1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner

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. 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. It did all this without the use of hydraulics, as in regular convertibles of the era. The Skyliner top utilized 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.

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.

At the time of its introduction, the Skyliner was the only true hardtop convertible in the world.Today, it has become a very valuable collectible car.

See A YouTube Video of This Car.