1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Galaxie Skyliner – SOLD FOR $32,000!

February 12, 2022 Update – We’re pleased to report a bidder just selected the $32,000 “Buy Now” option, so this beautiful ’59 Ford Skyliner has just found a new home in sunny California!

Guys With Rides is pleased to offer this 390-powered, 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner Retractable in a reserve-style online auction on behalf of the private seller. Bidding opened Wednesday, February 2, 2022, and will run for fourteen (14) consecutive days ending at 8:00 PM Eastern time on Wednesday, February 16, 2022.

(Note: the carousel below provides just a few of the pictures we provide for this 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Galaxie Skyliner. To see all of the pictures for this car, please scroll down to the area just above the comment section)

Sold For $32,000!

Contrary to popular belief, Ford’s Skyliner Retractable was actually the second mass-produced car in history featuring a retractable hardtop (the first was the Peugeot 402 Eclipse Decapotable).  At the time of its introduction, the Skyliner was the only true hardtop convertible.

The Skyliner’s retractable top operated via a complex mechanism that folded the front of the roof and retracted it under the rear decklid. Instead of the typical hydraulic mechanisms, the Skyliner top used seven reversible electric motors (six for 1959 models), four lift jacks, a series of relays, ten limit switches, ten solenoids, four locking mechanisms for the roof, two locking mechanisms for the trunk lid, and 610 ft of wiring. The top itself largely consumed available trunk space, limiting the car’s sales, though the mechanism operated reliably.  Production totaled 20,766 units in 1957, declining to 14,713 in 1958 and to 12,915 in 1959. An electric clock was standard.  To make room for the top, Ford engineers placed the fuel tank vertically behind the rear seat, offering increased safety in a rear collision.  The wheelbase of the Skyliner was 118 inches and the overall length was 210.8 inches.

During the 1959 model year, Ford added the new top-of-the-line Galaxie series to its full-size lineup, and the Skyliner model became part of that series.  Although Ford designated the 1959 Galaxie as a separate series, Galaxies carried both “Fairlane 500” and “Galaxie” badging, on the rear and sides respectively. It came with the standard 292 cubic inch two-barrel 200 horsepower V8 engine.

Requiring a shorter roof and longer trunk, the retractable roof concept was originally intended for Ford’s Continental brand.  The mechanism’s complexity would have required an even more expensive marketing position for a Continental, and when Ford projected losses for this route, the company re-conceived the model and restyled it from the waist down — projecting it would attract more buyers under the Ford brand. Though prescient, the concept ultimately attracted more attention than sales; it was expensive, thought to be unreliable, and consumed almost all trunk space when retracted. Decades later, modern lightweight materials made the retractable hardtop more common, although trunk space always remained a disadvantage.

James, the current caretaker of this highly detailed 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Galaxie Skyliner proudly states this Colonial White and Geranium California car since new benefits from a completely restored interior with factory correct materials. What we love about this car more than the great detailing are the subtle upgrades that make this car enjoyable to drive in modern traffic. These upgrades include the following:

  • For more power and reliability, this Skyliner now features a 390 cubic inch “FE” big-block V8 in place of the car’s original 352 cubic inch “Y” block mill. James confirmed a compression test of the leak-free V8 confirmed all eight cylinders to read 150 psi.
  • The 390 V8 features a freshly rebuilt Holley four-barrel carburetor.
  • For reliable starting and consistent performance, the 390 V8 features Pertronix electronic ignition.
  • An aluminum radiator keeps the engine’s heat in check. For an extra measure of safety, the radiator features an electric fan that only kicks in heavy stop-and-go traffic and hot days.
  • The dual exhaust heard in the video above is completely brand new from the engine manifolds to the tailpipes.
  • The car features a completely revamped brake system utilizing brand new components front to rear.  The chromed power master cylinder controls dual circuits. The front end features a set of modern disc brakes while the rear continues relying on traditional drums.  The system stops the car much better than the original all-drum setup.
  • The front suspension received a complete revamp using all-new, not rebuilt, parts.  Includes a new, not rebuilt, steering box as well.

James notes these changes make his 1959 Ford Skyliner a capable modern highway cruiser. Based in San Clemente, California, James daily drives his Skyliner with the top retracted on a daily basis.

To help you bid sight unseen with confidence, we provide a complimentary third-party pre-purchase inspection completed by LemonSquad.com. To access and review the report for this 1959 Ford Skyliner, click on the picture below. Once finished, click your browser’s back button to return to this listing page:

To help you make informed bids, we’re providing a link to Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the Classic Car market, that provides an interactive graph of recent comparable sales in the past five years. By clicking on the green dots, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you make an educated bid on the car we are featuring for auction here:

This section of pictures are detail shots provided by the seller

This section of pictures of the retractible top and storage area

This section of pictures of the paint measurements completed by the inspector

This section of pictures of the engine and undercarriage taken by inspector

If you have any questions about this 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner, please leave a comment below or feel free to call Rudy directly at 877-468-6497.  Thank you for looking and happy bidding!

  1. Anonymous

    I saw this car at San Clemente at the “Cars and Coffee” the new owner will be smiling from ear to ear driving this beauty.

  2. Rubbingstrip

    So pretty. There’s a rough twin to this rotting away in Guerneville, CA. Wonder if they know what they’re missing out on.


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