Affordable Cruiser? 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Galaxie

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Just as the Impala had arrived as the top trim level on the Chevrolet Bel Air in 1958, the Galaxie debuted at Ford above the Fairlane 500 in 1959. The ’59 Fords received a major styling update to the 1957-58 editions when Ford rarely beat out Chevy for the top sales position (in ’57). The seller doesn’t mention that this car is a Galaxie, but the badging on the rear fenders clears that up. Located in Mount Morris, Michigan, this car was offered nearly a year ago here on Facebook Marketplace and may have sold. The asking price is $6,800. Barn Finder “Ted” comes through again with the tips!

Two-tone paint was all the rage in the late 1950s and the combination of white over turquoise wears nicely on this 1959 4-door which Ford called the “Victoria Hardtop Sedan”. The Fairlane 500 Galaxie in this body style was a popular choice with buyers as Ford had orders to build more than 47,700 copies. At first glance you would think the paint and interior were once redone, but rust above the headlights and in the right front fender might suggest its original. And is the mileage really 10,000 or more like 110,000?

This Ford is something of a restomod in that it no longer has its 1950s Ford engine. A later 302 “roller motor” is in place now (meaning it has a roller camshaft). Given that and the level of bling plus the use of an aluminum radiator, it might be safe to assume this 302 has a kick to it. The car has an automatic transmission, but is it an old-school Cruise-O-Matic or a 3-speed automatic that’s of the same vintage as the newer engine? We don’t know as the seller doesn’t say.

We’re told there are “many new parts” but what do they include besides the engine upgrade? While cash is always king, the seller is willing to entertain a trade for something of similar value (could a dealer be involved?). BTW, the 1959 model year was the last for the Fairlane/Galaxie’s unusual companion, the retractable hardtop called the Skyliner.  Wonder if they ever considered doing that with a 4-door?

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  1. Rick

    Hooray! No cruiser skirts or a continental kit!

    Like 16
  2. mike

    Very nice 59…great color.Make a great cruiser.

    Like 8
  3. Jay Santos

    These four door pillarless Town Victoria sedans sure were pretty.

    Like 12
    • JoeNYWF64

      But i sure as hell would NOT want to see Falfa or even the Toad cruising in a 4 door.

      Like 1
    • al

      that’s the first thing I would do chrome skirts and full white walls just like it would have been in 1959 remember this cars well when new
      parents almost bought one but waited till Dec and bought new 1960 Impala 4 door ht I was 15 years old and first thing we did was put fender skirts on it

      Like 1
  4. Bob C.

    There was also a 2 speed Fordomatic available in the full size line from 1959 to 63.

    Like 4
  5. Yblocker

    “The World’s Most Beautifully Proportioned Cars”, the slogan they were given after receiving top awards at the World’s Fair in Brussels. Probably my favorite Ford of the 50s, I had a 59 Fairlane 2dr sedan years ago. Aside from some needed rust repairs, this looks pretty nice. Too bad about the motor, I would’ve kept the original. Btw, they grabbed the top spot in sales this year as well

    Like 7
  6. Yblocker

    I just noticed, the car is pictured with a variety of wheels, including 59 Plymouth wheel covers. Hopefully it comes with the smoothies

    Like 2
  7. Terrry

    Nice car for sure, but I’m afraid the tin worm has had a banquet on its body. Rust-though in the fenders and rust bubbles everywhere else is not a good sign. The car probably has a C-4 auto hooked up to the back of the engine, as the original Ford-O-Matic will not work with the 289/302 small blocks. That’s just as well because three speeds beat two. If you can get it cheap and you know how to fix the body, it could end up being a good investment.

