Ford Customline 1955-59: In its prime before prime-time

18 October 2013

The legendary Len Lukey (No.1) and ‘young gun’ Norm Beechey (No.4) are captured in their historic battle in ’55 Customlines at Albert Park in 1956. Note the straw poking out of Beechey’s front bumper, after he ran wide and collected some hay bales. (Image from: Chevron Publishing)

Ford’s mighty Customline V8 sedan could well have won multiple Australian Touring Car Championships had Australia’s premier tin-top title been up and running a few years prior to its inception in 1960.

Henry’s handsome, rugged and fast family sedan - particularly the 1955-59 models powered by the 272 cid (4.5 litre) overhead valve Y-block V8 - was at its competitive peak long before the ATCC existed. In fact, prior to 1960, there wasn’t even a national set of touring car rules.