This Cool 1955 Ford Fairlane Skyliner Needs Your Help!

Tri-five Chevies get all of the attention. They were getting it in the late ’60s and are still getting it. Pity the corresponding Ford, they were really neat cars but they have been overshadowed for years by the shoe box Chevy. With that in mind, I’m thrilled that I happened upon this 1955 Ford Fairlane Skyliner, located in Morgantown, Pennsylvania and for sale here on eBay with a current bid of $1,975, reserve not yet met. Thanks to Russell G for the tip.

What immediately struck me about this Ford, besides the fact that it is a top of the line Skyliner model with a Plexiglas roof panel over the front seat, is the typical ‘50s two-tone color combination delineated by extensive chrome trim. Yes, it’s faded; yes, it’s rusty; yes, it’s a bit forlorn but imagine, from the vestiges of its blue and white finish, how this baby looked in its prime.

Ford was known for its venerable flathead V8 engine dating back to 1932. In 1954, the flatty was replaced by a new 272 CI, overhead-valve, “Y” block V8 good for 130 HP in two-barrel carburetor form. And that’s exactly what’s under the hood of this Skyliner. The seller states that the engine will need a “restoration and a rebuild” in order to run. No reference is made regarding the transmission but it is clearly an automatic so I imagine it’s a Ford-o-Matic.

The interior gives up one interesting secret, it’s pink and white, to go with its original Tropical Rose and Snowshow White exterior. That’s right, Tropical Rose which was apparently the original below the beltline color before it was repainted sky blue at some point in this Skyliner’s past. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the interior, what’s left of it, is pretty well trashed. The seller mentions that the seats are available but are in poor condition. The floors are suffering from “invasive surface rust” which sounds like a bit of an oxymoron. I guess what that means is that it started as surface rust and is now in the process of getting worse via invasion; I think that’s how it always happens. Looks like it has power windows, however…

So, how’s the underside? Well, the good news is that old “invasive surface rust” hasn’t attacked the frame yet; not so lucky with the wheel wells and underside of the rocker panels according to the seller’s description.

The overarching problem with this Ford is rust, it’s everywhere and as Neil Young has reminded us many times before, it never sleeps. I don’t know what the availability of repair or replacement panels are like for this vintage Ford Fairlane. If it were a ’55 Chevy, it would be no big deal, but this Ford may be another matter. In addition, this Fairlane Skyliner is one of only 1,999 produced in ’55 so if some of the Fairlane Skyliner specific trim is needed, it could become a major hunt.

This car is going to be a significant restoration project, a real commitment in time, skill and expense. The seller indicates that “this rare Fairlane has avoided the crusher”. So, what do you think, restorable or crusher fodder? I like to see every old car that I stumble across saved but sometimes it’s just not viable. BTW, I like the coat hanger trunk latch, nice touch!

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Comments

  1. Fred W

    Not to nitpick or anything, but actually it’s a 1955 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria Skyliner.

    Like 8
    • YooperMike

      Thank you for pointing that out.

  2. canadainmarkseh Member

    This is a rare car why would you crouch it. As for body panels just form your own and weld them in. Patch repair panels aren’t that hard but they do take more time and you do need to learn about stretching and shrinking metal. There’s a guy east of Edmonton Alberta who is a true artist at this and does a lot of his shaping with a block of wood and a ball peen hammer. Check him out at Cold War motors, there are 22 episodes of him grafting a 1960 Plymouth fury 2 door hardtop car body onto a four door floor pan/ chassis. He has an English wheel and a small metal shrinker. He builds all his own panels. There’s lots that can be learned from this guy.

    Like 16
    • cunnanm

      CWM is my favorite YouTube series. He is an amazing craftsman and I wish I had a fraction of his talent. I recommend that everyone on here check out all of his videos, entertaining and informative, what more can you ask for?

      Like 8
    • scottymac

      Couldn’t remember the vendor in time for this auction, maybe it’ll help with the next Ford auction. EMS – can’t vouch for their quality, but may be only game in town.

      http://emsautomotive.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=18_67&page=1

      Closest I’ll come to one of these was a ’09 Mustang GT glasstop.

  3. Mike

    Really love how they place this car in a sterile environment for pictures. Somehow it makes the car look way better than if it was in a dusty barn. Imagine if all Craig’s List cars were presented like this.

    Like 8
    • David Ulrey

      Here’s just a thought here so bare (bear?) with me. The current owner gives me the car and 10 grand. I’ll do all the necessary work it needs and in return I’ll let them see how nice it turns out! Whadda ya think? Huh? Huh? 😂 Seriously though, I’d flat out love to be able to own and take on this once beautiful lady. ❤

      Like 3
    • local_sheriff

      When searching ebay for potential finds I’ve encountered this seller’s ads several times. He has numerous vehicles in similar unrestored condition, so he’s obviously a professional flipper who has vacuumed the region for restoration candidates.