    Like 2
    • Yblocker

      The original transmission was most likely a 3spd Cruise-O-Matic

      Like 0
  8. joseph russo

    not a bad price for this car- the good- the bad engine not original, four door model, also this car is the first year of the GALAXIE not a Fairlane 500 which came later in the early 60,s the body has some rust areas but the car will need some restoration

    Like 0
    • Gerry Batten

      Fairlane and Fairlane 500 first year was 1957

      Like 0
      • Yblocker

        First year Fairlane was 1955

        Like 0
  9. CharlieO

    My first car and still my favorite. Paid $300 in 1967 or 68, 6 cylinder, blue with white top, 6 coats of lacquer,(at least that’s what I was told), baby moons, fake dual exhaust. Very comfortable. Easy to judge: After picking my Mom up from work one day, I turned into an alley with poles in front of me. I said “I can make it between them” and proceeded as my Mother kept screaming “you’re not going to make it”. Well I did, and she couldn’t believe it. Bring Back Vent Windows.

    Like 5
    • Charles Ott

      And my ’59 was badged with Galaxie Fairlane 500.

      Like 1
  10. Bali Blue 504

    My mother had a ’60 Galaxie in a yucky tan. I had a yellow ’61 which my college buddy kiddingly suggested I enter it in a demolition derby. It was way too pristine for that. My favorite one to yearn for was the ’59 in turquoise. This one is worthy of the expense IMO. The interior apparently has survived well. A big plus!

    Like 3
  11. t-bone bob

    My dad had one and the same color combination, but it was a 4-door hardtop. He kept yelling at us to not slam the doors. If we did it would knock the windows off their track.

    Like 2
  12. JustPassinThru

    Memories. I never had one; but a much-admired high-school jock classmate, two grades up, had a clean two-door Ranch Wagon. He used it as a low-buck shaggin’ wagon; and since he was involved with the hottest JV cheerleader, his rare-even-then wagon got a lot of attention.

    But the style never really did it for me; and later, as an adult, I came to know of Ford’s struggle with quality in those years. The story of the windows coming off the tracks, reminded me of stories of how the 1957 Ford four-door hardtops had the doors tied shut in the inside – ropes across, door to door – in television spots, to prevent body-flex from springing the catches.

    The 1957 was a style hit; but coming up through the Ford C-Suite ranks, was Robert McNamara. Austere, spartan himself, he clearly didn’t understand the visceral end of the business. Just as he steered the Falcon project into pure utilitarianism, so, too, did he want to dispense with costly curves on the other Ford products.

    The 1959 and 1960 were transitional models; what he was looking to build, was the 1961-62 style full-sizes. Minimal curves, spartan interiors, as utilitarian as a truck of that era.

    He never fully got the cars there, finding his calling in Washington, first. The severe full-size line got an Iacocca-sized helping of bling for 1964, and the next 15 years reversed things.

    Like 1
    • Yblocker


      Like 0
      • JustPassinThru

        The story about the 1957 videos with the rope holding the doors together, comes from David Halberstam, “The Reckoning.” He dove into the Ford operation and history deeply, in writing his 1983 book.

        It’s backed up by my old man’s experience – he had a 1957. I was too young to appreciate the struggles he had with it – and it was hard for him, because, as a poor immigrant’s son, he was a great admirer of Henry Ford.

        Different folks have different opinions here, and that’s fine with me. I have to wonder, though, when different folks have negative reactions to opinions they don’t share.

        Like 1
      • Yblocker

        Well I’m gonna write a novel, but my dad drove a 57 for 8 years, great car, he had no complaints, an old widowed farmer neighbor of ours drove a 57 till the day he died in 1974, he used to buy hay from my dad, every few days, he’d drive over and stuff about 10 bales of hay in the backseat and trunk of that 57 Ford, and head home, the doors never flew open. My dad also a number of years later, bought a used 59 Fairlane for a second car, never had any real problems with it. In 1985, I bought a 59 Fairlane that been sitting in a field in Nebraska for $200, it was meant to be a restoration project, but never went that way, I cleaned up the interior, and freshened up the 292, and used it as a daily driver for about 10 years. Well built car. So there’s my opinion, they were good cars. If you wanna talk build quality issues in the late 50s, talk Chrysler, because they had some, but I like old Chrysler stuff

        Like 1

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