Ford was anxious to show off its new Y-block V8 engine for 1954 when it supplied dealers with see-through hoods for showroom display
Long before Ferrari and other exotic-car brands made their engines visible for all to see, Ford built just-over 100 Crestline Skyliners for 1954 with see-through hoods to show off the automaker’s new Y-block 239cid V8 engine.
The Pick of the Day is a 1954 Ford Crestline Skyliner that has both a tinted-acrylic roof section and a special window in the hood so that customers in Ford dealer showrooms could peer in at the new engine.
“There were believed to be 107 of these demonstrator hoods given to dealers to display Ford’s new 239 Y block V8 and show it off on their showroom floors,” according to the Mankato, Minnesota, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com.
The glass top was sort of an early example of a moon roof, with the front section of the hardtop made of tinted glass to bring in the sunshine. The feature was optional for the Crestline model in 1954 and on 1955 and ’57 Crown Victorias.
The window-in-the-hood feature is something different altogether, an effort by Ford to promote the new overhead-valve V8. The idea was for dealers to park highly optioned cars with see-through hoods on showroom floors to build excitement among potential buyers.
The Crestline demonstrator is outfitted with some of the popular features of the day, including a continental kit spare tire, spotlights, AM radio, automatic transmission and other premium trim.
After its days as a showroom showpiece, this Ford apparently was used on the highway by subsequent owners, who retained the unusual hood window. The car now has around 87,000 miles on its odometer.
“This particular car is driver quality and would need some TLC to be taken to the next level,” the seller says. “It has had one repaint since 1954 that does show its age with chips, nicks, scratches, etc. The interior appears to have been done around the time of the repaint. There is pitting on some of the brightwork.
“The car does run out decent and we’ve had it up and down the highway fine.”
The price for this rare piece of Ford history is a modest $19,900.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day6 comments