1959 Ford Skyliner

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.

Add to that the fascination of the retracting hardtop top mechanism that still draws crowds today – it’s a very desirable car.

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.

side view of a 59 Skyliner
side view

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

’59 Fords enjoyed ‘Luxury Lounge’ interiors and were offered with nylon and vinyl or just vinyl.

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 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.

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 59 Ford Skyliner showing a continental kit
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.

This car has been since fitted with a 390 V8 and not available in 1959.

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.

SOME AVAILABLE FORD OPTIONS FOR 1959

OptionPrice
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 ’59 Skyliner is currently for sale on eBay. (follow the link for even more photos)

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