Ford Fairlane 500 Galaxie Skyliner 352/300 1959

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Fairlane 500 Galaxie Skyliner 352/300 1959





Ford’s reputation as a leading car manufacturer rose dramatically with the introduction of its all-new 1957 models. These models featured “Equaflair” styling by George W. Walker, which was most memorably implemented on the Fairlane series. These cars were longer and lower than ever before, and their fresh styling incorporated a full-width rectangular grille, dramatic bright accents, and a pair of fashionable tailfins, or “high-canted” rear fenders.

The top-of-the-line Fairlane 500 range was accessorized with the top trim options of the Fairlane series, and in addition to the extensive chrome of the base-level Fairlane Custom, the 500 carried additional C-pillar bright work and a distinctive double-runner chrome strip with a textured anodized gold insert on the body sides. With a multitude of exciting two-tone paint finishes and 37 different interior combinations, the Fairlane 500 appealed to a more affluent and discerning buyer.

The Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner is a full-size two-door automobile with a retractable hardtop which was produced by the Ford Motor Company in the United States for the model years 1957, 1958 and 1959. Part of the Ford Fairlane range, the Skyliner had a complex mechanism which folded the front of the roof and retracted it under the rear deck lid. It had three roof drive motors driving four lift jacks, four door-lock motors, ten solenoids, four locking mechanisms for the roof, and a total of 610 ft (185.9 m) of wiring. The large top took up vast amounts of trunk space, limiting the car's sales (however, unlike what most people believe, the mechanism had decent reliability). Production totaled 20,766 units in 1957, declining to 14,713 in 1958 and to 12,915 in 1959. An electric clock was standard. Fuel consumption was around 14 mpg overall. The fuel tank was placed under the rear seat, which inadvertently added safety in rear collisions.

The wheelbase of the Skyliner was 118 in (3,000 mm) and the overall length was 210.8 in (5,350 mm).

During the 1959 model year the Galaxie series was added to Ford’s full-size range and the Skyliner model was absorbed into that series. Although the ’59 Galaxie was designated as a separate series, Galaxies carried both “Fairlane 500” and “Galaxie” badging, on the rear and sides respectively. It came with the standard with the 292CID 2-barrel 200 hp V8.

The 1959 Ford range was introduced in late 1958 with the Fairlane 500 as the top trim level. During the 1959 model year the Galaxie was added to the range as an additional trim level, assuming the top position from the Fairlane 500. The Galaxie was offered with the same sedan and hardtop body styles as the Fairlane 500 whilst the Sunliner and Skyliner convertibles were moved across from the Fairlane 500 range. Styling varied from the Fairlane 500 with the addition of a Ford Thunderbird-style C pillar on all but the Sunliner. Although a separate series from the Fairlane 500, 1959 Galaxie models carried both Fairlane 500 and Galaxie badging.

At the time of its introduction, the Skyliner was the only true hardtop convertible in the world.

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