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1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame

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Message  Predicta Lun 27 Oct - 17:11

Although it may seem hard to fathom today, many of the well-known creations built by National Rod & Custom Hall of Fame members were lost, damaged, or destroyed after the custom car heyday faded in the 1960s. While we revere vehicles such as the Hirohata Merc, the Aztec, and the Golden Indian, at one point they were seen as just "old show cars" by second- or third-hand owners who allowed them to languish.
1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Sans-t69
Such was the case with this '51 Ford Victoria, originally built by legendary Northern California customizer Joe Bailon. Thankfully, it was discovered and restored by a dedicated custom enthusiast named Paul McElley. The restoration was completed in the mid-1980s, shortly before these never-before-published photos were taken. Paul died in 1990, and eventually the Ford was put on permanent display at the Oakland Museum as part of its tribute to California's car culture.
1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   50ford14
To truly grasp this car's story, it helps to know both its creator and its restorer. Joe Bailon customized his first car while still in high school and, after serving in World War II, the self-taught bodyman became one of the best-known customizers in Northern California. The creation of his Miss Elegance '41 Chevy in the early 1950s really set his career in motion, while he secured his status as a custom car legend by pioneering Candy Apple Red paint (as well as other candy finishes) later in the decade.
1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Bailon12
Paul McElley saw Bailon's Miss Elegance as a kid at the Oakland Roadster Show, and was a Bailon fan thereafter. A garbage man by trade, Paul messed with cars all his life and eventually quit his job to do bodywork and paint on a full-time basis. He even built a '41 Chevy with more than a little Miss Elegance influence, as well as a '54 Chevy pickup that took many cues from the Rod & Custom Dream Truck. He was one of those great guys who looked like a Hell's Angel, but would give you the shirt off his back. As a body and fender man, he could lay down a black lacquer job that you could see your face in.
1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Bailon13
While working on the Chevy truck, Paul heard of an old Bailon custom wasting away in someone's backyard in nearby Fremont. Little time was wasted identifying it as the famed Bailon Mystery Ford, so named because its exact model year was hard to determine due to the many major body modifications. Even less time was spent getting the car home to Paul's garage. That was in the late '70s, and it wasn't until 1981 that restoration began. It was finished in time for the 1983 Oakland Roadster Show, where it won First Place in the Radical Custom class.
1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Bailon14
Bailon originally built the Mystery Ford in 1958 for Joe Tocchini. Endless hours of design collaboration were spent between Bailon and Tocchini before any metal was cut. All modifications were originally done (and are still done) in steel and lead. Starting at the front, the fenders were flared horizontally and '58 Chrysler Imperial headlights were set into squared openings just above a rectangular cavity housing a '57 Buick grille. The hood was a complete remake, shortened and narrowed with a rectangular opening above the grille and a wide recess leading up to a scoop filled with five chrome teeth. Turn indicator lights were built into the two vertical nerf bumpers.
1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Bailon15
Bailon was known for his artistic interpretations of lakes pipes, so the radiused front fenders flowed into shrouded side exhausts. The pipes tapered as they went rearward, and were supported in back by plated transmission gears. Cadillac side trim was molded onto the fenders and doors to break up the slab-sided sheetmetal.


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Message  Predicta Lun 27 Oct - 17:13

The squared-off theme was carried through to the rear with radiused wheel openings leading into prominent horizontal flares over the quad '56 Olds taillights, then into a rolled center pan. A '55 Pontiac contributed the frenched split bumpers, while the trunk lid narrowed drastically into a frenched license plate. The only large piece of factory sheetmetal that was not reworked was the distinctive Victoria hardtop roof, which was the only real giveaway to the car's identity.
1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Bailon16
During restoration, this author urged Paul to repaint the car in its original candy tangerine and white pearl hues, but he wasn't sure he could "do it as well as Joe," which explains the red and silver finish. It was painted in Paul's garage-no fancy paint shop or spray booth. The original Bailon crests were left to adorn the rear roof pillars, with spotlights up front. Paul employed chromed, reversed wheels with wide whitewall tires.
1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Bailon17
At the time of this photo shoot in the '80s, the engine was a '50s Olds V-8 that ran amazingly well despite sitting for 20-plus years. The Naugahyde and nylon frise interior was intact when the car was found, but came apart when cleaned. The headliner was salvaged and Larry Arnold of San Leandro Upholstery stitched a new tuck 'n' roll interior. Paul even had special engraved stainless steel doorsill plates made.
1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Bailon18
That's the story of how one of the finest efforts of Hall of Famer Joe Bailon was resurrected. Thanks to the talents of a dedicated enthusiast named Paul McElley, enthusiasts will enjoy this piece of custom history for years to come.
1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Joebai10
Read more: http://www.customrodder.com/features/0605cr_joe_bailon_1951_ford_victoria/
1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Joebai11