      With that said I hope this Crown Vic gets restored. As with any 50s non-Chevy vehicle it’ll be a comprehensive and expensive endeavor, however any 64B 55-6 Crown Vic makes a potential gem

      Like 5
      • Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

        I’ve also seen other ads from this seller. They have hundreds of cars for sale on ebay. So I did some googling. It is a large consignment operation, housed in a former shopping mall. From their web site, it looks to be a pretty impressive operation. Maybe someone who has been there can chime in?

        Like 3
  4. Patrick Geoege

    The car has power steering as well and grab the seats as they are Crown Victoria specific.

    Like 1
  5. ken tilly UK Member

    I would take this car in Concours condition over ANY Tri Five Chevrolet in Concours condition. There are thousands of T5 Chevs around, they are like backsides, everybody has one, but very few ’55 Ford Crown Vics.

    Like 6
  6. BlondeUXB Member

    Crown Victoria (?)
    Skyline = Convertible (?)

    Like 1
    • norm bissonnette

      Sunliner = Convertible

      Like 4
      • BlondeUXB Member

        Thanks

        Like 2
  7. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I like it. I once worked with a guy back in the 60’s that had one. All I remember was the exterior was red, whether repainted or not, I don’t remember. I remember this mainly because it was the first and only car at that time I’d seen with that plexiglass top panel.
    This will take a lot of work and don’t know how easy these will be to find parts for, but once done it will be impressive.

    Like 1
  8. Gaspumpchas

    I had a 54 merc sun valley, the merc counterpart of this glasstop. Some of the guy told me that the Plexiglas roof makes it unbearably hot, even if you have the optional visor. Might want to consider in the warmer climates. Also, 55-56 fords were notorious for the front crossmember , where the lower A frames attach, rotting out, think you have to take the nose and engine loose to fix, maybe someone who has fixed one could check it. regardless, would love to take this crown on. Good luck to the new owner.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 2
  9. Huntley Hennessy

    Quick note. 1954 Fords had 239 cubic inch Y block motors. Vastly underpowered, they were increased to 272 cubic inches in 1955. T Birds were 292s. Also 55 Fords were still 6 volts and changed to 12 volts for 1956.

    Like 2
    • Bill Hall

      My Dad had a 55 Ford Wagon and we always thought it had a 292 as it had a FOur Barrel carb.

    • Bob C.

      Good catch, Huntley. The 239 was a one year only job in its debut year. However, some did find their way into some 55 trucks.

  10. tiger66

    Technically, not a Skyliner. Though there was a Crestline Skyliner in ’54, Ford didn’t use the Skyliner name on the followup ’55 Crown Vic version and the name appears nowhere on the car. Instead they were the “Crown Victoria with transparent top” per the brochure. The Skyliner name was used for the ’56s, but only in the brochure, not on the car itself.

  11. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    These were really nice cars when new and quite expensive. I had a 54 one time, with 239 a/t p/s p/b electric seats, it was a nice car. Through a rod on I-5 just south of Seattle on my way home from work. Bought a used 55 t-bird engine from a junk yard, it was a 272, and installed it in my yard. What eventually happened to it is another sad story.
    God bless America

    Like 1
    • SumtingWong

      Those were the days. Did the same thing to a 56 in the early 60’s. Thanks for the memory.

  12. Patrick Geoege

    I do need to start restoring my ’55 crown glass top. It was born black and white with a red and white interior. The price on this one is going to high for my budget lol

  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Hope it gets saved …..not many 55’s around with the plastic top…….

  14. Larry Member

    I know a collector that has a regular 55 Crown Victoria, a 55 Crown Victoria Glasstop and a 55 Ford Sunliner Convertible and all are in pristine condition

  15. Will Fox

    Only glass top more desirable for `55 was Mercury’s Montclair Sun Valley, of which a mere 1,787 were built. Most couldn’t justify the price difference of the steel-roofed counterpart. My quest is to one day get a `55 Sun Valley. Nearly bought one at 15, but folks said, “no way, Jose” even with my own money. My dreams were shattered, and I wasn’t even 16 yet. I even got to talk with the original owner of it back then. He said the top was no deterrent in warm weather.

    Like 1
  16. Huntley Hennessy

    I missed out on a 1954 Mercury glass top years ago. I made a deal to buy the car on Friday when I got paid. I was a block away from the seller when I was passed by the car on someone else’s trailer. I was totally bummed out.

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