This is our 1959 Ford Farlaine 500 Skyliner Retractable Hardtop Convertible. It is the only fully optioned example known to exist in Canada. A fully equipped '59 Galaxie is rare, a fully equipped "Fairlane 500" is very rare. Ford only produced the Fairlane 500's for a short three and a half month duration in the fall of '58. The Fairlane would be replaced by the introduction of the new "Galaxie" in November of '58. The only difference in these cars is that the Galaxie has a glove box medallion and the rear quarter scripts. In fact the Galaxies retained the Fairlane 500 script on the rear trunk as Ford decided that it would be too expensive to re-tool the trunk lids. Why...you ask? Well, the center "0" in the "500" was also the trunk key slot cover. As a consequence, all '59 Galaxies also have the Fairlane 500 script on the rear trunk. This has confused many novices in years past as it still does today. Also very few Fairlane 500's had the newer colorful Thunderbird fender ornaments.
Starting with the flamboyantly attractive Fairline 500-series cars in 1957, the Skyliner was an instant hit among enthusiasts throughout the post-war exhuberant America. The first year sales for this model were 20,766.
Here was the car that had it all.........The the top-down fun of a full convertible or the impressive beauty of a 2 door hardtop all within a one minute switch! The disappearing top gave you bragging rights wherever you went, leaving spectators in awe as it slowly but surely went through the crowd gathering roof drill. It is quite a show, and one that us retractable owners never tire of giving. Ford for 1959 boasted all new styling. Ford bucked the design trend of the times with the ’59s, as GM and Chrysler tried to outdo each other with the height and configuration of their fins while the '59 Fords had hardly any fins at all. This helped the '59 Ford win the Gold Medal for Exceptional Styling at the Brussels World’s Fair. It was also proclaimed the "Worlds Most Beautifully Proportioned Car" at this event.
Due to the extra weight of the top mechanism, these cars could be ordered only with V-8 engines: anything from a 292/200 hp to a "Thunderbird" 352 rated at 300 bhp. Total sales of the 59 retracts amounted to 12,915 making them the scarcest of the flip-tops then and today.
In seeking a 59 Ford Fairlane/Galaxie 500 Skyliner today the collector/restorer should check for rust in all the important places of course. Cars that originated in the American southern mid-western climates are usually the best candidates for rust free bodies. Even more critical with these cars is the operation of the top itself. Although the factory Ford system was designed practically bullet-proof, after five decades of use and wear there could be small details that may intimidate a cautious restorer. Usually a thorough cleaning of all the components and re-alignment of switches is all that is required.
As with any other collector car, buy the best example you can find commensurate with your budget. Get a good one and you’ll have the same pleasure the owner of the new retractables did when they pulled up, pushed a button and gathered a crowd as the big steel top folded up effortlessly into the trunk. These cars are just as beautiful now as they were back then and indeed they are recieved very graciously by everyone. From the elderly grandmother to the pre-teen youth on a bike who awkwardly screams out the "nice car" compliment as he crashes into the neighbours fence, these cars are a definet crowd pleaser.
They are available today in price ranges from $8,000 to $80,000 prices being relevant to the extent of restoration, factory options etc. Whatever your budget may be, make your dream happen................trust me, you will never be sorry!