1956 Ford Fairlane Sunliner - $54,900
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Thanks to a comprehensive frame-off restoration a few years ago, this stunning black and white ragtop offers one of the ‘50s best designs in fantastic colors that will always be in style.

Beautiful restoration, great colors, spectacular interior. Strong-running P-code 312 cubic inch V8 with automatic transmission. Continental kit, power convertible top, twin spotlights. Upgraded radio, radial tires, ready to cruise!

Despite the fanfare surrounding Chevy’s new V8, Ford wasn’t sitting back doing nothing. The Y-block got more powerful and styling—which was all-new in 1955—was refined and allowed Ford to continue out-selling Chevrolet in 1956. The top-of-the-line Fairlane Sunliner convertible was by far their best effort, a great combination of style, flash, and performance. Ties to the dramatic new Thunderbird were obvious and with that sweeping chrome along the flanks, the Fairlane wouldn’t be confused with anything else on the road. Thanks to a comprehensive frame-off restoration a few years ago, this stunning black and white ragtop offers one of the ‘50s best designs in fantastic colors that will always be in style. Of course, Colonial White and Raven Black were on the color charts in 1956, so although it isn’t this car’s original combination, it’s still stop-you-in-your-tracks beautiful. Finish quality is excellent and thanks to restoration photos, we know it was taken down to bare metal and rebuilt from there. Gaps are better than most Fords of the era and the car feels robust going down the road, which is hard to achieve. There’s a deep shine to the finish that’s probably better than Ford could offer in 1956 and all the chrome was refinished to add the perfect finishing touch. Add in a continental kit and you get what is arguably Ford’s best cruiser of the 1950s.

The two-tone black and white interior was likewise fully restored, and that is the factory-correct choice. New seat covers, door panels, carpets, and more give it a crisp, fresh look and with new foam in the seats, they’re all-day comfortable. The gauges should look familiar to anyone who has driven a vintage Thunderbird, with crisp needles and bright markings, suggesting they’ve all been restored. The factory radio has been replaced by a digital AM/FM/cassette head unit, and for some reason, there’s also an AM/FM/CD stereo with remote hidden in the glove box. Either way, you’ve got entertainment to go. Other accessories include a remote trunk release, dual spotlights, and a deck-mounted antenna. Rubber floor mats protect the carpets and given the condition of the seating surfaces, this car doesn’t have many miles since the restoration was finished. Overhead, there’s a crisp white power top that lowers itself behind the seats and stows under a fitted black boot. The trunk is correctly outfitted with a plaid mat as well as a full-sized spare tire assembly with jack, so there’s no reason to wrestle with the continental kit in an emergency.

Ford’s top engine was the 312 cubic inch “Thunderbird Special” V8, which in the 1956 Fairlane was rated at 225 horsepower when paired with the automatic transmission. Rebuilt to stock specs and detailed for show, the V8 and surrounding engine bay are just spectacular. Correct details abound, including the optional Thunderbird finned valve covers, correct air cleaner, and even proper hose clamps and a reproduction battery. It starts easily, idles nicely, and once it’s fully warmed up, pulls the flashy ragtop around with real authority. It does run nice and cool, which is a plus for a summertime toy, and power steering makes it easy to handle. It offers a nice V8 bark from the dual exhaust, which uses glasspack-style mufflers for a true period-correct soundtrack.

A 3-speed Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission sends power back to a set of 3.22 gears in a 9-inch rear end, so it’s a relaxed cruiser on the highway. The front suspension, brakes, and other supporting systems have all been rebuilt and there’s a new gas tank out back. There are two floor patches in the usual spot, which have been professionally installed, and we don’t consider those a demerit—almost every mid-50s Ford we’ve ever seen has been patched there, including California cars. You’ll note the rockers are excellent and the spare tire well is unmarked, so this was clearly not a rusty car. Factory steel wheels carry optional wire hubcaps and a set of 215/75/15 whitewall radials for a vintage look but updated road manners.

Documentation includes digital photos of the restoration, shop manuals, receipts, catalogs, and more.

Handsome, fun to drive, and still more unique than the ubiquitous Chevys at shows, this stunning Ford delivers everything you want from a hobby car. The restoration is extremely well done and it’s more than pretty—it drives great! If you’re a Blue Oval fan looking for a great ‘50s cruiser, you won’t be able to do much better than this. Call today!

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

Vehicle: 1956 Ford Fairlane Sunliner
Price: $54,900
Stock Number: 118034
Odometer Reading: 68,507
VIN: P6LC159760
Engine: 312 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.22
Wheelbase: 115.5 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 215/75/15 whitewall radials
Exterior Color: Black over Colonial White
Interior Color: Black and white vinyl
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