Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner
|Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner|
|Also called||Ford Galaxie Skyliner|
|Body and chassis|
|Predecessor||Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria Skyliner|
- See also Ford Crestline Skyliner for the 1954 Ford and Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria Skyliner for the 1955–1956 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria, both with an acrylic glass roof panel.
The Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner is a full-size two-door automobile with a retractable hardtop which was produced by Ford in the United States for the model years 1957, 1958 and 1959. The retractable roof mechanism was unique to Ford branded products, and was not offered on Continental, Lincoln, Mercury, or Edsel branded vehicles during this time period.
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 decklid. No hydraulic mechanisms were used as in regular convertibles of the era. The Skyliner top has six electric motors (only five for 1959 models), four lift jacks, a series of relays, 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-US (17 L/100 km; 17 mpg-imp) overall. The fuel tank was placed vertically in back of the rear seat, which inadvertently added safety in rear collisions.
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 1959 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.
At the time of its introduction, the Skyliner was the only true hardtop convertible in the world. Today, it has become a collectible car.
The design attracted more attention than sales; the option was expensive, somewhat unreliable, and took up almost all the trunk space when retracted. It required the roof to be made shorter than the other Fairlanes, and the trunk to be larger. This was because the design was originally to be a Continental coupe. The solid roof pillar of the Skyliner is the similar to the reverse slant appearance of Continentals of the late 1950s. Projected losses resulted in a last-minute marketing decision to restyle the vehicle, from the bottom of the windows down, as a member of the Fairlane family.
Engines and transmissions
The following engines, all V8s, were available on the Fairlane 500 Skyliner.
|Size ||Horsepower ||Model Years |
|272 cu in (4.5 l)||190 hp (140 kW)||1957|
|292 cu in (4.8 l)||200 hp (150 kW)
205 hp (153 kW)
212 hp (158 kW)
|1957, 1958 & 1959|
|312 cu in (5.1 l)||245 hp (183 kW)||1957|
|332 cu in (5.4 l)||225 hp (168 kW)
240 hp (180 kW)
265 hp (198 kW)
|1958 & 1959|
|352 cu in (5.8 l)||300 hp (220 kW)||1958 & 1959|
Crestline Skyliner & Fairlane Crown Victoria Skyliner
The Skyliner name had been used by Ford on earlier models, namely the Crestline Skyliner of 1954 and the Fairlane Crown Victoria Skyliners of 1955 and 1956. These models have a two-door hardtop body style with a clear acrylic glass roof panel over the front seats.
- Willson, Quentin (1995). The Ultimate Classic Car Book. DK Publishing. ISBN 0-7894-0159-2.
- Owner's plaque, 50th Anniversary Draggins carshow, shot 3 April 2010.
- Langworth, Richard (1982). Great Cars from Ford. ISBN 0-89009-537-X.
- Auto Editors of Consumer Guide (2007-07-20). "1957–1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner". Auto.howstuffworks.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- 1957–1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner Retrieved from auto.howstuffworks.com on 14 January 2011
- Flory, Jr., J. "Kelly" (2008). American Cars, 1946–1959 Every Model Every Year. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-3229-5.
- "1957 Ford Skyliner brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- John Gunnell, The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1945 to 1975, Revised 4th Edition, page 402
- 1959 Ford brochure Retrieved from www.oldcarbrochures.com on 14 January 2011
- John Gunnell, The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1945 to 1975, Revised 4th Edition, page 397
- "Lot 115 - 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner Retractable Hardtop". Rmsothebys.com. 2014-11-15. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
- Bonsall, Thomas E. (2003). The Lincoln Story: The Postwar Years. Stanford University Press. p. 56. ISBN 9780804749411. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
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