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Ford Fairlane: 1956

Ford Fairlane: 1956

"1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria hardtop coupe." This color transparency from the Ford Motor Co. archives is our first in a series of automotive publicity photos. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Become a Two Ford Family!

Ow ow ow ow

davidk’s gallery of ’56 Fairlanes brought up a less-than-favorite memory. My parents had one of the white-and-blue models, which my father dubbed the Blue Goose. Its door was the first car door I ever slammed on my finger, at the age of six.


I bought my very first car in 1959. It was a slightly used 1956 Ford Customline that was the same solid green color as that shown on the two-tone Crestline model in the photo. Wasn't crazy about the color and mine didn't have fender skirts or the fancier chrome belt strip, but it had white sidewall tires, a radio, dual exhausts, and was a two-door hardtop. That was enough for me. And the price was right. I paid cash for it, but don't remember the amount (maybe around $1,500?). No, they don't build them like that anymore. How lucky we were to be alive when they did.

Tires: not shiny

The comment about "trashed-out tires" is a good illustration of how tastes change. The ones in the photo look like fairly new bias-ply tires that have been driven a few miles. Perfectly normal to 1950's eyes; the focus is on the car's styling, not the utilitarian tires. Today, the tires would be sprayed with protectant and shined up to a high gloss for a photo, but that wasn't the aesthetic back then.

1955 Cleaner

I always thought the trim on the '55s had a cleaner line, and the round parking lights seemed more in harmony with the overall design.

Of course I admit to some bias since my second car was a 1955 Fairlane Victoria! It was eight years old (and I was 18!) when I bought it and I drove the wheels off that poor thing!

A Little Rain on the Parade

A publicity shoot with trashed-out tires just doesn't cut it. But it goes along with an otherwise nice MCM Ranch that has bare, stained plywood for a garage door!
Now on the other hand... salmon and jade earrings look pretty good together.

Different flavors

I went and had a look at various colors after reading the comment of bobzyerunkl, and I’m happy to share some with the gang.


One of the prettier color combinations available from Ford (Ford's, to us locals) in 1955-56. Some of the combos were downright lurid.

Like everyone else, I'm looking forward to a trip through the automotive archives. This is a good start.

The prettiest year

... of the 1955-56 styling cycle! They took everything from 1955 and made it perfect with that bold accent stripe front to rear. 1956 Fords had the deep-dish "safety" steering wheel and soft sun visors that people yawned over, also the year Ford got a 12 volt electrical system. My father sold real estate briefly in 1956 and I always enjoyed going with him on an open house with him on Sundays when it was a brand new house like this one. It probably had a built-in TV set!

Seeing this car in a different light

I was born in 1956. When I first started paying attention, there were lots of cars of this vintage on the road. However, most were pretty old and rusty. I must admit, a new two-tone '56 Fairlaine had a pleasing simplicity.

1335 Hillcrest Drive

Many of Ford's publicity shots were taken in Dearborn, making the house not difficult to locate:

MCM House

The car is OK, but I want to see more of that house!


Boy would I love to have that car sitting in my driveway now.

Engine Badge

It has the V-8 engine badge, but not the Thunderbird engine badge. :-(

Our '56 Ranch Wagon had the T-bird. My older brother could smoke those tires.

[This car has the Thunderbird "Y-8" badge, designating the junior Thunderbird powerplant. The Thunderbird Special V8 has the badge you remember. - Dave]

Bring Them On!!

I know this series is going to be good! Love those vintage color shots of cars from the '50s and '60s!

the house

the house has the zing of frank lloyd wright, horizontal, bricked high, as popularized in the period. my inlaws had an architect, a friend, work with them on their final home. she was trained for a bit by wright, she stayed at taliesin. after awhile she was convinced that the whole deal was about accomodating the wrights in a style they otherwise woudn’t be able to afford, so she quit ‘em.

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