The Shoebox Ford is not the most stylistic body, there just isn’t much to them. While they are plain, they are also plentiful, making them excellent fodder for a custom ride. One aspect of the classic shoebox that can always be modified is the taillights. Shoebox Fords are 1949-51 models, and while there were a few changes for 1951, they are basically the same. The taillights however are different. The 49-50 lights are smaller, more compact and the lenses are glass. In 1951, the taillights were larger, more elaborate and plastic. Another unique aspect of these cars is that in July 1950 the Korean war began. This effected the production of automobiles and resulted in “Korean Chrome,” in which the second stage of the chroming process, adding brass, was removed to help with the war effort. The ending product was chrome that rusted right out of the gate. All 1951 Fords had this problem. The housing for the taillights were no exception. We chose to use a frenching kit from RPPG in Arkansas City, KS. Their kit comes pre assembled and die-cut to fit the 49-50 taillight housings. This makes everything easy to complete and makes for a quick job. We sourced the taillight housings from Shoebox Ford in Midwest City, OK, they specialize in 49-51 Fords and have about 100 in their yard for scavenging. The total mod took about 3 hours to complete, and really wakes up the rear of the car.
About Jefferson Bryant (202 Articles)
A life-long gearhead, Street Tech Magazine founder and editor Jefferson Bryant spends more time in the shop than anywhere else. His career began in the car audio industry as a shop manager, eventually working his way into a position at Rockford Fosgate as a product designer. In 2003, he began writing tech articles for magazines, and has been working as an automotive journalist ever since. His work has been featured in Car Craft, Hot Rod, Rod & Custom, Truckin’, Mopar Muscle, and many more. Jefferson has also written 5 books and produced countless videos. Jefferson operates Red Dirt Rodz, his personal garage studio, where all of his magazine articles and tech videos are produced. You can follow Jefferson on Facebook (Jefferson Bryant), Twitter (71Buickfreak), and YouTube (RedDirtRodz).