Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner

Fifty some years ago, the Ford Motor Company decided to build the Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner.  This beauty had a fully retractable hard top (eat your heart out BMW!) that folded itself in a very complicated way into the trunk.

Well, turns out tonight I was watching the six o’clock local news and they ran a story on the retractable top Fairlane.  The story talked about how the International Ford Retractable Club had its 2013 National Convention here in Greenville, South Carolina.  As expected, the inept reporter from Channel 4’s staff conveniently talked about everything but where the cars were on display.  A little Googling solved the problem:  the cars were on display at the local Hilton.

Since today was the last day of the meet, I decided to jump in the S2K and head out to the Hilton’s parking lot.  Sure enough, a few of these timeless beauties were still on display.  Oh man!  What a treat.  I took a few photos which I have added to the following gallery.  If you are on my mailing list you might want to visit the site:  the photo gallery does not transfer to the email.  Take a look and make sure to click on the photos – they will open to their full size!

Some priceless gems, don’t you think?  The turquoise 1959 is very impressive, with the entire top mechanism in full display.  The trailer queens were equally amazing.  Several others were safely stowed in fully covered trailers.  Some parting notes:

  • I thought the “Air Conditioned by Ford Select Aire” emblem was pretty awesome.  Most intriguing, the emblem only appeared on the passenger’s side.
  • How about the “Continental” kit affixed to the rear of the car with the spare tire mount.  I bet it took some getting used to the fact that an extra 2 or 3 feet worth of chrome is behind the trunk.
  • The paint colors on these cars is just so awesome!  Just imagine what these beauties looked like back in the day with their bright paintwork and gleaming chrome.
  • Fender skirts…  Chrome…  Body colour dashes…  Fender Fins…  All centerfolds in their own right – classic automotive porn at its finest!

2 thoughts on “Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner

  1. Steve Billings

    Joe….No different than you, I found out about this too late. Sure would have liked to have attended the “Show” on Friday. Even at my age, these were rare and a little bit before my time. Being prone to Top issues, I don’t really remember them as a “cool” car, we were more into the ’55 or ’57 Chevy’s. Comming home from the afternoon show at the Peace Center, I did cruise the parking lot to see if anyone had hung around on Saturday. There were Two, both being close shades of Yellow, which made the detour to Stax Grill worthwile.

    1. bowtie6 Post author

      Thanks for posting, Steve – always nice to hear from you!

      Sure would have been nice to see the “show”. About that hard top: I suppose even to this day those tops must be real pain to repair and adjust.

      Take care!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *