Wayne & Judy Newkirk's 1957 Ford Custom 300
(from Volume 13, Issue 149)

If you’ve been to a bunch of shows around the sunshine state, there is a good chance you’ve crossed paths with Jacksonville Rod Runners members Wayne and Judy Newkirk. Though they call Jacksonville, Florida their home, they certainly do get around to a lot of shows all over the state. However, you may recognize them as driving a different car. After 7-1/2 fun filled years with their maroon 1940 Ford Standard Sedan they decided to try something different in a classic auto. This led them to fly to Ohio and purchase the 1957 Ford Custom 300 pictured here. The previous owner told them he had not driven the car more than 60 miles from his home, and it had never been in the rain. On the drive back to their residence in Jacksonville, Wayne and Judy drove through fog and rain in 5 of the 6 states on their journey. After doing many things to the car once they got it home, they told us they consider “Big Blue’s” maiden cruise to be the drive to the Daytona Turkey Run in 2006, where we wound up shooting this feature.

Among the changes that took place was to get the car stripped and repainted by Paul Holman Sr. at Visual FX Custom Paint & Body in Orange Park, Florida. Ford had a blue paint in 1957 called Dresden Blue, which is very close to the Bright Blue DuPont paint they went with. Adding a great accent are flames in shades of blue and silver, which cover the hood and continue down the side to the door handles. Adding in the attention to detail department are lighter colored flames under the hood and under the deck lid, which tie the theme together when on display. A set of 17-inch American Racing Salt Flat Special wheels with 3-bar spinners add to the classic hot rod look, and are covered in 235/45ZR17 and 245/45ZR17 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires.

Inside you’ll find gray velour and vinyl upholstery, and a Grant Touring GT 4-spoke steering wheel. The bucket seats and console were donated by an ‘84 Thunderbird, the tilt steering column and dash gauges are from a ‘78 T-Bird, and the master cylinder booster is a ‘78 Thunderbird unit. Adding to the driving comfort are power brakes, steering and windows, a Pioneer stereo unit, and cruise control.

Under the hood lies a rebuilt 302 Ford engine, which has been bored .030 over and given an RV cam. An MSD ignition lights the candles, while a beautiful and functional aluminum radiator custom fabricated by Cooled By I.C.E. in Sarasota keeps the running temp in check.

Though you might not come to the conclusion by walking around lots of car shows these days, 1957 Fords outsold ‘57 Chevys by a pretty good margin. Today it is certainly more rare to see a ‘57 Ford, and one as nice as Wayne and Judy’s is an even more sparse sight. In their travels to various shows you might also see Judy bring out her maroon 1969 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia....which she has owned since it was new! Without a doubt this duo loves classic cars, and to top it off they are some of the nicest people you could ever want to meet. CN