1951 Ford X-51 by Ron Courtney

Ron Courtney, an auto shop employee in McMinnville, Oregon, built the X-51 during the mid-50s. Preferring to call his work “restyling” rather than “customizing”, he sectioned the body five inches, shaved the door handles and exterior trim, and modified the front fenders to accept 1956 Oldsmobile headlights. The most prominent modification was the vehicle’s extremely large fins and custom taillights.

When you look at this car remember this was built in the mid-1950s prior to the outrageous tail fins on Detroit’s new cars. The rumors of that time were that new car designers often got their inspiration for new designs from the customizers of the day. This X-15 creation may will have been the inspiration for a number of new 1959 tailfin equipped new cars.

The X-15 was powered by a 265-cubic inch Chevrolet equipped with a McCulloch supercharger. It received several awards at the 1967 Portland Roadster Show and appeared on the cover of Hot Rod magazine, which dubbed it the “Ford of the future.”

This car was photographed at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles where it was on display.

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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at www.TalladegaSpoilerRegistry.com site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.

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