The Sky Is The Limit: 1954 Ford Crestline Skyliner

With innovations in styling and drive-train in the 1950’s, Ford offered a very neat option that was certainly a step outside of the box. The Crestline “Skyliner” has a tinted acrylic window mounted into the roof of the car, so no matter the weather, or time of day, the sky was always within view. This particular Skyliner looks to be a reasonable condition project that was recently running but now needs some attention. This early “moonroof” Ford is offered for $3,900. Check it out here on craigslist out of St. Louis, Missouri.

Bright red, the 223 cubic inch inline 6 has clearly been repainted, and is mated to a manual transmission. The engine was recently running, but now for whatever reason is non-op. The carb is bagged and taped off, and there are a few coolant lines missing as well. As you can see, the engine bay is blue, and the factory color of this Skyliner is white and blue.

The acrylic roof panel was a forward thinking type of idea that must have seemed like one of the coolest features ever in 1954. Although if you are light skinned, or like to avoid the sun, this Ford may not be for you.  Thankfully the acrylic panel is in great shape, and there is no rust around the roof either. You can faintly see the steering wheel through the windshield, but unfortunately that is the most detailed picture there is of the interior. Your guess is as good as mine as to the interior condition, and level of completeness.

Beyond the flat black paint and the red wheels, is a relatively straight Ford, minus a dent in the passenger side quarter. The seller is including a replacement quarter with the car.  There is some rust present, but there does not appear to be much in the way of rot. The lower portion of the rear quarters will need some work, and possibly some rocker repair as well.  There is body trim missing, but overall this Skyliner would be a cool and unique project to revive and  take to varying car events. With a view like a convertible, but without the worry of an aging top, would you take on this unique Ford?

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  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    Now you’re talking! ’52-’54 Ford is my favorite shoebox. I have somewhat of a problem with the six. Maybe it was the standard motor but I always thought the top model ran a V-8. The six looks like the V-8 was pulled for some reason and someone found a six to put in and didn’t quite finish the job.

  2. Alan Brase

    A 1954 could have the base 6 cylinder 223, maybe? The new Y-block was only a 239 cu. in. Smoother, a few more ponies. The 6 was the preferred truck engine. But with the overdrive, which came with a 4.11/1 final drive, you had a essentially a 4 speed, so it was a decent setup. My preference would be to bump it up to a 292 and tiny 4 barrel. It would be sad for 2 reasons to put that quarter panel on that car. Straightening would be easier. Cute car.

  3. Mountainwoodie

    Ratrodding a Crestliner Skyliner should be a death penalty offense. I believe the car originally came with a fabric cover that pulled over the drivers head and blocked out the sun.

    Given the flat black treatment and red wheels I’ll be surprised if theyre aren’t milk crates in place of the front bench seat.

    • Jeffro

      Having used milk crates as seating replacement, that comment hurt my feelings! Just kidding. But I have used milk crates. Lol!

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I’ve used old wooden sodapop crates and five-gallon pails to sit on while moving old vehicles around. Sure beats sitting on the floor and trying to peek over the dash; you gotta be the size of Bubba Smith to do that….

      • Mountainwoodie

        Jeffro & geomechs………I know ma peeps! Even those who wear covers over their heads with eyeslits of course :)


      Must have been hard to see with that cover pulled over your head!!!

  4. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    Based on background vehicle in the first picture, it’s a wonder this one has not already been wildly customized.

  5. rando

    So, the engine was painted and then installed – as someone else said, it may have been a V8 and been changed. And WHY would you paint the engine and not clean up the fan, pulleys, CHANGE the rusty oil filter, etc. I’m thinking this engine probably does NOT run and may be just sitting there for seller to be able to claim it runs when it’s a rusty boat anchor. Just my thought. The details of hte engine compartment leave so many questions.

    With that said, I still like the car and could see it being a LOT of fun to cruise in. Doesn’t need more power than a 6 for what I would use it for. At least not immediately, anyway. Would want to start working towards a 50’s two-tone paint, original colors maybe.

  6. Dave Member

    Being from MO originally, I cringe as that state has salted its roads for years. In this case, it’s really what’s underneath that counts – glass dome or not.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      I do agree, (being in Ohio near the Lake Erie salt mine) that the undercarriage/frame/components would be a concern.

  7. DrinkinGasoline

    Engine debate aside, this has potential but at around 2500, no where near the 4k asking price. He can keep the 1/4 panel as i would repair what is there. Lead work is a lost art not to mention illegal (‘nuf said ’bout that….sshhh !) A moderately built 351 with a small 4V, backed by a C6 translating into a Ford 9″ would propel this shoebox down the road effortlessly with decent MPG’s as well.
    Fair skinned ?, tint it. Just make sure to re-seal it as they were well known for leaks given “body flex”. As usual, i would treat it to my usual 50’s period Kustom touches….Al knows what i’m talkin’ about…. :) Maybe some flamethrowers even.

  8. Pat A

    I know lead is lost art, but I’ve seen it demonstrated and it seems to be a short learning curve. How is it illegal? Is that a state/regional thing or nationwide?And i’m pretty sure flamethrowers are pretty much illegal everywhere. But if you’ve ever seen someone light ’em up, they are wicked cool!

  9. MrBlueOval 57

    Yeah, it needs a period correct black and white two-tone paint job with some custom hand painted scrollwork & pinstriping, a fresh 312 “Y” block V8 with a fordamatic on the floor, a set of dual 4 bbl. carbs or maybe 3 deuces, a pair of cruiser fender skirts, a set of duals with flat chrome/stainless tips coming slightly out under the back bumper, a set of triple-tip stainless/chrome lake pipes along the rockers, a pair of dummy spots on the “A” pillars, a nice tuck-n-roll 2 tone red & white vinyl interior, a retro “Vintage Air” ac unit under the dash to combat that sunroof heat and a pair of fuzzy dice and a mirror muff on the inside rearview mirror. OH, lets not forget the fiesta hubcaps too then Go Cruisin’ In Style !!! YEAH BABY !!!

    • MrBlueOval 57

      Anybody notice the chopped top pickup in the background? Maybe a ’46-’48 Ford pickup? I see a ’32 Ford and a few other streetrods on the property too. Might be worth checking out and get a package deal. I just checked and it’s still listed and says if still listed it’s still available and it is as of 07/18/2017. I just wish I had the extra cash on me.

  10. jackthemailman

    When I was growing up back in the ’50s, a friend’s dad was the local Ford dealer. He had one of these for a while. The roof is surprisingly dark, ‘way darker than today’s sliders. And … I think no Vcrest means no V8. I like the idea of the 292 and 4barrel.

  11. Bill

    Inside there was a snapon cover to keep out the sun

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