Stunning Drop-Top: 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Galaxie Skyliner

Winter may be on our doorstep, but that doesn’t mean enthusiasts should ignore drop-top classics when choosing something to park in their garage. They may not gain immediate motoring enjoyment, but squirreling one away until the sun shows its face gives them time to plan an appropriate journey to exploit all that a vehicle of that type offers. If you are wavering on the subject, maybe this beautiful 1959 Fairlane 500 Galaxie Skyliner could lure you in. Its presentation is difficult to fault, and it needs a new home. The owner listed it here at Mecum Auctions in Schaumburg, Illinois. It is set to go under the hammer on Friday, October 14th, with the auctioneers rating it as one of the stars of their sale. Barn Finder Larry D has a well-earned reputation for spotting automotive gems, and I must say a big thank you for locating this beautiful Skyliner.

Ford introduced the Skyliner in 1957 as part of its Fairlane range. It changed the badging for 1959, with the car becoming the Fairlane 500 Galaxie Skyliner for the final year of production. The car proved a hit, with 12,915 buyers willing to hand over their hard-earned cash to park one in their driveway in 1959. The history of our feature car is unclear, but it is difficult to fault its presentation. Its Torch Red and Colonial White paint combination is stunning, with its cause helped by the impressive shine the paint holds. The seller supplies a good selection of photos, and there’s no evidence of significant flaws with the panels or paint. I can’t spot any rust issues, and the fact it remains garage-kept suggests there are no problems to cause the new owner sleepless nights. The defining feature of the Skyliner is its retractable Hardtop, which the seller says works perfectly. The car also features a Continental Kit, which is a practical consideration. The retractable top eats significantly into available trunk space, leaving little room for luggage or a spare tire. Therefore, mounting the spare on the back frees valuable room. The chrome and glass are spotless, and the wide whitewall tires add the perfect finishing touch to the exterior.

If this Skyliner’s exterior is breathtaking, its interior offers more of the same. The seller states that the Black, White, and Red cloth and vinyl upholstery is a custom touch that perfectly complements the exterior paint color combination. It looks faultless, with no wear or other problems. The same is true of the carpet, while the spotless dash, wheel, and bright trim pieces combine to make any journey feel like a special occasion. Dropping the top provides a wind-in-the-hair motoring experience, but the inclusion of air conditioning allows a similar comfort level without messing up the occupants’ hairdo. The only other luxury touch is a factory AM radio, although who needs anything else in a car of this caliber?

Powering this Skyliner is a 332ci V8 that sends 225hp to the rear wheels via a three-speed automatic transmission. The original owner ordered this classic with power assistance for the steering and brakes, promising an effortless driving experience. Outright performance is not the name of the game with this Ford, but its ability to cover the ¼-mile in 18.7 seconds remains pretty respectable. This beauty is more at home cruising on the open road with the top down, and it should happily do that all day. We receive no information on how this classic runs or drives, but the presentation suggests the news should be positive. The listing quotes an odometer reading of 43,550 miles, but it is unclear whether the figure is original.

I can credit my passion for classic cars to spending my formative years in a household where my father exhibited the same trait. He steered me towards those vehicles wearing the Blue-Oval badge because we had a few desirable Ford daily drivers during my youth. That’s one reason I find myself drawn to this 1959 Fairlane 500 Galaxie Skyliner and wish I had the funds to park it in my garage. This classic needs nothing but a new home and an owner willing to treat it with care and respect. I’m not in a position to do so, but if you are and become the winning bidder, I’m not ashamed to admit I will feel envious.


  1. Ron Denny Ron Denny Staff

    Nice article, Chum. What a glorious example of the last year of the revolutionary Skyliner. I was about five or six in 1961 when I saw the top miraculously disappear on a Skyliner in front of us at a stop light. My jaw dropped. It’s a childhood memory I’ve never forgotten…

    Like 9
  2. Johnmloghry johnmloghry

    This one is much better than the one shown yesterday, but still without electric windows. To me any convertible should have electric windows. It’s much to difficult to hand crank all the windows down. 59 fords are one of my all time favorite cars with the retractable being on the top of the list. The more options the better for me and for value. I tried to buy one a couple months ago with every conceivable option and had gone through a complete frame off restoration, but some other lucky person beat me out. Eventually I’ll get one but it will have all the bells and whistles Ford offered at the time.

    God Bless America

    Like 4
    • Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

      I agree with you, John. If it’s got a power top, it should have power windows.

      Like 5
      • 86_Vette_Convertible

        I agree if there’s a back seat and glass, power windows would be convenient. The convertibles I’ve had only have/had 2 seats so it’s not a big deal for me. If you find a car you like, I suspect there’s a distinct possibility you could add power windows if desired.

  3. George Birth

    Gorgeous car, some one is going to have fun driving this one.

  4. Al

    I remember getting a sneak peak at the 1957 retractable in the dealers back shop pre-delivery area with my dad. He walked all around the car carefully noting every detail. There must have been a window sticker, because his reaction was a shake of his head followed by “ $2900 for a Ford !” Needless to say the new Ford didn’t go home with us. Fifteen years later and for many years after, I found it difficult to consider any car costing over $3000.

    Like 1
    • LMK Member

      Your Dad was dealing with this valuation..Thanks to google for this current valuation:
      “Value of $2,900 from 1957 to 2022
      $2,900 in 1957 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $30,565.69 today.”

      Like 1
  5. Chuck Dickinson

    At least it doesn’t have the spotlight/mirror appendages. Now, the only thing to jettison is the rear accessory diving platform.

    Like 1
  6. Joe Haska

    It seems like it wasn’t so long ago, that every time one of these re-tracktables came up for sale, no one wanted them. I thought what’s up these are very rare cars. I guess no one wanted to deal with any complications from the top mechanism. Maybe now things are changing and they are becoming more desirable. I certainly think this car is even without power windows.

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