One day in June two years ago, David Nittler was driving through the small town of Dilley, Texas, population about 3,600, when he spotted a blue 1950 Ford four-door sedan parked on a trailer by the road. The car had a “for sale” sign in one of the windows.
Nittler continued on home
to nearby Cotulla, Texas, to share this information news with his
family. His initial thought was to fix up the old car and then sell it
for a profit.
The next day Nittler returned to inspect the Ford with
his advisor and consultant, his 9-year-old granddaughter, Jessica. She
determined that the antique Ford would be a worthwhile purchase, and
with that executive decision made the deal was done.
not even had a chance to open the engine hood to see the engine — or to
even see if there was an engine. The car was purchased on Father’s Day
2009. Since the Ford sedan was already displayed on a trailer the seller
agreed to trailer the car to the buyer’s home.
came with the car indicates that when new it was sold by a Ford dealer
in Flatonia, Texas, to a customer in San Antonio. Decades later the car
was sold to the man in Dilley from whom it was purchased by Nittler, who
is now the third owner of the 61-year-old car.
In 1950 Ford
offered a Deluxe line of cars as well as an upscale Custom line with
more chrome trim and gadgets. The four-door Ford that Nittler purchased
was one of the economy models. That meant there were no armrests on the
doors and no horn ring to accent the horn button at the hub of the
steering wheel. When new the Ford had a base price of $1,472.
trim surrounding the two-piece windshield and rear window was
eliminated. Additionally, the rear vent windows are fixed. Only the vent
windows in the front doors are operational.
Beneath the hood is a
226-cubic-inch, six-cylinder engine that develops 95 horsepower. The
original owner evidently shunned the 239.4-cubic-inch flathead V-8
engine that produced 100 horsepower.
Below the combination chrome
and Plexiglas ornament on the leading edge of the engine hood is the
Ford crest, which replaced the chrome letters from the 1949 model that
spelled out F O R D.
bigger engine and additional trim might have been inducements for
customers to go upscale but 77,888 bargain hunters in 1950 bought Fords
like the one Nittler now has.
His 3,064-pound Ford rides on
6.70×14-inch tires supported by a 114-inch wheelbase. The trunk is deep
enough to permit the spare tire to be mounted vertically on the right
side of the trunk.
“It’s a pretty basic car,” Nittler says.
the center of the dashboard is a metal “delete” plate for where the
radio would be and one for where the clock would be, too. Under the
dashboard is the singular Magic Aire accessory, a heater.
heater is questionable, Nittler says. The heater controls are from a
1949 Ford, which leads him to believe that his car is an early 1950
model and that Ford was simply using up some leftover parts from the
Nittler has now realized that he can never sell the
Ford, despite his initial intention to do so. His wife, Aida, has named
the Ford “The Tank.” Nittler says, “Once a car has acquired a name it
can’t be sold.” — Vern Parker, Motor Matters