Rides from the Readers: 1949 Ford

Hagerty readers and Hagerty Drivers Club members share their cherished collector and enthusiast vehicles with us via our contact email, tips@hagerty.com. We’re showcasing some of our favorite stories among these submissions. To have your car featured, send complete photography and your story of ownership to us at the above email.

Today’s featured car is a 1949 Ford sedan, Ford’s first fresh design following WWII. In a cost-efficient strategy, Ford rolled out entirely new sheetmetal for this model but kept the same powertrain options: a 95-horsepower L-head straight six and a 100-hp flathead V-8. That revamped exterior was quite something: It was the first clean-sheet design by any of the Big Three after WWII, and Ford helped to introduce the next era of automotive design with ’49’s integrated fenders and smooth, streamlined curves.

This particular shoebox Ford belongs to Ron Disrude, who has owned the car for more than 53 years. His high school years are intertwined with this car: Disrude was so excited about turning 16 and getting his drivers’ license that he bought the Ford when he was still 15, spending six months working on it before that momentous birthday. He drove the Ford all through high school, retired it during his college years, and pulled it back out years later to spend another 12 years restoring it.

His next milestone? In August, he hopes to drive the Ford to his 50th class reunion. “I don’t think there are many people out there that can say they’ve driven the same car in high school and [to] their 50th reunion,” he writes. Here’s to many more drives and many more happy memories.

Ford Shoebox
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