AJ’s Car of the Day: 1956 Ford Fairlane Club Sedan

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1956 Ford Fairlane Club Sedan

Car: Ford Fairlane Club Sedan

Year: 1956

What makes it special: The Ford line gained a new body for 1955 to keep up with Chevrolet, although it remained similar to the 1952 underneath. The new Fairlane replaced the Crestline as the top trim level. The company now marketed three different rooflines on its two-door models; the tall two-pillar Mainline, Customline, and Fairlane sedans, pillarless hardtop Fairlane Victoria and the chrome-pillar Fairlane Crown Victoria.

What made it famous: The eggcrate grille featured on the 1955 cars was widened into a series of rectangles for 1956, but this subtle exterior change was nothing compared to Ford’s adoption of a 12-volt electrical system across the line. There were new convenience options, such as a new air-conditioner system, a new heater, and a nine-tube signal-seeking radio. Instead of gauges, instrument cluster warning lights for oil pressure and ammeter were standard. The Lifeguard safety package consisting of seat belts, a padded dashboard, a deep-dish steering wheel, and a breakaway rearview mirror was introduced. The optional air conditioner, which remained expensive, was totally revamped; the compressor was now housed beneath the hood and the cooling vents were moved to atop the dashboard. The Mileage Maker Inline-6 was bumped up to 223 cu in for 120 hp and the new-for-1954 Y-Block V8 was now offered in two sizes. Standard Fords used a 272 cu in version with 162 hp with a 2-barrel carburetor and single exhaust or 182 hp with 4-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust, but the large 292 cu in unit from the Thunderbird was also offered, with 193 hp.

Why I would want one: Being a fan of the Fairlane line, it would only be natural to want one of the premiere year Fairlanes.

Fun fact: A new design would be offered in 1957.