The all-new post-war Ford designs arrived in 1949, followed by another redesign in 1952, and then again in 1955. The Mainline Series was the base trim level, the Customline was the intermediate, and the Fairlane was the top-of-the-line model. Station Wagons were included in their own series, and the newly introduced Thunderbird was Ford's answer to Chevrolet's Corvette.
Ford introduced its overhead-valve V8 engine in 1954, after having offered the 'flathead' V8 since 1932. The other members of the 'big three' introduced their modern OHV V8 engines in their 1955 models. Ford's 272 CID V8 had five main bearings, a Holley two-barrel carburetor, and delivered 162 horsepower at 4,400 RPM. With a four-barrel 'Power Pack' carburetor, horsepower rose to 182 bhp. The 292 CID in the Thunderbird had 193 horsepower. Chrysler and Plymouths wore all-new styling, the first year of Virgil Exner's 'Forward Look,' and boasting a V-8 of its own. Ford had Franklin Q. Hershey, who designed full-sized Fords from 1953 through 1957, and General Motors had Harley Earl.
Mr. Hershey's resume included work for California coachbuilder Murphy, where he designed many bodies for Duesenberg, and later put Silver Streaks on the Pontiac. Hershey, along with Design Chief George Walker, was responsible for a complete redesign of the 1955 Ford models.
All 1955 Ford passenger cars rested on a 115.5-inch wheelbase, the station wagons on a 115.5-inch platform, and the Thunderbird on a shortened 102-inch frame. Passenger cars measured 198.5-inches in length, station wagons at 197.6-inches, and the Thunderbird at $175.3-inches.
Many of the design cues of the two-passenger personal luxury car, the Thunderbird, were shared with the top-line Fairlanes of that year. It had a new wrap-around windshield, disc wheel covers, tubeless tires, and a plethora of new options. They wore two-tone paint, plenty of chrome including the unique chrome-pillar roofline (on hardtops and Sunliner), chrome side sweep moldings, chrome eyebrows on the headlight doors, and chrome window moldings.
The Ford Motor Company introduced its Crestline Skyliner and Mercury Monterey Sun Valley (called the Monarch Lucerne in Canada) for the 1954 model year. The design inspiration for the two-door hardtops came from the X-100 and X-500 show cars, found on the cover of the company's 1953 50th anniversary book, entitled Ford at Fifty. Both of these vehicles had a tinted Plexiglas roof panel over the driver and front passenger to reduce light and glare from the sun. Ford first displayed its version at the Rotunda in Dearborn, Michigan, in January 1954 where two examples were given away to visitors submitting the best 'Worth More' features of the new Ford car line. The Crestline model did not return in 1955, but the Victoria hardtop, Skyliner Hardtop, and Sunliner Convertible did, becoming part of the Fairline.
The only convertible offered by Ford for 1955 was the Fairlane Sunliner, Model 75B, with a factory base price of $2,324. The Sunliner proved popular, with 49,966 examples built. 1,999 of the Crown Victory Skyliner were built and 33,165 of the Crown Victoria. Other body styles on the Fairlane line included a four-door town sedan, club sedan, and Victoria hardtop. The club sedan had a factory base price of $2,010, the Town Sedan listed for $2,060, and the victoria hardtop at $2,200. The town sedan was the most popular of all 1955 Fairlane body styles, with 254,437 examples produced, followed by 173,311 of the club sedan, and 113,372 of the victoria hardtop.
With 1,451,157 Ford passenger cars produced in 1955, this was the second-best year for Ford cars, second only to 1923 when 1.8 million Model Ts had been built. by Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2008
Related Reading : Ford Fairlane History
The name Fairlane came from Henry Fords Fair Lane mansion location in Dearborn, Michigan. The Ford Fairlane was introduced in 1955 as Fords full-size model and was available in six different body styles. The vehicle could be assembled as a 2 door club sedan, a 4 door town sedan, a Victoria 2 door hardtop, a Sunliner convertible, a Crown Victoria, or a Crown Victoria with a plastic top. There.... Continue Reading >>
1955 was a strong year for the American car industry and Ford in particular. There were 49,966 Fairlane Sunliners produced during that year and it easily outsold its closest competitor, the Chevy Bel Air convertible which saw only 41,292 examples pr....[continue reading]
The 1955 Ford was advertised as a car with the feeling of motion built into the basic shape of the car itself....with imaginative styling, chrome and stainless trim, fresh new colors, and modern interiors. 1955 would be the first year of the Crown V....[continue reading]
The bodystyle for the 1955 Fairlane was new though the mechanical components remained mostly unchanged. The Mileage Maker straight-6 engine displaced 223 cubic-inches and produced 120 horsepower. A new optional 272 cubic-inch Y-block V8 offered even ....[continue reading]
There were 49,966 Sunliner Convertible Coupe body styles produced in 1955. They featured new sheet metal with a wrap-around windshield and rode on a 115.5-inch wheelbase chassis. The inside featured a new instrument panel design that retained the see....[continue reading]
In 1955, Ford offered a completely redesigned model - both inside and out. The new design provided longer, lower and wider bodies - the lowest being Ford's new Crown Victoria, which was the company's first closed car under five feet high. ....[continue reading]
The Ford Crestline Skyliner and Mercury Monterey Sun Valley (called the Monarch Lucerne in Canada) were introduced for the 1954 model year. The X-100 and X-500 show cars provided the inspiration for the two-door hardtops. Both featured a tinted Plexi....[continue reading]
This Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria was in private hands for over four decades. It is powered by a 272 CID V8 engine and has a Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission. It has air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, and an AM radio with additional F....[continue reading]
This 1955 Ford Victoria is finished in Raven Black and Yellow, and powered by a 272 cubic-inch V8 engine backed by an automatic transmission. It has power steering, disc brakes, power seat and windows, continental kit, and rear fender skirts.....[continue reading]
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1955 Ford Fairlane Production Figures
Crown Victoria Hardtop 33,165
Crown Victoria Skyliner 1,999
Town Sedan 254,437
Club Sedan 173,311
Victoria Hardtop 113,372
Sunliner Convertible 49,966
1,451,157 total vehicles produced by Ford in 1955 The 1955 Ford Fairlane accounted for 43.2% of Ford's 1,451,157 production.