Say Hello To Victoria: 1955 Ford Fairlane Hardtop

You know how you have that informal list in the back of your mind? The one that includes the cars you want to own before motoring off this mortal coil? Full disclosure: I covet the mid-50’s Fords and, yea, verily! I shall, one day, have one as my very own! “But, why the ’55 Ford, Karl?”, you may ask. First of all, look at the sleek, classic body on this car, here on eBay. The two-door hardtop was one of nine full-size body styles offered by Ford in 1955 and this example showcases perfectly the classic all-American, mid-century, jet-age design aesthetic that features checkmark trim, panoramic glass, afterburner taillights and of course, fins. Check the Thunderbird headlight surrounds and, whoaaaa, Fonz, it even sports whitewalls.

As the seller says ”…that patina look is in today…” Yes, it certainly is, and baby, this straight cruiser has it. Said to have been a California car all its life, this ol’ Ford has what looks to be minimal body corrosion coupled with a moderate veil of uber-trendy surface rust. Probably parked for decades with its nose windward, gazing out to sea, most of the paint loss seems to be on the hood and front fenders, but sure doesn’t look like much to worry about, whether restoring or running as is.

Look at the dashboard: so clean and purposeful, yet so handsomely and thoughtfully composed. Restraint is a virtue often overlooked in great design, but as it has been wisely said: less is more. The entire dash assembly appears to be intact; all the components, all the brightwork and even the door trim. I love the circular controls, especially on the radio!

The engine looks to be all present-and-accounted-for, said to turn over but hasn’t been started for a (very long) while. It does look original, so most likely it is the 162 horsepower, overhead valve 272 cu Y-Block, new for that year. The Fords in ’55 could have had the 272 cu or the 292 cu Thunderbird motor installed. While mostly forgotten now, Ford sales brochures claimed these cars featured a little something called “Trigger-Torque Power.” Vrooom! For an all-original California survivor, parked since the nineteen-sixties and virtually 100% intact, this is my Barn Find of the Week!


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  1. stillrunners lawrence Member

    Looks like a little tucknroll there…..nice car and nice to see a non-crown….think these are nicer looking than the crowns…

    • jackthemailman

      Negatron on the “tuck ‘n’ roll.” That’d be long strips of material seamed together, one side up, the other down, which is then “rolled” over, becoming the “up” side for the next strip. On and on they go. What we have here is a worn out poor imitation of button tufting, I imagine FoMoCo original equipment.

  2. Rustytech Member

    Chevy had nothing on Ford in the 50’s, except volume. My personal favorite was the 56, I liked the lower parking lights. My old man had a 56 two door sedan in Red & White, with the T-Bird 312 ci engine when I was 8 or 9 and the thing I remember most about it ( other than the knock out color ) was, It Was Fast! In my opinion the Victoria was a better looking car than the Crown Victoria because of the similar design. This looks like a great winter project. I am not one of those that get all mushy over the “patina” look, so a restoration would be my choice, let’s see, how bout Red and White!

    • Dave

      I’d love to have a mid to late ’50’s Ford. Particularly fond of the ’58…

      • Michael

        Any car from that era these days looks like rolling art….But so does a late 70s Trans-Am with the Firebird hood decal

    • Roger

      Was around a lot of the ’55 and ’56 Fords as a kid due to my uncle and cousin owning several of them,also my dad had opportunity to drive a couple of ’56 models and he told me they would absolutely haul ass,one time beating a DeSoto Firedome which was a pretty hot car at the time.

  3. Don Diego

    Have a ’56 el cheapo business coupe. Original paint, upholstery, glass, etc…o’drive gives it “decent” mpg. Only 3 things needed to get it back on the road::Money, time, and money, in that order.

  4. glen

    This needs paint, put away the “patina” card!

    • Tim

      Don’t like crustina. Paint it and redo all the chrome.

  5. lawyer George


    • Karl

      Sorry, brother! Next one!

  6. Mark S

    I’ve never been a Ford guy but in the case of this car I’ll make an exception. This has great styling I’m not sure why it isn’t as popular as its gm rivals. I’m also in the NOT A FAN OF RUSTINA group and I also think it should be restored, I’d go with a black body red roof and a red interior with black piping on the seats.

