Taking a look back at 1950’s… specifically in 1957, it was the first time since 1935 when Ford outperformed Chevrolet in the market. It was a notable rise from depressing situation after the World War II.
Released in 1957, the Ford Fairlane Skyliner was a hot seller. Because of the fascination for space-age technology, a trend of fuel injected engines and jet-inspired tailfins were so prominent. Ford came up with the idea of combining the best features of a soft convertible drop top and the strong comfort of a permanent hardtop. Skyliner became America’s first convertible with a retractable hardtop. With a simple push of a button, a complex hydraulic system was designed to open the rear compartment to pull back the hardtop then safely lock it in the trunk storage area. There were 37 different fabric color combinations and a selection of either standard nylon or optional vinyl upholstery. This car rode on a 118 inch wheelbase and a variety of engines are available also, including a 312 cu in V-8 engine.
With the price of over $2,000, Skyliner was the most expensive Ford automobile. It produced over 20,000 units in 1957 before being dropped in 1959.
The name Fairlane was drop for the reason of the rising space race. They rolled the Skyliner model into Galaxie line for its last year in 1959. This also marked the end of retractable roof.
Though the retractable roof draw big crowds since its inception. The price of having a complex roof system has taken its toll. There are so many problems regarding the roof system in the boot. If something fails during the retracting of the roof, I guess it’s pretty hard to imagine driving yourself home with the roof stuck halfway up. Though it was only a wives tale and only few problems are reported. One of the big issue regarding these problems is it reduces cargo and storage capabilities of the trunk; it was a big issue back in 1957.
This car has a total production of less than 50,000 units over its three years course, its value has skyrocketed in recent years and its no secret why these cars has an estimated value of $100,000 at car auctions.