By Tom Hoskins,
My first car in 1959 had been a ’54 Customline 4-door in high school. In early 1986 I began restoring a 1954 Ford Victoria and discovered that many parts catalogues and much technical information in the industry left off with the ’53 model, and picked up again with the 1955 Ford. There was a huge void for 1954 Fords. So I ran ads in the Hemmings magazine and Old Cars Weekly newspaper with the caption “Does anyone else own a 1954 Ford?” To my surprise, I got about 35 replies. These thirty-five ’54 Ford owners became the nucleus of the club. They were the charter members of the '54 Ford club in 1986.
I wrote my first newsletter issue in August of that year. The club caught on and grew to over 500 members in a short time. Many members had enjoyed a ’54 Ford as their first car. And now after many years these same fellows had decided to replicate their ’54 Ford car to recreate the excitement of their youth and their first ride. The club became the official national center for all the interest and excitement in 1954 Fords.
I was the president of the club for the first six years. In 1992, I handed off the president title to charter member John Strobeck of Tucson, Arizona. John had had the typical experience and background with his first car being a used ’54 Victoria in high school. He brought new enthusiasm to the club and a background of computer knowledge that Hoskins lacked. John got the club on the internet right away and within a short time most prospective members found the club thru the internet. John ran the club as president for the next 15 years. In 2007, he called me and asked if I wanted the club back. I was reitired from my retailing career by then and John’s business was growing and taking more of his time. I was bored and he jumped at the chance.
By August of 2014, after 28 years of existence, it became apparent that the club members were aging. I was 70, and the club average was about that or more. It was obvious that the club needed a youthful leader that would bring a new insight, vigor and enthusiasm to the club.
Member Don Allen had just turned 45 years old and had been in the club all 28 years of its existence. His dad had bought him a ’54 Ford Mainline 2 door when he was in his teens. (Don is currently restoring this same car). He had paid dues for 28 consecutive years, and had never lost his enthusiasm for 1954 Fords. Allen was proficient in computers. He had designed our first web site and had served as webmaster since that time. Don was the perfect candidate to run the club. So in August 2014, at the 54 Ford National Convention in Novi, Michigan, I handed off the club presidency to Don. He had the credentials to bring a new vision and enthusiasm to our club, and a whole new generation of members who love making modern “drivers” of their old ’54 ford. And the old purists like me driving those 239 Y-Blocks welcomed Don Allen and a whole new world of ’54 Fords to the club.
Tom Hoskins, Founder
The 1954 Ford Club Of America
54 Ford Club of America - Charter
The '54 Ford Club of America is formed:
* For the purpose of identifying, recognizing, and organizing all 1954 Ford vehicles; cars, trucks, and tractors.
* For the preservation and advancement of all models of the 1954 Ford.
* To expose, promulgate, and immortalize the 1954 Ford.
* To educate America and the world to the mystique and beauty of the 1954 Ford.
* To facilitate communication among all '54 Ford owners and enthusiasts.
* To serve as a resource of information for parts needed for repair, restoration and modification.
* To serve as a place to get technical questions answered.
* The '54 Ford club is formed August 1st, 1986.
* Annual dues shall be $20. A newsletter will be mailed to all members quarterly.
* The web-site is open to all members participation. www.1954ford.com
* Each member should be an owner or enthusiast of a 1954 Ford.
* Each member should submit a photo and description, if available to headquarters.
* The national headquarters is located:
12471 E. Summerlin, Conroe, Texas 77302