Ken Szekretar's 1949 Ford

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A photo of Ken with the Ford taken in 1959 or 1960. "I used to walk to Lefferts Blvd and Myrtle Avenue, in Richmond Hill, and take the Myrtle Ave bus to Glendale to see Ken," Ken Bausert told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2017. Photo from The Ken Bausert Photo Collection.
A photo of Ken's little brother Allen with the Ford. Bausert believes the taillights came from his 1950 Mercury. Photo from The Ken Bausert Photo Collection.
The grille in Ken's Ford was made up of old side trim. When this photo was taken, Ken had frenched and tunneled the headlights on the car. The hood had also been shaved. Photo from The Ken Bausert Photo Collection.
A photo of the dashboard in Ken's Ford. Ken Bausert dressed it up with a scallop paint job. Photo courtesy of Ken Bausert.
Ken Szekretar with a hacksaw, getting ready to cut the roof off his Shoebox. Ken Basuert remembered that he droved or towed the car to the yard by the garage he was renting, up the street from his house, to perform the top chop. Ken Szekretar was a year older than Bausert, so he had his license a year earlier. The photo was taken around 1960 - 1961. Photo from The Ken Bausert Photo Collection.
A photo of the Ford taken during the chop. This was the end of Ken's shoebox, and it was dragged to the junkyard shortly thereafter. Photo courtesy of Ken Bausert.

1949 Ford owned and restyled by Ken Szekretar of New York City, New York. Ken grew up in the Glendale neigborhood in Queens.


In the 1960s, “Shoebox” Fords were plentiful and cheap, making them very popular for kids with low budgets to customize and soup up in Queens. "A lot of the times we also got the car for free, or real cheap, because it was a relative’s car," Ken Bausert, an old buddy of Ken, told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2017. "Ken Szekretar, a friend of mine in Glendale got a 1949 Ford four-door for free. He didn’t want a 49 four-door Ford, but he got it for free. One of his aunts or uncle gave it to him. Back then nobody would be caught dead owning a four-door car. It had to be a two-door car."[1]


Many of the houses on Ken's block, 69th Place in Glendale, were attached with no garages. Some may have had small space between them, and some may have had driveways and garages, but, at one end of the block was a large yard area with many garages attached. Ken kept the Ford in one of those garages, pulling it out to work on it in the large yard area.

Ken gave the car a grey primer paint job that he dressed up with scallops. Ken Bausert scalloped the dashboard in the car.


One day Ken decided to chop the top on the car. "He took a hacksaw and cut that baby clear off! Then got a hardtop roof off a Chevy or an Olds and was going to make the Ford into a 2-door hardtop," Bausert remembered in 2017. After unsuccessfully trying to chop the top on the car and make it into a two-door hardtop, Ken wound up junking the car.


References



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