out on the field.

And one does not simply walk into Mordor

Why does a chicken coop have two doors? Because if it had four doors, it would be a chicken sedan.

Made the year I was born

In the mid-'60s my best friend's dad had one similar to this. By that time it had a fairly substantial hole in the floor on the front passenger side where it had rusted out. Big enough that we could look down and see the road whizzing by under us. The front seat anchor was also broken so the entire seat would tilt back if you pushed on it. It's a miracle we weren't asphyxiated or killed in that thing! Seems to me that a 10-year-old car today is not likely to be in such terrible condition.

[My dad had a 1951 Ford with a hole in the same place! One day on the way to school we went around a corner and the door flew open and he had to grab my arm to keep me from falling out. Right after that he traded it for a new 1966 Galaxie. - Dave]

Coral Flame Red

It's amazing how many color choices you used to get on a new car. Basically a color palette to choose from and each with its own unique name. This '52 color is Coral Flame, later to be re-named Torch Red. Another example is below.

Lady you're gonna hafta move this thing!

Coach is giving his star halfback Biff enough time to arrange a date with Suzy Cheerleader but his patience is wearing thin as practice has already started.

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