1953 Ford Crestline Sunliner Convertible


Ford is one of the most recognisable brands on the planet and arguably the most successful motor company of all time. To most people, when you mention ‘Ford’ they think of ‘the family sedan’, however, the company has always been an innovator and real ‘car guys’ recognise and appreciate Ford’s achievements. The Model T of course pioneered mass production and was one of the most significant motor vehicles ever built. In 1964, Ford introduced the Mustang which launched a new era of ‘pony class’ American muscle cars. It went on to become a legend. Think motorsport and Ford has done it all. The GT40 is perhaps Ford’s crowning glory and after a few false starts they swept aside Enzo’s red racers to dominate at Le Mans, winning the event in 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969.  In Australia and England, Ford has been very successful in Touring Cars. Ford, through its racing division Cosworth, was an engine supplier to Formula One and Indy cars for many years, achieving great success. Ford was also a pioneer in rallying and it has been competing in the World Rally Championship (WRC) since its inception in 1973. Cars such as the Ford Escort and in more recent times the Ford Focus have enjoyed great success around the world.

The 1950’s was a fabulous era for the American automobile industry. The United States became the world’s largest manufacturer of automobiles and Henry Ford’s goal of 30 years earlier that ‘any man with a good job should be able to afford an automobile’ was achieved. Ford was a market leader at that time and they had a significant influence on American culture. Fast food, rock ‘n’ roll, American diners, drive-in movies and of course cars were ‘very cool’.

Ford’s model range of the early 1950’s included the Mainline, Customline and Crestline, with each model available in varying body styles. The Crestline was the top of the range model available at that time.

Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1953 Ford Crestline Sunliner Convertible. This car is powered by a 239 cubic inch ‘flathead’ V8 engine mated to a three-speed column shift manual transmission. This is just a lovely example of this early Ford.

The current owner acquired the car at auction in the USA back in 2012. This car was part of the Charlie Thomas Collection. Charlie Thomas is a well-known car collector and from 1982 through until 1993 was a managing partner of the Houston Rockets NBA basketball team.

There is an import approval on file dated 18th January 2013. Since arriving into Australia this car has been used sparingly and travelled only 247 miles.

This car was restored quite a few years ago in the United States. Whilst an older restoration, the car still presents well today. The bright red paint work is in good condition, the body work is ‘straight as a die’ and the panel gaps are also good. All of the external trim and bright work (which are a feature on this car) are well presented. The interior is also in good condition and everything looks ‘just right’. The soft top is also in excellent condition (it’s probably been never used!) and its electric operation works perfectly. Under the bonnet, the engine bay appears to be authentic and presents as you would expect from an older restoration. Underneath, the car is also clean and the car looks to be structurally really solid.

This Ford Crestline Sunliner Convertible is highly optioned with an AM radio, a clock, a heater, a power top, MagicAire heater/defroster, rear fender skirts and wide whitewall tyres.

1953 was of course Ford’s 50th Anniversary and the badge on the centre piece of the steering wheel reads “50th Anniversary Ford 1903 – 1953” which is a nice touch.

The car was given a ‘once over’ and service shortly after it arrived into Australia in April 2013. A follow up service, which included cleaning the fuel pump and the carburettors, was done in May 2013. In 2016 the car was serviced again and the fuel system was flushed.

So on a beautiful Brisbane Spring day with the soft top down it’s time for our test drive. The flathead V8 starts easily and it is surprisingly quiet. After a short time to warm up we’re off cruising. This is absolutely what this car is all about! You certainly know that the car is from a bygone era, but it does everything one would expect.

Today the odometer reads 34,511 miles.

The car is accompanied by a US title (Indiana) and some service receipts.

This is just a ‘cool car’ that is ready to be driven and enjoyed.



  • -
  • Ford Crestline Sunliner
  • 1953
  • Convertible
  • Auto
  • 34,507 miles
  • 3923cc


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