Edsel’s Top Picks: Exploring the Ford Victorias

In the realm of automotive elegance, Edsel Ford, a man distinguished by his impeccable taste in cars as well as in all aspects of life, ardently championed the Victoria body style during his tenure at the Ford Motor Compan.

Born in a rustic Michigan farmhouse in 1863, Henry Ford, a man of unassuming and simple tastes, found his striking contrast in his only son, Edsel. Edsel, alongside his wife Eleanor, emerged as patrons of the fine arts, adorning their abode with masterpieces by Impressionists and Old Masters. This refined aesthetic extended seamlessly into Edsel’s role at the helm of the Lincoln Motor Company. Here, he personally cultivated a keen interest in the luxury carmaker’s array of coachbuilt body styles, with a notable fondness for the Victoria.

The term “Victoria” in coachbuilding parlance possesses a certain elasticity, generally referring to a body style straddling the line between a coupe and a sedan. Characterized by a close-coupled rear passenger compartment and a gracefully rounded deck at the rear, the Victoria could also take on an open form, often denoted as the Victoria Convertible or Victoria Cabriolet. In the realm of the 1930 Model A Ford, this elegant body style found its adaptation.

Unveiled in November as a late addition to the 1930 lineup, the Model A Victoria, boasting a petite 103.5-inch wheelbase, exuded sophistication. Limited in volume to just under 6,500 units for its inaugural year, all were Deluxe models featuring full equipment and adorned with a tan canvas roof covering. The following year saw the continued production of the Victoria style, resulting in an additional 37,000 units.

The transformation of the Victoria style when paired with the Model A Ford chassis was evident in the 1931 model, presenting a more sedan-like silhouette with a subtle hint of a bustle at the rear. Tudor sedan doors and folding seats granted access to the cozy rear passenger area.

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The Victoria style persisted into 1932, gracing both the four-cylinder Model B and the V8-powered Model 18. Priced at $525/$575, it stood as one of the more luxurious models in the lineup, with nearly 10,000 units produced, predominantly V8s. Manufactured by Murray at its expansive plant in Detroit, the American Victoria bodies for ’32 (designated B-190) showcased alongside a 1906-07 Model N in front of the Engineering Laboratory in Dearborn.

Continuing into 1933, the Victoria underwent a transformative facelift in 1934, bidding farewell to the rear bustle in favor of a flat, sloping panel featuring an opening deck lid. This marked the swan song for the Victoria in its original form, as sedan and Victoria body styles seamlessly converged. The year 1935 witnessed the introduction of two new sedan styles: the standard sedan (referred to as flatback or slantback by Ford collectors) and the Touring Sedan with an integral trunk, also known as the humpback.

While the Victoria body style retired in 1934, its name endured. In 1951, “Victoria” resurfaced as the running model name for Ford’s pillarless hardtop body styles. The timeless and stylish 1955 Fairlane Victoria serves as a testament to this revival. Additionally, the Crown Victoria name graced Ford’s popular full-sized rear-drive sedan from 1992 through 2012. Though not currently applied to any Ford models, the resurgence of the Victoria name in the future, perhaps on an electric or autonomous vehicle, remains a tantalizing possibility.

Our mission is to take you on a thrilling ride down memory lane, exploring the history, design, and unforgettable moments that define the golden era of automobiles.

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