1951 Ford Custom DeLuxe Convertible
Displacement: 239 Cubic Inches
Horsepower: 100 BHP
Cost New: $2,284
Ford's biggest news for 1951 was not with their engines as there were no changes from the previous year. It was with their transmissions. Ford released the Ford-O-Matic, the company's first automatic transmission, and it was a well-received improvement to the lineup. The transmission was a two-speed with a torque converter and an intermediate staring gear, which gave the same performance as a three-speed standard.
The interiors were given several upgrades in 1951. The "Luxury Lounge" featured color-matching carpets, "Color-Keyed Fordcraft" fabrics, newly redesigned steering wheels with full circle horn rings and a "Chanalited" instrument panel. The new instrument design had all the gauges clustered in front of the driver, lit with the "Glow Cup" controls and the "Safety-Glow" panel. The new system had better visibility of the gauges and at night, the speed you were driving was singled out, while the rest of the speedometer was dar. Ford's advertising team worked as hard as their engineers to make all of the new upgrades sound as glamorous as possible.
To counter the new hardtop from Chevrolet, Ford released their own hardtop. Called the Custom DeLuxe two-door Victoria Hardtop, it was the only low-cost hardtop to be offered with a V-8 engine.