More Classic Horsepower In the Nebraska State Patrol’s Stable

I have written previously about the Nebraska State Patrol’s Fox Body Mustang, but the NSP also has this 1950 Ford in the lineup:

1950 was an important year in the annals of police car history because Ford introduced the first police package that included “heavy duty” parts like springs and shock absorbers, clutches, and interiors as well as “extra heavy duty” parts like generators and batteries:

The police car brochure included testimonials from various chiefs of police including Omaha’s own Chief Fred “Fritz” Franks:

Franks died in 1954 at the age of 67. According to his obituary, he immigrated to America from Danzig, Germany as an orphan and worked in Omaha’s Metz Brewery before joining the force in 1914. He was nicknamed the “Dutchman” and was a big, gruff man known for his granite jaw, good work ethic and thorough approach to detective work. In the letter above, Franks states that he was personally driving a new ’49 Ford. I hope he got to try out the ’50 Ford with the 255-ci 110-hp police-only engine. Franks once said, “You gotta be tougher and smarter than the dirty crooks, ” but it helps to be faster, too!

Reminder: Nebraska Junk Jaunt 2021

1941 Chevy in a Nebraska field.

The Nebraska Junk Jaunt is coming up September 24-26. The Junk Jaunt is 350 miles of garage sales and vendors along a route that loops through the central part of the state and the uniquely beautiful Nebraska Sandhills.

You will find an amazing variety of antiques, collectibles and primitives along the way including lots of classic car parts. Pro tip: Don’t skip Cairo, a veritable hotbed of Junk Jaunt activity!

See you there!

1950-52 Cadillac hood ornament

How Many Months’ Salary To Buy A New Ford?

I found this photo when I was researching my last post about the 50th anniversary Ford. It appeared in a June 1953 newspaper, and the caption reads:

Fifty years ago, when Ford Motor Company was founded, the average man would have worked 17 months to earn enough money to buy a runabout consisting of little more than a two cylinder engine and a buggy frame. Today the cost of a Ford car similar to those above is equal to the wages an average man earns in 3 1/2 months.

So, in 1953 the “average” man could purchase a new Ford with wages earned in the span of 3 1/2 months. How does that compare to today? According to the Social Security Administration, the average annual salary for Americans in 2019 was $51,916.27. Most new Fords would take every bit of that!

1953, The 50th Anniversary Ford

1953 Ford at the Platte Valley Antique Machinery Association Show

In 1953, Ford Motor Company was celebrating the 50th anniversary of its June 16, 1903, founding. The new Fords were given restyled, massive grilles and horn ring emblems that marked the occasion.

Ford called it the “Worth More” car because of the 41 “Worth More” features that made it “worth more” when both buying and selling:

Many events were held to commemorate the occasion, including a television special and the lighting up of the famous Ford Rotunda building like a birthday cake.

At the time of that 50th anniversary celebration, 168,000 Ford workers around the world were being paid more than $17 million on a weekly basis. To show just how far the company had come, some papers printed copies of the ledger page showing payroll for Ford’s very first week of operation; in June of 1903, the company’s seven employees were paid a grand total of $85.23.