Jim Galvin's 1949 Ford Tudor
1949 Ford Tudor owned and restyled by Illinois Valley Mis-Fires member Jim Galvin of Ottawa, Illinois. Galvin built the car in his backyard. Late in 2022, Richard "Fuzzy" Fuerholzer told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that he started the build around 1958. "It went through many changes over the years, and in 1959, it was blue with a scallop paint job." The top had also been chopped. 6 inches at the rear and 5 1/2 inches at the front. Other modifications at the time featured a 1955 DeSoto grille, frenched headlights, a nosed hood with rounded corners, dual spotlights, lake pipes, shaved door handles, 1958 Edsel wagon taillights, and a molded-in rear license plate.
Canted Quad Headlights
A second iteration of Jim's Ford was featured on the cover of Car Craft January 1961. By then, the car had been fitted with canted quad headlights, split 1956 Pontiac bumpers and a Corvette grille. Galvin sold the car to Tom Gibbons of Morris, Illinois in 1960, and it was Gibbons that owned it when it was featured on the cover of Car Craft Magazine in 1961.
The Orchid Lady and The 10 Best Customs of 1961
Gibbons Ford was also featured on the cover of Car Craft February 1962, nominated as one of the 10 Best Customs of 1961. According to the story, Gibbons, a 24-year-old Morris, Illinois auto enthusiast, had gone through four semi-customs before ending up with the show-winning custom. Galvin is credited in the story, and Gibbons told the magazine that most of the major work was completed when he got it but that it was in need of considerable repair. Galvin and Gibbons finished the "Orchid Lady," giving it an Orchid Mist lacquer. The car was lowered by cutting the coils and by adding a one-inch block between the lower A-arm and the bottom spring plate. Four-inch lowering blocks and de-arched spring did the trick in the back. Inside it was dressed up with black and white striped Naugahyde seats by TuDanz of Joliet, Illinois.
Where is it Now?
Richard "Fuzzy" Fuerholzer is helping his car club buddy trace his long-lost custom. Galvin lost track of the car after he sold it. He has been trying to trace it for years, and it is rumored to still exist. Some people believe it might be hidden away in the Morris, Illinois area. Have you seen the Orchid Lady lately? or do you know what happened to it? Please get in touch with Kustomrama at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any info or photos to share of this old Illinois custom.
Magazine Features and Appearances
Car Craft January 1961
Car Craft February 1962
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