Welcome To Victoria

No this isn’t a travelogue about a state in Australia – it’s a post celebrating a milestone for me – the first time I have seen a Ford Victoria car of the 1930’s.

Don’t put me down as weird – it has been a missing link in my motoring interest since I was a teenager – all because of the AMT model kit company. It was introduced in the early 1960’s as the next car in their Ford series past the 1932 3-in-1 Coupe and became the rage of the age for a year or so. The body was rarely built in the stock form – indeed neither were the Model T nor the ’32 Coupe – as we teenagers had more desire for model hot rods than model history. It was a golden age of interest for model building, even though the resources were limited. We made the most of them.

But the body style of the Victoria was still a mystery. I’d seen innumerable roadsters and coupes, and also a fair number of sedans. Here’s one of the sedan styles seen years ago at Whiteman Park.

It may be that the Victoria style did not have quite enough practicality for most people – if they were going to pop for a closed car, they wanted four doors to get into it. The two  doors of the Victoria are followed by solid side and a slightly abbreviated rear seat area – and as you can see from the rear view, no piercing into the slope of the back body to make a boot or rumble. The closest thing I can liken it to is the later business coupe.

Of course one could always cope with the haulage requirements at the time with a trunk attached to a rack. It looks crude, it is crude, and it is entirely real. I wonder how many of them ended up on the highway downstream from a set of bumps in the road. Perhaps not too many, as these were still 4 – cylinder cars.

As I was poring over the beauty, two other enthusiasts came up and started a conversation between themselves – in which they speculated about the brassy little cylinders on the right rear running board. I took the liberty of studying this as they spoke and discovered that it is a patent air pump for inflating tyres. I believe that they connected it to an off-take from the exhaust and the pressure then acted as a second-stage pump for air into flat tyres. They seem to have had a lot of flats in the early stages of motoring. I’ve had less than half a dozen in 51 years as a driver – perhaps the tyres are improved or perhaps I drive more cautiously.

In any case, this is great – it has finally showed me the well-proportioned beauty of this body style. I think I prefer it to a standard 4-door sedan. This car in particular was a symphony of style with the two-tone body, black fenderwork, and buff wheels. Modern car painters could take a lesson here.

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