1959 Ford Galaxie Sunliner - $39,900
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This lovely ragtop still offers a whole lot of eyeball appeal at a decent price that will make you want to drive it as often as possible.

1959 was the first year for the Ford Galaxie nameplate, introduced mid-year as the new top-of-the-line trim on the Fairlane. In fact, this lovely 1959 Ford Galaxie convertible also wears Fairlane trim on its trunk, which was unique to the 1959 models. Styling was revised from the 1958 models and it was mostly successful, giving the Fords big-car presence without the need for going overboard with fins. Sure, there’s plenty of glamour, including Ford’s traditional side spears highlighting the modest fins they did use, but compared to everyone else in 1959, the Fords looked almost subtle. For many Ford enthusiasts, the 1959 models were the best Ford had to offer that decade, adding more horsepower and comfort and conclusively demonstrating that even affordable cars could be stylish. As a result, this lovely ragtop still offers a whole lot of eyeball appeal at a decent price that will make you want to drive it as often as possible.

A lot of guys aren’t sure if they’re up to owning a car in a fantastic ‘50s color like this, but to my eye, if you’re going to go back to fins and chrome, pastels are the only choice. Ford called this lovely shade of pink/orange/salmon “Geranium” and it is indeed this car’s original color, denoted by code T on the door tag. It really is attractive and works extremely well on the big Galaxie ragtop—if you want to get noticed, few cars do it better than this. It is an older restoration that has some use on it, so it’s not perfect, but you can see that there’s good, straight bodywork and a great shine to the paint, so that work done in the past was well done. We would argue that the Sunliner convertibles have better proportions than the “retractable” Skyliners, and revised 1959 front end remains one of Ford’s most attractive of the era. The chrome is in excellent condition and all the detailing adds interest, from the little ornaments atop the front fenders to the anodized insert in the side trim to the V-shaped trunk trim that stretches between the back-up lights. No matter where you look on this car, there’s something that was designed to be delightful. And you just know getting chrome to look this good isn’t an inexpensive proposition—someone spent the long dollar making this car so beautiful.

With Geranium paint, is there any other choice but that beautiful Black/White/Geranium tri-tone upholstery? Beautifully trimmed, it looks fantastic and remains comfortable when you slide behind the wheel. The seat covers fit well and don’t have any splits or tears, and the correct materials were used throughout—note that the white vinyl has its own unique texture. Shiny metal thresholds give the impression that a Ford is not just an entry-level car, an impression matched by the very ‘50s door panels and big white steering wheel. The dash was painted to match the bodywork and all the gauges feature white faces so they even look contemporary today. Everything works except the clock, which tries to work when you turn the hands so perhaps it doesn’t need anything but cleaning and oiling. There’s a modern digital AM/FM stereo radio in the dash, which uses original-style knobs and even a ribbed face plate so it looks like it was born there. Seat belts were retro-fitted for safety and the carpets match the bodywork so well that you’ll wonder how they did that. A power convertible top works like it should and stows under a matching Geranium vinyl boot, giving the drop-top Ford a very sleek look. And unlike the Skyliner, there’s a gigantic trunk with correct plaid mats, a full-sized spare tire, and a complete jack assembly.

Ford gave you a wide variety of engines in your Fairlane/Galaxie, with this particular car running the torquey B-code 332 cubic inch V8 with 225 horsepower on tap. It runs great and it has no trouble moving the handsome ragtop around with genuine enthusiasm. The engine bay is very well detailed with a giant new radiator, correct Ford Blue paint on the tinwork, and even things like the See-Clear solvent bag on the inner fender. It’s got an appropriate muscular hum that never gets annoying but suggests plenty of power on tap, and we can’t really point to any bad habits—it starts, idles, and goes down the road like it should once it’s off the choke (it’s a little grumpy when it’s cold). It isn’t a show car but it’s quite nicely finished and you’ll never have to worry about opening the hood at an event.

The Cruise-O-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission is a great partner for the 332 cubic inch V8, and the extra gear makes the big ragtop feel reasonably quick around town, especially when you use the D1 position. In back, there are 2.91 gears, so this is a fantastic highway cruiser that just loafs along in today’s traffic, so don’t be afraid to take this one on a road trip. A newer exhaust system uses glasspack-style mufflers for a nice ‘50s sound that’s right for a V8 cruiser like this. You’ll also find newer shocks underneath, power steering, some recent brake work, and upgraded helper springs so you won’t be afraid to use this one in a parade or two. The floors and trunk are in excellent shape, although it does have patch in the spare tire well, which shouldn’t be surprising. There’s also a brand new gas tank hanging out back. Factory wheels carry familiar sunburst hubcaps and correct 7.50-14 US Royal wide whitewall tires.

A shop manual is included.

Big, flashy, and fun to drive, this Galaxie remains one of the must-have Fords of the ‘50s. It’s in just the right condition to drive and enjoy, and it delivers on its ostentatious good looks. If you’re going to go back to the ‘50s, this is the car to have. Just make sure everyone knows it’s not pink. Call today!

Vehicle: 1959 Ford Galaxie Sunliner
Price: $39,900
Stock Number: 116061
Mileage: 641
VIN: B9FC262361
Engine: 332 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 2.91
Wheelbase: 118 inches
Wheels: 14-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 7.50-14 US Royal wide whitewall
Exterior Color: Geranium Red
Interior Color: Radiant Geranium and Black vinyl
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