Robert Ansetta's 1951 Ford
1951 Ford Crestliner owned by Robert Ansetta of Morris Plains, New Jersey. Robert owned the car from the mid 1950s to the early 1960s, and most of the custom work on it was done during those years.
Custom Body Work by B. & J. Auto Body Shop
Robert's Ford was a work in progress, and it was restyled as he had funds to have work done. An old receipt shows that Adams Auto Top of Dover, New Jersey installed a custom interior in the car in 1956. Another undated statement shows that the front end of the car was restyled by William B. Cleary and J. F. Chiani at B. & J. Auto Body Shop in Boonton, New Jersey. A job Robert paid 350 dollars for. Then sometime prior to September of 1958, he had Chiani and Cleary graft 1958 Chevrolet quarter panels onto the car, extending it 8 inches. A continental kit was mounted between the extended quarter panels, and early photos show it running a 1958 Chevrolet taillights and a rear bumper.
Chopped by Korky
In 1959, Robert took the car to Korky's Kustom Shop to have the top chopped 5 inches. During the chop, Korky slanted the door posts.
Reworked by Vinnie Ansetta
In 1961, Robert passed away, and his brother Vinnie Ansetta got the car. Vinnie still owned the old custom in the early 1980s, and in 1982 he had the car redone by B & H Auto Craft of Boonton, New Jersey. During the restoration, Vinnie changed some details, and the car received 1959 Mercury taillights. According to East Coast Custom Historian Ray Soff, the car was never fully finished and in paint until 1983. According to the later owner Fred Ritter, it was not shown that much after that. Modifications at the time included scooped fenderskirts, rounded hood and door corners, 1941 Lincoln pushbuttons, a scooped hood, frenched antennas, 1955 Oldsmobile headlight rims, a 1957 Chevrolet Corvette grille, a one-piece 1957 Chevrolet front bumper, and flared front fender openings. The suspension was lowered 3 inches, and it ran a custom interior with a custom-built dash and a console and gauges out of a 1966 Chevrolet Caprice. Power came from a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette 327 CID engine with fuel injection and a turbo 400 transmission.
Sold to Richard King
Vinnie sold the car to Richard King of Boonton, New Jersey, a former employee of Korky before Korky moved out West to work for George Barris. After King passed away, his wife sold the historic custom to Mike Witkowski of Virginia.
Fred Ritter Becomes its Caretaker
December 12, 2021, Fred Ritter of Warren, Ohio bought the old custom from Mike. Fred is currently looking for more old photos of the car, so if you have anyone to share, please get in touch with Kustomrama at email@example.com
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