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1959 Ford Skyliner

It’s a very desirable car that fascinated the public when it was new and still draws crowds today.

The new look of the ’59 Fords resulted in them receiving the Gold medal of the Comité Français des L’élegance of Paris. Looking at this 1959 Ford Skyliner Retractable Hardtop you can see why they won it.

It was certainly Ford’s peak year for chrome on the front. The grille used four rows of floating stars – not too dissimilar to the 1958 and 1959 Buicks.

1959 Skyliner top in operation
top in operation

The retractable top was a very complex affair, with multiple motors, relays, circuit breakers, limit switches and over 600 feet of wiring!

dash / instrument panel of a 1959 Ford Galaxie Skyliner

’59 Fords enjoyed ‘Luxury Lounge’ interiors and were offered with nylon and vinyl or just vinyl. Seen here with the vintage style seat covers offering period protection to this fantastic restoration.

lounge interior of the 1959 Ford
Fabulous lounge interior

When the 1959 model year started towards the end of 1958, the Fairlane 500 was still top-of-the-line. Part way into the model year Ford introduced the Galaxie range taking that crown from the Fairlane 500. This resulted in the Skyliner and the Sunliner Convertible being transferred into the Galaxie line-up.

To confuse matters somewhat, Galaxie cars also carried Fairlane 500 badges on the trunk in addition to the Galaxie script on the rear fender, even though they were considered a separate series.

To separate the Galaxie from other models in the line-up it used the C-pillar from the Thunderbird rather than the thin pillar and wraparound rear window the other models have. What resulted was a very stylish looking car.

Thunderbird style C-pillar of the 1959 Galaxie Skyliner
Thunderbird style C-pillar

The great lines continue to the back of the car. Ford didn’t go as far out as many of there rivals and fins were kept to a minimum. Note the backup lights housed in the tip of the fin.

rear view of a 1959 Ford Skyliner Retractable
rear view

The Skyliner came with a 292 V8 as standard and was the only full-size Ford that year that wasn’t available with a 6-cylinder engine. Also available was a 332 cubic inch V8 and the 352 V8 outputting 300 hp that was purchased with this car.

352 V8

The Skyliner is 208″ long with a wheelbase of 118″ and 76.8″ wide.

1959 saw Ford reach a great milestone. They produced their 50 millionth vehicle. However, it was to be the last year for the Skyliner. Fears from the public that the complex top mechanism would be unreliable, poor trunk space when the top was down (luggage space was limited to inside the center container), not to mention the extra cost to buy one, contributed to its demise.

Limited luggage space of the 59 Skyliner
luggage space


Option Price
Magic Air heater and defroster $75
Magic Circle power steering $75
Power brakes $43
AM Radio $59
Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission $231
Two-tone paint $26
Air Conditioning $404

Ford made 12,915 Galaxie Skyliner cars – the lowest in the Skyliner’s 3 year run. The base price would have been $3,346.

This 1959 Retractable is currently for sale on eBay. (follow the link for more photos)

3 thoughts on “1959 Ford Skyliner”

  1. I tried to buy a 1959 Ford new. I loved the style and everything about it. I knew that the Skyliner was way out of my price range so I didn’t even try to buy one. I got as close as $7.00 per month payments with the Dealer but no go, on a lower priced ’59. I still think that they are a Great Car!.


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