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Not Quite Like Mom’s: 1957 Ford Fairlane 500

My mother’s first car was a blue and white 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 that she called ‘Bluebird’, and I built a few models of ’57 Fairlanes over the years for her. Maybe it’s because I grew up a blue oval fan, but I appreciate the Ford’s styling in 1957 more than the common love, the Chevrolet. This one is someone’s unfinished project, and it’s currently standing in a yard in Mount Union, Iowa. The owner has decided to list it here on eBay, where the buy it now price is $2,950 but lower offers are welcomed.

According to the seller, the car has been stored for decades, but we don’t know whether that was indoors or outside. Based on the rust in the rear quarters and rocker panels, it may have been outside, but on the other hand I would think the “NOS” front fenders would have acquired quite a bit of rust if they had been outside the whole time. The seller also says it will need patches in the front floors and trunk while you’re looking up 1957 Fairlane patch panel pricing and availability.

That rear bumper loos too large to me, but a little bit of time on Google shows 1957 500s with both this style and a much smaller style. Anyone know the story on that? I can’t quite read the license plate date, but those plates were used from 1986 to 1996, which means if my arithmetic is correct, it’s been off the road for a minimum of 20 years.

Here’s a closeup of the driver’s side rocker panel and the passenger side floorboard. Not quite a Flinstone-mobile, but certainly some cutting and welding is needed!

The seller tells us that this is a 312 cubic inch “Thunderbird Special” V8 attached to a three-speed manual transmission with overdrive. We’re also told that the engine was rebuilt before storage. I have to wonder why you’d rebuild an engine for a car, almost finish reinstalling it but never complete the job and drive it? Regardless, this seems like a project you could at least get back on the road relatively quickly, although the cosmetics would certainly take a lot longer. Is this the project for you? Which 1957 American car do you like the best? Tell us in the comments!


  1. Wayne

    I’ll have the Pontiac “woody” beside it thanks.

    Like 1
  2. Ed P

    The bug eyed look of the 57’s never appealed to me. The dual headlights on the 58’s looked much better.

    • Sprink88

      Dual headlights are just wrong. Take some 56 f100 headlight rings and French the 57’s. Way better

      Like 1
  3. Fred W.

    “Rebuilt” engine doesn’t mean a thing when it is “Stuck”.

  4. JW

    Of the 50’s cars I always liked the 57 & 58 Fords. If I was younger and after a closer inspection I might offer 2K.

  5. American_Badaz

    For me personally, if offered any 57 I wanted, it would have to be a black 57 Plymouth Belvedere. Hard to get more sinister looking than that!

  6. Howard A Member

    Can you believe this was the most popular car sold in N. America in 1957? Where are they all ( compared to ’57 Chevy’s) One reason, late 50’s Ford’s were some of the worst rusters of their time. I’ve seen ’57 Ford’s with the headlights gone. ( bad spot) Never understood why the Chevy got all the thunder, when this was an “all new” car for Ford. I built many models of ’57 Ford’s. Most of this could be fixed, unless you can do it yourself, gonna be steep. This is another car, that will most assuredly become a resto-mod.It needs to be rebuilt anyway. I don’t know what the story is with the rear bumper. At 1st, it looked like a “retractable” rear bumper, but I’ve seen smaller bumpers, mostly on base cars. Parts could be a problem. I doubt there’s many ’57 ( ’58) Ford’s left in yards, and people with the parts know how scarce they are, and may charge accordingly. Great find.

    Like 1
    • Ed P

      The designers at GM were not happy when Chrysler and Ford rolled out all new cars for ’57. Chevy only had new tailfins and chrome ornaments.

      Like 1
    • mikeradnov

      Ford out sold Cheby’s in 1957 and 1959/1957 FORD was the fastess car on the strip/ 1957 FoMoCo pulled out of racing midway and still, STILL had won more major races than all others combined, Cheby’s , MoPar’s, you can take that to the bank Soth Omaha Mike

  7. dj

    I’ll take the Lemans/GTO next to it.

  8. M/K

    i’ll have a 57 scotsman thank you

  9. CaCarDude

    For me I rate the ’57 Ford Fairlane right up there with the same year Chevy. When I was a junior in H.S. my older brother’s best friend drove a ’57 Ford convertible baby blue and white, with white top and chrome reverse wheels with the added baby moons, boy what a ride that was, and had duel glass pak mufflers. I never missed a morning getting a ride to school with my brother when that beautiful ’57 drove up. Warm or cold mornings that top was down, Bobby Vee was singing on the radio and we were riding in style.
    This hardtop listed is pretty rough but could be brought back if someone wants to spend the big $$ to do it. Also I did not know about the extra large rear bumper these had available, I would go with the smaller version bumper.

