1960 Starliner Part 2 – It’s Custom and Evil

Customized 1960 Ford, galaxie, Starliner, hot rod, billet

If you’ve read MyRideisMe.com long, you know we don’t do many stockers, but the unrestored and original 1960 Starliner from part 1 was special. Contrast that with the billet-wheeled’n candy painted sweetheart you see here. Or is it?

I met Mel and Lynda Swafford at the NorCal Knockout in Vallejo, CA. From the pics you can see it was a cool show nestled in the trees of the Solano County Fairgrounds. As the first annual, it wasn’t that big, but everyone who showed enjoyed a perfect California July day. (Look for Nick K and my pics soon…)

Customized 1960 Ford, galaxie, Starliner, hot rod, billetCustomized 1960 Ford, galaxie, Starliner, hot rod, billet

Back to this “sweetheart” known to the Swafford’s and their friends as, “Christine”. Oh you remember! Stephen King’s 1958 Plymouth Fury that didn’t mind running folks off the road… It’s not a nickname you give to a car that’s been nice during a rebuild. (Are they ever nice?)

It all started well. Mel’s dad owned a white 1960 Starliner way-back-when and Mel, “Always loved it.” It’s often a special memory a car brings back that make it, “My Ride is Me.”

To get started, in about 2006, Mel traveled to Denver to pick up a “Fresh and original” 1960 Starliner. It turned out to be a basket case filled with rust. With ideas of leaving without the car, Mel bought it anyway but later needed a parts car sourced out of Walnut Creek, CA. From there, it was a complete frame-off restoration… and it shows.

Customized 1960 Ford, galaxie, Starliner, hot rod, billet
This is a great view of the ultra long overhang on the 1960 Starliner.

So why Christine? Turns out it was the paint. To get what you see now, the car was painted a total of 4 times. One guy went bankrupt, another time the paint bubbled and peeled up, then, believe it or not, someone keyed this beauty. (There is no bigger loser than someone who’d key a car like this)

Finally, the car was painted and the color was all wrong. Mel didn’t have to settle because the car was keyed again! Maybe this car is possessed because Mel’s a cool guy!

Customized 1960 Ford, galaxie, Starliner, hot rod, billet
It’s easy to tell a 1960 Starliner from the 61… in 1961, the tailfins are almost gone and the signature round taillight of the 60’s was back.

Customized 1960 Ford, galaxie, Starliner, hot rod, billet
Finally, the paint you see here was laid down by Mashore Autobody & Paint in Brentwood, CA. It was worth the wait. I tried to capture the color in this picture, but it might not do it justice.  At least the multiple reflections give you some idea of the depth. You also get a close-up look at the groovy lines of a Starliner with chrome trim everywhere. Just so you know, it’s Candy Apple Red with Brandywine mixed in.

Unlike Christine, this story has a happy ending. Mel and Lynda are enjoying their Starliner every chance they get. With the 390/C6 combo, Vintage Air and Airride on board, Mel assures me, “The only thing old here is me and the old lady.” I love it.

So where’s part 3 of the Starliner series?

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