Find Your Car


Monday, February 17, 2014

1957-1959 Ford Fairlane Fairlane 500 Skyliner


The idea of a retractable hardtop convertible first floated through Dearborn’s styling studios in 1955. Stylist Gilbert Spear worked up the plans and $2.2 million was spent to study the concept. 
1956 Lincoln Contintal Mark II.

Originally slated for corporate flagship, Lincoln Continental Mark II, it was deemed to be far too costly for such a low-production model.  The retractable study was sent down to the Ford studio where higher production numbers would better amortize the additional $18 million needed to further develop and test the concept.

Sheet metal was bulked up in the rear quarters up to accommodate the large roof.  A special .184-cubic metre (6.5-cubic foot) bin was created for luggage storage so that items stowed in the trunk wouldn’t stray and be crushed as the top came down.   
The Skyliner used the 5.1-litre (312 cubic inch) Y-block V-8 engine that was installed in police cars.

The completed Skyliner package was heavy enough to require the Interceptor V-8 engine used in police cars as standard equipment. Interiors were finished in a linen pattern Royal Scot Tweed upholstery, edged in vinyl trim.

The operation of getting the top down was a complex one, even if the driver only had to push a button on the steering column and stand back to ooh! and aah! as the magic show began.  A dash light glowed its warning as the trunk lid  opened, the package shelf rose up to deck level, the top unlocked and the roof pointed upward into the air the first 30 centimetres  (12 inches) of the roof actually folded under so that it would fit into the allotted space) and then disappeared into the cavernous trunk space.  Finally the trunk lid came down, the warning light went off and the driver was ready to roll.  In case of emergency, engineers thoughtfully provided a hand crank to finish the job.

Visit my old car website at: The Oilspot Eh!

The impressive electrical and hydraulic system included 182 metres (600 feet) of wiring, ten power relays, eight circuit breakers, ten limit switches, three drive motors and a safety lock that prevented the mechanism from going into operation unless the car was in neutral.

Skyliners had a three-year run, from 1957 to 1959.  The first year 20,766 were built.

 The second year 14,713 units were shipped during the 1958 model year.  

1958 Ford Skyliner instrument panel.

In 1959 production dropped to 12,915 units. Skyliners were never profitable even though they retailed for 20% more than Ford’s top-of-the-line Sunliner convertibles.  

 Dealers were happy to sell Skyliners but many didn’t want to stand behind the service and warranty work. The retractable hardtops were ultimately sentenced to automobile death by  division’s president Robert McNamara,  because he hated gimmicks and loved large production numbers.

No Skyliners were built in Canada, though a few were imported and sold through Ford dealers.  Curiously enough, this is one of the rare times where a Ford model did not have a corresponding relative in the Meteor family.  No Meteor Skyliner with the retractable roof was ever sold.

Just under 60,000 of these unique land yachts were built.  If you should ever get a chance to watch a Skyliner perform, you’ll be one of a handful of lucky people who ever get to see this  classic in action.

1959 was the last year for the Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner.

Copyright James C. Mays 1999 All rights reserved.


devil jiang said...

Akira Kurosawa's chanel replica Seven Samurai is transformed by Gonzo into replica handbags an anime adaptation.For this viewing session I began with the 5.1 Japanese track. The music hermes outlet is constant as well as the continual gunfire and explosions makes great us of the surround sound. I also listened to FUNimation's fendi outlet English dub too to listen to their 5.1 as well. Great balance amongst the speaker setup, which lead to great sword collisions from behind during rolex submariner replica all the fight scenes.

Junk Cars said...

I just bought a 1959 Ford Fairlane the other day. You wouldn't believe that a client was trying to sell it as junk. I ended up giving him a fair price and will turn this junk car into a gem. Hopefully my mechanic is ready for the job.

David said...

That,s great to see the condition of these cars,these cars are in a very good condition,i love these car and proud on people who cares about the history making cars of the automotive world.Nice work done on the blog,its very informative,If you wan to check the Vin of your car so have a look on subaru vin number decoder.

Anonymous said...

PVD shell will probably improve entire excellent on the check out along with the manager could possibly get many tag heuer replica sale advantages of the item. Primary, accomplishing this will deliver this check out an incredible in addition to glorious black color coloration. It will produce this check out glimpse far more trendy in addition to current. This check out could match virtually any costume along with the manager will be incredibly hip using the item. You will discover completely new check out products you can uncover from the prada replica current market currently which might be witout a doubt PVD lined in particular when you might seek a lot of the quality models connected with wristwatches. You might undoubtedly aim for just one of ones own upon having viewed the current in addition to louis vuitton replica sale innovative glimpse. Although minus plenty of dollars to obtain the latest check out, you possibly can however work with an existing s / s check out and just get into a corporation that has PVD shell services. Ones check out will be including completely new all over again and may be of which hublot replica sale technique for an extended time. This PVD shell will required check out far more toughness and it also will probably strengthen it is strength. It could actually required check out higher level connected with solidity that can required check out far more safeguard next to scores in addition to loss. This check out exterior will not likely breitling replica uk simply receive dinged and know that it could actually have rough in addition to complicated predicaments.

Post a Comment

Please share what you think about today's thoughts by posting a comment here.

Post a Comment