    Like 1
  10. CCFisher

    Custom/Custom 300 – small bumper. Fairlane/Fairlane 500 – large bumper. Custom and Fairlane were not just series designations – there were significant chassis and body differences.

  11. Eric 10Cars

    I still think that this may have been the best looking of the 57 cars, although I did like the 57 Plymouth Belvedere too. The Chevys of the era just never did a lot for me. Nice but not with the passion that they receive today. The replacement fenders clearly indicate the rust issues with the pockets above the headlights. I’ve seen some custom 57s with the 58 dual headlights and they look good, but of course, don’t solve the rust issue. I hated what Ford did with the 58, destroying all of the clean lines of the 57. Agree that some could see the headlights as frog-like, but beauty and the eye of the beholder…and all that. The instance vehicle deserves a reasonable treatment, especially since it’s a hardtop and seems intact. We had a 57 four door sedan with the 260 V8 and 3 on the tree. It was a sweet running car, albeit very basic. Rear-opening bonnet was a treat.
    I think that the convertibles and the hardtops got the fancy rear bumper treatment. They also had a chrome bright ring around the inner part of the taillight that the mundane models didn’t get. They might have had a chrome ring on the headlight too.

  12. Larry Fairchild

    Had a 57 convert out of high school in 64…Damm i miss that car

  13. Don Sicura

    I’m not 100% sure but I think the rear bumper on this car is from a 58, the 57 bumper was much smaller, I owned a couple of 57’s back in the 60’s.

    Like 1
  14. Steve H

    My favorite of the 50’s cars is the ’56 Chevy. By now I’ve heard how boring they seem to be to a lot of guys but I love em; particularly the convertibles and the two-door hardtop.

    We don’t have the space or the money to keep/buy a real one, so we’re doing the next best thing… we’re having a ’56 Chevy golf cart built for us! Should be fun… and look something like the pic. We’re getting ours painted Matador Red. I added the whitewall tires in photoshop.

  15. Sprink88

    It’s a 57 FAIRLANE bumper. The top two lines towards the top came painted black.

    Yes. The bumper it to big. The fix?

    1957 Ford 300 bumper. It will fit, but you also need the 300 brackets too

    Like 1
  16. Boris

    The 1957 Plymouth Belvedere two-door hardtop was a nicer looking car than the ’57 Ford, and certainly far better styled than the overrated ’57 Chevy.

  17. Rustytech Member

    I always did like the 57 Fords, the 4 door hardtop was especially classy, alas they rusted very early, which is why you don’t see many today. I would hazard to guess most of the rust here predates the storage by many years. I hope someone saves this one. I also hope they do it with the stock motor, I doubt many of the big Fords got that option, making this one especially rare.

  18. ccrvtt

    One of my earliest recollections of a hot car was a black 1957 Fairlane 500 decked out in the uniform of the day – Torq Thrusts on the front and chrome reversed rims on the back – cruising down Mt. Hope Road on the eastern boundary of Michigan State University. My friend pointed out to me that they should have had the Cragars on the back since that’s where the power is transferred to the ground.

    I was never really sure if he was right, but it’s about 50 years too late to argue about it.

  19. erikj

    I love the look and style. I,m not a ford guy much, but I can like anything and the 57 fair lane is one of those that I love the looks.
    Around the early 70s the hippe next door (lol) had a way cool 57, black with red int. That was a cool car that I will never forget from a early age when my love of cars was well in bloom! God I miss those days.

  20. G 1

    They did make good dirt track cars.

  21. Rustytech Member

    Did some research on the bumper, the correct answer was stated above. The small bumper went on the custom, custom 300, and on the wagons. The big bumper was used on the Fairlanes and Fairlane 500’s only.

  22. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Sold for the buy it now of $2,950.

  23. Eric Robinson

    For me its got to be the 57 desoto as 1957 was the real starter year for twin headlights but some states would not allow twin headlight don,t know why , I am still hooked on american cars from the 1950s and drive two weather permiting one is a 1959 galaxie convertible the other is a 58 mercury monterey 2 door ,these cars were made over 60 years ago and people just stand and stair when you drive past mobile phones taking pictures ,The french invented the retractable hard top but left it to america to put them into production ,And what fab cars rock and roll on wheels

    Like 2
  24. Hippy

    It’s not stuck , and it’s in northeast Mississippi now

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