1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Motort10

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1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Empty Joe Tocchini's 1951 Ford

Message  Predicta Lun 27 Oct - 17:22

1951 Ford Victoria restyled by Joe Bailon of Bailon's Custom Shop for Joe Tocchini of Hayward, California in 1958. Bailon and Tocchini spent endless of hours figuring out how the design would look like before any metal were cut. Starting at the front, the fenders were flared horizontally and modified with 1958 Chrysler Imperial quad headlights. A new rectangular grille shell was shaped and fitted with a 1957 Buick grille which was frenched into the grille cavity. Due to the modifications to the fenders, the hood had to be reshaped. It was shortened and narrowed. A scoop filled with five chrome teeth was recessed in the hood with a wide recess leading down to the grille. The front bumper was discarded, and swapped with custom made Nerf bars which featured directional lights. All wheel opening were reshaped and radiused. Bailon was well known for his artistic interpretations of lakes pipes, The Mystery Ford was no exception. The lakes pipes went through the front fenders and continued through the built-out rocker panels. Chromed gear cogs were mounted on the pipes. Cadillac side trim was molded to the doors to brake down the slab-sided sheetmetal. The squared-off theme was carried through the rear beginning at the radiused wheel openings leading into the horizontal flares above the quad 1956 Oldsmobile taillights, and ending into the rolled center pan. A 1955 Pontiac grille with its split bumper was frenched to the rear end. The deck lid opening was narrowed at the bottom due to the radical modifications. Once the bodywork was done, it was painted in Bailon's trademark color, Candy Apple tangerine red and white pearl. The chromed reversed were fit with 1950 Ford hubcaps featuring accessory bullets and blades to highlight the modifications. The interior was done in white Naugahyde with nylon frieze. The only large piece of factory sheetmetal on the car that was left over the makeover, was the stock Victoria hardtop roof, the only giveaway of the car's identity. Bailon wrapped up the style with dual spotlights and Bailon crests on the rood pillars.[1]

1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Joe-to10
February 15-23, 1958, The Mystery was shown at the ninth annual National Roadster Show in Oakland where it won the Custom Car D'Elegance award. Due to excellent craftsmanship, both the Mystery and Bill Carr's 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, The Aztec, won the Custom Car D'Elegance that year.[2]

1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Joe-to11
The Mystery went through several changes and paint jobs. When it was shown at the National Roadster Show in February 1958 it was copper, orange and gold. A picture taken by Andy Southard in 1963 shows the car in white and red. Another picture from the 1960s shows the car with a red and silver paint job.[1]

1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Joe-to12
The car was neglected for nearly two decades, until Paul McElley of Hayward, California bought it in the late seventies. Paul saw Joe Bailon's 1941 Chevrolet, Miss Elegance at the Oakland Roadster Show as a little kid and remained a Bailon fan ever since. He worked as a body and fender man and built himself a 1941 Chevrolet influenced by Miss Elegance and a 1954 Chevrolet pickup highly inspired from the Rod & Custom Magazine’s Dream Truck. While working on the Chevrolet, Paul heard that an old Bailon custom was laying in a backyard near Fremont, California. Paul went to take a look and ended up buying it. The car was relatively complete and intact despite that it had been neglected for such a long time. This was in the late seventies, but the restoration did not begin until 1981. When Paul purchased the car, it was powered by a Oldsmobile Rocket from the 1950's, which ran amazingly well after sitting 20 years plus. The interior was intact, but came apart when it was cleaned. The headliner was salvaged and Larry Arnold of San Leandro Upholstery stitched a new tuck 'n' roll interior.Paul even had special engraved stainless steel doorsill plates made. Paul was not sure if he would paint it in its original Candy Tangerine and white pearl, but he was not sure it he could do it as nice as Joe did. He decided to paint it red and silver, it was not painted in a paint shop or paint booth, but in Paul's own garage. The car debuted at the 1983 Oakland Roadster Show where it won first place in the Radical Custom class. This was the last car Paul did before he passed away.[1]

1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Joe-to13
The car is now displayed at the National Rod & Custom Car Museum in Oakland, California.[3]

1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Joe-to14
Magazine Features

Motor Trend July 1958
Custom Cars August 1958
Custom Cars March 1959
Rod & Custom September 1960

1951 Ford Victoria - Joe Bailon's Mystery Ford - Hall of Fame   Joe-to15

http://www.kustomrama.com/index.php?title=Joe_Tocchini%27s_1951_Ford

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We don't care the People Says , Rock 'n' roll is here to stay - Danny & the Juniors - 1958
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