  7. jdjonesdr

    When I was in high school my best buddy got a crown vicky from his grandmother when she passed. It was pink and white, and she never used it so it was practically a new car when he got it.
    That thing was a chick magnet. I always said it was because of my good looks, but that color combination is what did it.
    BTW, he drove like his granny. He was scared to death of putting a scratch on it.

    • mike D

      If I were him, I think I would drive it with kid gloves, not only because it once belonged to granny and I’d want to keep it nice, but, wouldn’t want to catch my parents wrath if I beat on it (smile)

  8. VR

    First car that I can remember riding in, I was three and the radio and glove box were at eye level. My Dad seemed like a giant, and I wanted to go to the store with him. Four door with a six and three on the tree. I believe it had the Custom trim and was about as plain Jane as you could get. That’s was the first of many, good memories.

  9. Greg Locke

    I’m a die hard GM guy, but even I like the Tri-5 Fords. You can’t throw a dead cat at most shows and not hit a Chevy but what a treat to see a 57 Ford.

  10. Duffy Member

    Who ever came out with this patina bull. It says to me I don’t have enough money to paint it or I’m too cheap to have it painted. This vehicle would look fabulous painted in it’s original color. Forget the patina on this one. Nice vehicle.

  11. AMCFAN

    Nice car however I think the time for this sale may be 10-15 years too late. The men who would be into these that actually remember driving them are now in their 70’s and beyond. Although a 1950’s Ford hate to say it but not a tri five Chevy. These just do not have the after life.

    Risky doing a restore at this juncture of life due to the time and money. Paint, body, interior and mechanical is going to be expensive here to straighten this out. Would have to be clearly a labor of love for someone.

    I too am wore out on the lazy mans restoration myself but may not be any other option here to get this running and sorted out (hate these “tea pot” carbs on these old Y blocks and that would have to go) and maybe add updated wheels and address the dried interior to make it livable and not have a diet of foam and plastic dust driving it. Leave the body and chrome as is you are still going to end up in the hood of $15,000. or more if you are lucky. Lucky meaning if there are no mechanical issues you don’t know about prior to being parked. Risky at the sale price.

  12. John

    Don’t like the patina look, maybe blue and white, these era fords are awesome. Agree with full restore.

  13. Maestro1 Member

    lawyer George says the car was sold two weeks ago. I was or Barn Finds was behind the curve or the deal fell apart. If it’s still for sale, jump on it. I have no more room temporarily. Just eyeballing a restoration (resurrection?) it looks like about market from here, or about $25,000. to make a sharp driver out of it. It’s worth it. You will be slightly below Market at completion, and who cares? Drive it and enjoy it. In their time, they were sexy cars.

  14. glenn

    fresh out of the psycho swamp lol

  15. Dennis M

    Identical to my second car, except for color and the fact that mine was nosed and decked (hood ornament and trunk ornament removed and filled for you youngsters!) and mine was white over black.

    Originally an auto trans 272, mine had a 3 spd with a floor shift. Unfortunately I effectively drove it into the ground, but it was a great car for a teenager in the mid-60’s! A decently fast runner as well. As much fun as I had with it, it probably falls 4th or 5th on the list of cars I would like to have back again!

    Mine also had Lucas spot driving lights that operated independent of the other lights; a switch below the dash that would kill the brake lights; and dumps on the exhaust (Short length of water pipe with pipe caps that were welded into the exhaust just below the headers!)

    In the category of little know facts: 1960 Dodge Dart taillights were a cheap bolt-on custom touch and the shape mimicked the headlight doors.

  16. Dean

    I like it, I really like it. It’s not a Chev, but I still like it a lot.

  17. 56 Ford Customline

    Here is my 56 Customline. I know it has 4 doors but it was a true barn find. The crome was off and in the process of being replated when I took the picture. It is only driven on dry, no chance of rain days and has 64000 original miles. 6 cyl, three on the tree.


    IMO the buyer s getting his money’s worth. I’s prefer the ’56 since that was the first year of the 12 volt systems. My first car ’53 Mercury Montery was also 6 volt and the headlights were like 2 candles.

    • Dennis M

      As I noted above, my ’55 had a pair of Lucas Flamethrowers mounted on the front bumper. Best lights you could get back in the day! Problem was not so much 6 volts as just weak sealed beams.

  19. Richie B

    I believe the 55 Fords were the only year for a round radio.

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