Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner Convertible
For 1957, Ford introduced four series on two different wheelbases. The larger Fairlane and Fairlane 500 models rode a 118-inch wheelbase, while the entry level Custom, Custom 300 and station wagons were built on 116-inch chassis. All Fords were lower and longer, with Fairlanes eclipsing the ’56s by nearly a foot while measuring four inches lower.
The styling was all new. The sweeping trim of the 1955-56 Fairlane models was adapted to the 1957 Fairlane 500 and given a more sophisticated look, flowing downward from the headlamps and then curving upward and rising to end atop handsome tailfins. Other models had different but complementary trim motifs, all of them accommodating the two-tone color schemes characteristic of the 1950s. Engines included a six and three sizes of V-8s, with displacements from 223 to 312 cubic inches and horsepower to 245.
At the outset there was but one convertible, the Fairlane 500 Sunliner. It was joined midyear by the Skyliner, a retractable hardtop developed from a stillborn Continental Mark II concept. Most open-car customers, however, opted for the soft-top Sunliner, and nearly 78,000 were sold. The new styling was popular and helped Ford mount a serious challenge to archrival Chevrolet. For calendar year 1957, Ford and Chevy were neck and neck, but Ford scored a substantial victory for the model year.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in July of 2011 at The Inn at St. John's, Plymouth, Michigan.
245 bhp, 312 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, three-speed manual overdrive transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 118"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Aaron Summerfield