In the mid-fifties wagons finally came to life. Users wanted a practical vehicle with some glitz. This 1956 Ford Parklane Station Wagon in two-tone Bermuda Blue and Diamond Blue offered the ability to haul stuff around while looking as nice as the family car.
This two-door, six-passenger wagon was new for 1956. It was introduced fill a gap and to compete with Chevrolet’s Bel Air Nomad. What they basically did was take the base trim level Ranch Wagon and gave it Fairlane trim and added chrome to the B-pillars. Ford were proud to state in their sales literature, “You’ve never seen such luxury in a station wagon before!”
This was a family station wagon with Thunderbird styling – a hip more stylish car to haul the family around in.
Inside, buyers were given more luxury in a station wagon than they’d seen before. The reality is though that Ford had taken the 2-door Ranch Wagon and added Fairlane trim.
Bright metal trim features on the rear seat backs with a beautifully designed crest that add an extra touch of luxury to the Parklane.
The Parklane is 198.5″ long with a wheelbase of 115.5 inches and is 75.9 inches wide. There’s plenty of cargo space too with it going back 96.5 inches when the rear seats are down.
All new Fords for 1956 included the new Lifeguard design safety package. This included the new Lifeguard steering wheel designed to flex on impact, Lifeguard double grip door latches that reduced the doors flying open during a crash. Seat belts and dash padding were an additional but optional Lifeguard feature that could be ordered with the car.
1956 also saw the introduction of 12 volt electrics allowing more accessories to be powered – something that was becoming essential for modern demands.
Power comes from a 292 cubic inch Y-block Thunderbird V8 engine producing 202 horsepower which is paired with a Ford-o-Matic automatic transmission. Opting for the V8 would have cost the original buyer an additional $100 and the Ford-O-Matic would have been $178 (3-speed manual was standard).
Some Ford Options Available in 1956
|Master-Guide power steering||$53|
|Swift-Sure power brakes||$32|
|Front, 4-way power-seat||$60|
|MagicAire heater and defroster||$85|
Ford sold 15,186 Parklane Station Wagons for the 1956 model year. The six cylinder started at $2,428 and the V8 at $2,528. Interestingly, the Parklane never made it into the 1957 line-up and was a one-year only model. It was a shame as ultimately it went on to sell nearly twice as many as the Nomad.
The reality is that neither wagon sold in sufficiently high numbers as it was the 4-door models that provided far more practical application.
These are great wagons and not something you are going to see very often. It’s rare status has made it quite a collector vehicle.
This 1956 Parklane is currently for sale on eBay. (follow the link for lots more photos)