1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner Retractable

Even if the Commies had beaten us in space exploration, we had both the hideaway hard top and the Edsel

The Ford Fairlane Skyliner can claim to be America’s first production convertible to feature a retractable hard top. Introduced as Ford’s top-of-the-range model in 1955, the Fairlane was rival to Chevrolet’s successful Bel Air and came in six different body styles with a choice of six-cylinder or V8 engines.
The range was restyled for 1957, gaining new, lower bodies adorned with the latest styling fad-tail fins-and the Fairlane 500 introduced as the ultimate trim level. 1957 was also notable as the year of the Skyliner’s introduction.
Considerably more expensive than the conventional Sunliner convertible, the Skyliner featured a hard top that at the touch of a button automatically retracted into the boot. For its last year of production in 1959, the Skyliner was both re-engineered and restyled, becoming part of the new range-topping Galaxie lineup, though continuing to be badged as a Fairlane 500.
This rare and historic example of Detroit’s engineering exuberance is finished in cream with green and cream vinyl interior-the latter preserved in excellent, apparently original condition. Restored (at date unknown) and presented in generally good condition, the vehicle starts and runs very well while the hood mechanism functions correctly.
Left-hand drive and equipped with automatic transmission, the car is offered with current road fund license, MoT to October 2006 and Swansea V5 registration document. A great rarity in the U.K., the Skyliner rivals the classic early Thunderbird for the title of “most collectible Ford of the 1950s.”

B. Mitchell Carlson

SCM Senior Auction Analyst

Brian wrote his first auction report for Old Cars Weekly in 1990 and has contributed his colorful commentary in Sports Car Market since 1998. His work appears regularly in Kelley Blue Book, and also in a handful of marque-specific publications. Carlson shuns what he calls “single-marque tunnel vision” and takes great pride in his “vehicular diversity.” He attends about two dozen auctions per year, but he broke away to roar around Oregon with Paul Hardiman in SCM’s Dodge Viper and Porsche 911 Turbo in the 2015 Northwest Passage.

Posted in American