With a name derived from the private estate of Henry Ford himself out in Michigan, the rich history of the Ford Fairlane spans across seven generations.
As one of the world’s leading automotive producers, the Ford Motor Company has some pretty memorable models under its banner – think along the lines of the all but immortal legacies of the Mustang, Thunderbird, and F Truck series. However, one of the more understated releases from the company is the humble Ford Fairlane – a premium full-sized sedan that was a family friendly staple throughout the latter half of the fifties as well as the following decade.
Even in Australia, many of us have fond memories of an uncle or friend who was the proud owner of a Ford Fairlane. Available in both two and four door sedans, it was big, flashy and was purposefully designed to be so – but how did the Fairlane first come to life all the way back in 1955?
The Birth Of The Ford Fairlane
When the very first Ford Fairlane made a splash into the American marketplace in 1955, it was designed to replace the Crestline. Taking over the mantle of Ford’s full-size automobile and styled for the mid market, six body styles were available during the first generation.
The earliest models included a transparent plastic roof with tinting on the Crown Victoria Skyliner, the Victoria hardtop coupe, the Crown Victoria coupe with stainless steel, the convertible Sunliner, plus a traditional sedan. Regardless of body style, the first generation Fairlane always had a trademark stainless-steel side stripe. At the time, available engine options were one straight six and three V8s, backed by either a three speed Fordomatic or a three speed manual transmission.
In line with the times and trends of the era, the second generation was released in 1957 with a few upgrades to boot. It was thought to be significantly sleeker, lower, wider, along with a longer appearance and low tailfins. There was also a new top trim – the Fairlane 500 – while the lower Custom line featured a shorter wheelbase. This year also saw a power retractable hardtop on the Fairlane 500 Skyliner. A facelift and new V8s arrived in 1958, with a top-of-the-line Galaxie series the next year.
Later generations of the Ford Fairlane started to see it’s size reduced to become a mid size vehicle from 1962 onwards. It was this generation that spawned our very own Australian made Fairlane in 1967, although by our standards, the model was considered to be huge. While the Fairlane produced by Ford Motor Company in the United States was retired in 1970, Ford Australia went on to see enormous success from the domestic market.
The “Down Under” version was developed as a luxury, long wheel base version of the primary breadwinner, the Ford Falcon. Although similar in many ways to it’s American predecessor, the Australian made Fairlane was manufactured for a significantly larger portion of time before retiring in 2007.
Classic car collectors are usually quite distinct in their preferences when it comes to obtaining a collectable Ford Fairlane, with the American version produced between 1955 and 1970 being favoured as the more valuable choice. However, getting your hands on one in Australia is no easy feat, so it’s always worth consulting with the professional to get an idea on tracking one down.
Getting Your Hands On A Classic Car
Meeting a fellow vintage auto enthusiast can feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, but rest assured that Wayne’s Garage understands the thrill more than most. Having spent forty years collecting anything and everything from matchbox cars to hub caps, he’s successfully followed his passion to source, collect and stock beautiful and low mileage classic automobiles from around the world. With extensive experience in the automotive industry, it was only a matter of time before Wayne expanded on his love of vintage, iconic vehicles to share his knowledge and passion with the public.
Although his passion is for automobiles built before 1978, with a particular love for Buicks, Cadillacs, Lincolns, Oldsmobiles and even Fords, Wayne is just as passionate about the stories of the owners. Just like the cars, he has found that his fellow classic car enthusiasts all have wildly different attractions and logic behind their passion or hobby, and this often translates into how the car is presented. If it’s even remotely different, rare or just plain unusual, Wayne will overcome the relevant logistical and geographical challenges of bringing the cars to his showroom in Australia.
Wayne’s Garage is a showroom conveniently located at Seventeen Mile Rocks, that specialises in the restoration and sales of vintage automobiles. In fact, he’s got a medley of fully restored models in stock right now, which can be viewed online via Wayne’s Collection. If you’re on the hunt for Brisbane classic cars – quite simply, Wayne is your man. If you would like to arrange a viewing or inspect any other of our classic vehicles, please get in touch with us today.