1956 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner

Everyone needs an edge. We all need to have a little something that people talk about. In the case of cars, it’s often the top of the line model that no one (or almost no one) can afford, and for Ford in the late 50’s, it was called ‘Skyliner’. The 1956 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner, was by all standard a pretty good car, but what made it stand out from the competition was it traffic-stopping retractable hard-top. Using no less than three extra electrical motors, over 600 feet of extra electrical wiring, and having cost the then-impressive sum of $18,000,000 to develop, the Skyliner’s retractable roof was something to see. Even more surprisingly for what amounts to an expensive and impressive party-trick, the roof was surprisingly leak-proof and even better, reliable!

1956 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner
1956 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner

The Skyliner’s other options were pretty standard for a car of the era. The biggest engine it was fitted with was a 5.8-liter V8 that produced 300 horsepower, enough to take it to a top speed of 105 miles per hour, and to accelerate to 60 in 10 seconds flat.

Only 12,915 of the 1956 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner and its successors were ever built (until 1959, when the model was retired), making it a very, very collectible car. Price was a major reason for the car being retired, as it was seen as too expensive as the decade concluded, and the usability of the car was much diminished, in great part because of its disappearing trunk space.

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