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Our Cars--1953 Ford 2-Door Sedan

Submitted by Rob Waterson for Our Cars Week

1953 FordI am sure we must call my parents' 1953 Ford two-door a sedan because of the central pillar--I am not a car expert, but I am sure a coupe can't have a pillar separating the front and back seats. Ours had a straight-six engine with an oil-bath air filter. With a three on the tree, it was easy to handle and all three of us brothers learned how to drive using this classic. It was a light green with a dark-green top, but the top promptly faded when we used Mr. Clean to wash the car for the first time, so it became all-light-green.

As teenagers in mid-winter Topeka, Kan., we loved to do donuts in our ’53 on city streets packed with snow, but of course only at 3 a.m. on our way home from our rock band’s gigs. The back-seat floorboards rotted out from the salt on the street, so Dad dropped panels of (thin) sheet metal in their place on either side of the huge drive-shaft hump. We popped the clutch so much that Dad had to replace the differential, but he did every bit of work on this car himself.

I would give anything for the resources to be able seek out and possess (and restore, if necessary) one of these babies, just to re-live the experience.  Maybe that is what happens to you when you turn 60. Thanks for listening.

(Chris: This photo came from



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Generally, if it has two doors and a top, it's a coupe. If it lacked the door pillar, in the parlance of the day it was a "hardtop".

The elimination of door window frames (sashes) also denoted that the car was a hardtop, whether 2- or 4-door. Then there were 4-door 'pillared" hardtops, such as the Lincoln Continentals with suicide doors. The windows went down, no sashes, but there was a B-pillar between the doors. Even the Ford LTD was offered that way for a while.

Of course, all newer cars calling themselves coupes have B-pillars. It's a safety requirement - rollover concerns and all that. My definition of a coupe would be two doors and a back seat that is mostly for decoration.

There is actually a formal definition of a "coupe" which has to do with the distance between the driver's seat and the rear axle.

Love the '53 Ford.

You know what they say, there's an exception to every rule! Here's a new Mercedes E-Class pillarless 2-door:

Check out the 53 on ebay

Did you ever find a 1953 Ford?

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Pictured above: This is a forlorn Chevy Vega photographed by reader Gary Sinar. (Share yours)

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