Ford Fairlane 500 Sedan
For 1957, a new style gave a longer, wider, lower and sleeker look with low tailfins. A new top trim level was reversed, the Fairlane 500. For the first time, the lower-level Custom line had a shorter wheelbase than the Fairlane. Engines were largely the same as the year before. The big news for 1957 was the introduction of the Fairlane 500 Skyliner power retractable hardtop, whose solid top hinged and folded down into the trunk space at the touch of a button. Unfortunately, it attracted more attention than sales; the option was expensive, somewhat unreliable, and took up almost all the trunk space when retracted. Even so, it required the roof to be made shorter than the other Fairlanes, and the trunk to be larger. The reason for this was simply that this car was designed, from the ground up, as a Lincoln Continental. Projected losses resulted in a last minute marketing decision to restyle the vehicle, from the bottom of the windows down, as a member of the Fairlane family.
Another facelift for 1958 saw fashionable quad headlights, a grille that matched the 1958 Thunderbird, and other styling changes. New big-block FE V8s of 332 and 352 CID (5.4L and 5.8 L) replaced the previous largest V8s, and a better three-speed automatic transmission was also available.
A new top-level full-size model was introduced at mid-year 1959, the Ford Galaxie.
A Fairlane is featured in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball, and also briefly in the 2002 Bond film Die Another Day.