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.”