Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner Retractable Hardtop

Ford’s reputation as a leading car manufacturer rose dramatically with the introduction of its all-new 1957 models, featuring “Equaflair” styling by George W. Walker, which was most memorably implemented on the Fairlane series. Longer and lower than ever before, their fresh styling incorporated a full-width rectangular grille, dramatic bright accents and a pair of fashionable tailfins or “high-canted” rear fenders. 

The top-line Fairlane 500 range was accessorized with the top trim options of the Fairlane series, and in addition to the extensive chrome of the base-level Fairlane Custom, the 500 carried additional C-pillar brightwork, as well as a distinctive double-runner chrome strip on the body sides with a textured anodized gold insert. With a multitude of exciting two-tone paint finishes and 37 different interior combinations, the Fairlane 500 appealed to a more affluent and discerning buyer. 

In addition, Ford pushed the styling and engineering envelope even further with the first mass-produced retractable hardtop, the Fairlane 500 Skyliner. With the push of a single button, the Skyliner's hardtop literally unscrewed itself from the windshield frame, then folded neatly and tucked under a long, flat trunk lid that lifted on its own to make way for the top. In about 25 seconds, the Skyliner driver could literally transform his coupe into a true convertible. Ford offered the retractable hardtop option for only three years, from 1957 through 1959. 

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2009 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona, in March of 2009 at the The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida, in January of 2010 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona and in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

245hp, 312 cu. in. overhead valve V8 engine, automatic transmission, independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 118"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

Gallery: Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner Retractable Hardtop