Jay Skow bought his first car, a used ’52 Ford Victoria, when he was still in high school. Using the money he saved delivering newspapers before dawn, mowing lawns in the summer, and shoveling snow during the winter, Jay bought his first car with help from his dad who haggled the price $50 below the asking price. By today’s standards, $50 isn’t a significant sum but it was huge back in 1957 and even bigger when you think about the number of lawns that have to be mowed in order to earn $50.
Jay was a dreamer and had big plans for his prize Victoria. The first modification was cutting off the hardtop to make the Victoria into a convertible. Over the course of three years Jay dropped in a engine from a ’57 T-bird, and installed a dash from a ’54 Ford. The front end got a beautiful grill from a 1958 Buick and headlights from a 1958 Lincoln. Pontiac side trim was added to dress up the sides and the rear was modified to fit tail lights from a 1956 Packard. If you don’t recognize the tail lights, it is because they are upside-down to more closely match the curvature of the rear tail fins.
After a few years of ownership, Jay had his Victoria painted in colors copied from a 1959/1960 Rambler — Aquamist and Frost White. Then duty called and Jay joined the navy forcing his custom Ford Victoria to be put into storage. It was only after Jay’s 45th high school reunion the car came out of storage for a complete body-off restoration.
Restoration was completed August 2012 and Jay’s Ford Victoria turned out shinier than a new penny. Jay’s hard work was recognized immediately with a 3rd place finish overall at Hot August Nights in Reno, Nevada. That was just a warm up to Jay’s next award, the Cool Custom award at Gold Rush Days in Oroville. We nearly missed the ’52 Victoria on our way out the gate at the Goodguys West Coast Nationals show where over 2,600 custom rods and cars competed in Pleasanton, California. But the judges at Goodguys WCN saw the detail and custom design that Jay had put into his car. So, by the end of the weekend Jay and his wife Diane cruised out of the show with two awards: Ogden Chrome Choice Award and Cool Custom Award.