Ford Fairlane Sunliner Convertible

There must have been something in the air in 1955, at least among virtually all of America’s automakers. Both Ford and GM broke the mold with sharply designed, well-proportioned new models in a variety of vibrant two-tone color schemes. Pastel colors were also gaining the favor of car designers, including Ford’s design chief Frank Hershey, who was reportedly a huge fan of Fiestaware, which may have in fact provided some inspiration.

Hershey was the man responsible for the 1955 Ford Thunderbird and many of its stylistic cues, including the small tailfins, wrap-around windshield, peaked fenders and headlight cowls, which were shared with other Ford models. They worked particularly well on the Fairlane Sunliner convertible, which also had the signature “Fairlane Flash” side-trim that dipped from the top of the front fender into the door.

Mechanically, the ’55 Fords boasted Y-block, OHV V-8s ranging from 272 to 292 cubic inches, three-speed stick or automatic transmissions, coil-spring independent front suspensions and leaf springs at the rear. Interiors were light and color-coordinated with the bright, cheerful exterior colors. Ford enjoyed phenomenal sales in 1955, second only to archrival Chevrolet. Image leaders like the Fairlane Sunliner mirrored America’s mid-1950s optimism and played a pivotal role in Ford’s success during the era.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in July of 2011 at The Inn at St. John's, St. John's.

198 bhp, 292 cu. in. OHV Y-Block V-8 engine, single four-barrel carburetor, Ford-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission, coil-spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115.5".

Source: RM Auctions

Gallery: Ford Fairlane Sunliner Convertible