HomePick of the Day1957 Ford ‘sleeper’ custom

1957 Ford ‘sleeper’ custom


The cleanly restored but plain-looking ’57 Ford packs a big-block V8 wallop

“This 1957 Ford Custom 300 is one heck of a gnarly little sleeper,” says the seller of the hot custom car that looks more like granny’s go-to-meetin’ wheels than any sort of performance rod.

Everybody loves a cool custom sleeper, the kind of car that looks merely like a nice old survivor until you open it up and blast off with a big-displacement roar. And this restored two-door sedan, the Pick of the Week gleaned from the classified ads on ClassicCars.com, is packing some serious heat under its hood, so there’s nothing Plain Jane about its acceleration potential.


Like a heavyweight boxer in a tuxedo.” [/pullquote]

The Lithia Springs, Georgia, seller says it best:

“The build started with a light body, stuffed with 427 cubic inches of stroked Windsor, backed with a 5-speed and hid it all under a low-key black-and-white paint job. Ultra-clean and ready to rock, this one’s a heartbreaker. With a low survival rate, these short-body Fords are none too easy to find, and you can see that they make great cruisers.”

The restored Ford’s paint and bodywork are in excellent condition, the seller states, as is the minimalistic chrome trim. The interior has been subtly customized with appropriate period patterns for the seats and door panels.

The bored-and-stroked 427 V8 has been nicely dressed up
The bored-and-stroked 427 V8 has been nicely dressed up

The engine is a 351 cid Ford Windsor V8 bored and stroked to 427, with dual quad carburetors, finned alloy valve covers (although “Cobra” is a bit of a stretch) and Flowmaster custom exhaust, backed by a Tremec five-speed manual transmission with a Hurst cue-ball shifter, and a 9-inch rear with 3.70 final drive for relaxed highway cruising.

“Clean, well-sorted and with a surprisingly nice ride, this is a car you can drive every day without noticing how fast it is,” the seller says. “And those steel wheels and plain hubcaps with 235/75/15 blackwall radials certainly help with the industrial-strength look.”

Priced at $37,995, this one had me checking into my own bank account.

Again, the seller says it best when he describes the black-and-white ’57 Ford as “elegant and brutal at the same time, like a heavyweight boxer in a tuxedo.”

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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