The end of World War II saw the three American automobile manufacturers returning to civilian passenger car production after serving the country’s defense needs for most of the 1940’s.
By the 1950s, there was fierce competition between the Big Three on innovation and styling after stagnation for most of the previous decade. Ford was keen on regaining the country’s mass appeal after losing ground to both GM and Chrysler.
Acton resident Clyde Holton’s immaculate 1955 convertible Ford Fairlane Sunliner, “Blue on Blue,” is a still beautiful running illustration today of Ford’s commitment in the 1950s.
The first-generation 1955 Ford Fairlane was an all-new body and named for Ford’s premier full-size sedan previously known as the Crestline. It featured six different body styles and several new Ford innovations. All featured the Fairlane “stripe” down the side.
The Fairlane had the all-new Y-Block V8 engine as well as an
inline-6 available. For the first time seat-belts were offered, but only as a dealer-installed option, not from the factory. It also featured a new safety panoramic windshield like the GM Buick, Oldsmobile and Cadillacs of the day. Also new was a factory installed “Select Aire” air-conditioning system. Clyde has owned his two-door convertible ‘55 Fairlane Sunliner since 1981.
He originally bought it and began restoring it for his wife. In the 1990s, he rebuilt the 312 Y-Block V8 engine with 4-barrel carburetor. The raw power from the engine is sent through the straight-stick 3-speed manual transmission. He then meticulously had the interior fully restored.
For the past 38 years, Clyde has returned this magnificent machine back to its original luster, in fact he’s made it even better than the factory. Luster, in fact he’s made it even better than the factory.