1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner - $52,900
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  • Overview & History
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A highly desirable car restored by one of the best names in the business, loaded with options and finished in great colors—what else do you want?

Following a record-breaking year in 1957, it wouldn’t have been surprising if Ford had sat back and just done more of the same. Instead, they thoroughly redesigned their cars to tie in with the all-new 1958 Thunderbird, creating a consistent corporate look that was the talk of the industry. Mechanical refinements were many, including new, more powerful engines, their first 3-speed automatic transmission, improved steering and brakes, and upgraded interiors. If not for a fairly significant economic hiccup, 1958 might have been an even better year than 1957. It certainly produced better cars like this stunning Sunliner convertible with virtually every available option.

This is the kind of car you want to own—one man’s lifelong quest to own the car of his dreams. After spending 20 years amassing a truckload of NOS parts, he shipped the car to Jerry’s Classic Cars, the world’s leading experts on 57-58-59 Fords, and had them perform a frame-off restoration. It took years and cost tens of thousands of dollars, but the result is surely one of the best 1958 Fords available anywhere. Refinished in its original code RA2, Torch Red and Raven Black, it’s the epitome of ‘50s flash. The ’58 Fords received virtually all-new sheetmetal, including the hottest new trend in the industry, quad headlights, plus revised tailfins that were a bit more aggressive than ’57, ostensibly a response to the new “gull-wing” Chevrolets. This one is probably nicer than it was new, with extremely straight bodywork, crisp gaps, and paint that’s surely far shinier than it was in 1958. Top-of-the-line Fairlane 500 trim included the sweeping stainless side spears with gold anodized inserts that make the Sunliner look a mile long. That effect is only accentuated by the continental kit, which adds to the fully-dressed look. Other options include dual spotlights, decklid-mounted antenna, fender skirts, exhaust tips, and the distinctive “hockey stick” trim along the rockers, and it’s all in excellent condition.

The red and white vinyl interior was a noticeable upgrade over ’57 with improved materials and more space. You’ll quickly notice that there are more great options inside, including power windows, a power seat, AM radio, and that little chrome lever down by the base of the driver’s seat is a remote trunk release, a feature we’ve never seen on one of these cars before. The seat covers, door panels, carpets, and other soft parts are brand new and in excellent condition, with fresh foam underneath so they’re comfortable all day. The ivory-colored gauges and knobs are crisply rendered and everything works. And in case you’re wondering, yes, those are factory (optional) seat belts—crude but better than nothing, right? The glove box lid wears a correct “Interceptor V8” emblem, indicative of the 352 cubic inch Thunderbird Special engine living under the hood. The odometer shows 6555 miles, which is since the restoration was completed. The black canvas power top drops itself into the well behind the seats, where it’s covered by a matching red boot that gives the car a clean, trim look. Obviously the trunk is massive, and is outfitted with what appears to be an original trunk mat and includes a correct jack and matching full-sized spare tire so you don’t have to wrestle with the continental kit should you need it.

Fords got a big horsepower boost in 1958 in the form of the FE-series engines, 332 and 352 cubic inch V8s with considerably more grunt than the previous 312. This Sunliner carries the top 352 Interceptor V8, which was equipped with a 4-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust to make a nice, round 300 horsepower. Fully rebuilt to stock specs save for a later Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor, it pulls the massive ragtop around without much effort and cruises easily at modern highway speeds. This particular car is a proven driver, having made several long road trips for shows without incident and the big car road manners make it a pleasure to drive. The engine bay is nicely detailed with Ford Blue on the engine, a white air cleaner assembly, and low-key satin black just about everywhere else. Power steering and power brakes are important on a car like this, although Ford’s improved recirculating ball steering gear offered light effort no matter what. It starts easily, idles well, and runs quite well with a nice V8 burble that seems suitable for a luxury car. It’s easy to handle and works just like a car should work. That’s when you know it’s a good one.

Underneath, you can see the efforts of the body-off restoration, with clean floors and nice detailing. There are a few minor signs that show it has been driven 6500 miles, but nothing that couldn’t be wiped away with a rag. The floors show no signs of patching or repairs, so this must have been a very clean car to start with and even the rockers are solid with no welding—impressive for a ’58. The new Ford-O-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission shifts cleanly and with tall 2.69 gears out back, it should be no surprise that this car is perfectly comfortable at 75 MPH. A new dual exhaust system gives it just the right tone and obviously the suspension and brakes have been rebuilt. The only notable not-new part is a gas tank with a patch on it, but you’ll never notice it under the car. Factory 14-inch wheels carry optional turbine-style hubcaps and fresh 215/75/14 Diamondback whitewall radials that look right and handle far better than the rubbery original bias-plys.

A highly desirable car restored by one of the best names in the business, loaded with options and finished in great colors—what else do you want? It drives great, looks like a million bucks, and stands out in a crowd. Best of all, it’s fully sorted and is ready to enjoy at almost any event. If you’re a Ford fan, this is a great opportunity to own arguably one of their best cars of the ‘50s. Call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections on any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner
Price: $52,900
Stock Number: 117079
Mileage: 6555 (since restoration)
VIN: H8FC213729
Engine: 352 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 2.69
Wheelbase: 118 inches
Wheels: 14-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 215/75/14 wide whitewall radials
Exterior Color: Red and Black
Interior Color: Red and white vinyl
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