Kelly & Mark Skipper's 1951 Ford

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1951 Ford Victoria restyled Mark Skipper for his wife, Kelly Skipper. The build was completed in 2013, making it's debut at the Grand National Roadster Show as The Royal Victoria. Photo by Jacob Bain.
The Victoria as it appeared in June of 2010, before Mark went to work on it. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
By October of 2011, the car had received a hair cut. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
An early version of the build, sporting 1954 Chevrolet grille teeth. These were later replaced with 1953 Chevrolet teeth.. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Jeff Norwell of Jeff Norwell Illustration made a sketch of the car in deep green and vanilla. This might be the reason Mark and Kelly wanted it green and white.
Tim McMaster built and balanced a Chevy 350 engine for the car. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Mark Acquired a nice trim from a 1954 Dodge. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Stock rear quarter window VS the chopped. Photo by Mark Skipper.
The quarter windows were made to slide in and out of position. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Frenched headlights. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Window trim and stainless all done. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Mark decided to replace the 54' Chevy teeth with 53' units. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Mark sent over 100 parts to New Age Chrome in Fresno to get plated. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Back from plating. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Installation of a new 8" rear end. Photo by Mark Skipper.
The frame was C'd, and a new trunk floor was made. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Undercoating applied. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
NOS splash pan installed. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Kelly with the car's first prize, best chop. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Marty LeBar of Marty's Hot Rods of Fresno replaced the rockers and the lower front portion of the rear and front fenders.Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
No repro parts, just re-chromed original parts. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Notice the window lift spacers. Photo by Mark Skipper.
The 1951 Ford automatic column along with the 1951 Lincoln steering wheel. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Primer applied. The bodywork and paint was done at Marty's Hot Rods. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Ross Stemple was responsible for a lot of the beautiful bodywork. Photo by Mark Skipper.
The interior was done by Eduardo's Upholstery in Fresno in a real genuine mid 1950s spirit. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Andrew Severin looking over his dads old car. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Kelly looking at her new toy. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Breathing fresh air. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Sanding and buffing. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Almost assembled. Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
Photo by Mark Skipper.
"Royal Victoria" debuted at the 2013 Grand National Roadster Show. Photo by Richard Rowlands.
Photo by Jacob Bain.
Photo by Jacob Bain.
Photo by Jacob Bain.
The Royal Victoria was a featured registration at the first Customs by the Sea in Pismo, California in 2016.
A photo of Kelly and Mark's Ford from the first Kustomrama Customs by the Sea car show in Santa Barbara, California in March of 2019. The Royal Victoria was one of six cars that were featured inside the Rotunda at the show. Photo by Sondre Kvipt - Kustomrama.

1951 Ford Victoria restyled by President of the Royal Shifters Car Club in Fresno, California, Mark Skipper for his wife, Kelly Skipper. Mark bought the Victoria from Andrew Severin, the car was his Dads, Carl Severins car. Carl passed away in 2007, and in may 2010 Andrew confronted Mark to buy the car. A deal was made, and he told Andrew that he was going to customize the car, lower it, chop the top, two tone paint, white interior pleats etc. Mark asked Andrew for permission, and he answered with: "the car could not be in better hands, those are the things my Dad dreamed of doing."[1]


Mark's plan was to restyle the car with minor body alteration, but a haircut was needed. Mark chopped the top and replaced the Victoria rear window with a 1950 Ford coupe window. Up front, grille teeth from a 1954 Chevrolet was installed, however, these were later replaced with 9 1953 Chevrolet teeth. The car was nosed and decked to achieve a cleaner appearance. Lincoln push buttons were installed in favor of the stock door handles. The headlights were frenched, and the 1951 Ford taillights were swapped for a set of 1949 - 1950 Ford units. The stock sidetrim was removed, and Mark got hold of a 1954 Dodge 2-door trim that he modified to fit the car.[1]


The car was ment to be for his wife to cruise around with, so Mark had Tim McMaster to build and balance a Chevy 350 engine. His wife trimmed the engine after her desire, so she picked the manifold, carbs, and a set of Corvette valve covers. The engine was hooked to a rebuilt 700R4 transmission that was acquired from Roger Scott. The eight inch rearend was fit with 3.00 gears to give a pleasuring ride, even at high speeds.[1]


The front drum brakes were improved with disc brakes for safeties sake. The frame was notched in the rear, and the car was lowered to a perfect period 1950s stance. The trunk floor was cut out, and Mark fabricated a new one and installed a 1970 Mustang 20 gallon tank instead of the stock 18.[1]


A 1951 Ford automatic column was installed, a perfect fit against the 1951 Lincoln steering wheel. The dashboard and window moldings were sent to New Age Chrome in Fresno to get plated. Eduardo's Upholstery in Fresno was responsible for stitching up the interior. The dash was painted by Rob Tayler of Clovis. John Coleman did the wiring, converting the car to an 12V electric system.[1]


Marty LeBar of Marty's Hot Rods of Fresno replaced the rockers and the lower front portion of the rear and front fenders. Once this was done, Marty, Jack and Ross Stemple went away doing all the bodywork and finishing it off in a two tone paint job consisting of Alpha Romeo metallic gold pearl and Chrysler 300 cool vanilla. And in the summer of 2012, the car was finally painted.[1]


The car made its debut at the 2013 Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California, where it came 3rd in the radical hardtop class. The car also won at the Lonestar Roundup in Austin, winning "The Continental Pick", "Best of show" and "Mothers Polish Best of Show Pick". Later on the same year it also won Top 5 wild Kustom award, and Kustoms Illustrated editors award at the West Coast Kustoms Santa Maria show.[1]


Magazine Features and Appearances

Rodders Journal Number 59
Kustoms Illustrated 36
Kustoms Illustrated 37


References



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