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Old 10-12-2010, 04:28 PM   #21
flynbrian48
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

I had a '59 in the late '70's that had come from a junkyard here in MI. The top worked fine, after cleaning some terminals on the selenoiods, and replacing the limit switch on the deck lid. Had a 352/Cruis-o-matic, I put duals on it, lowered it, a set of slot aluminum mags, and added a pair of stainless skirts. Man, what a cool car. I sold it to buy a new washer and dryer and pay of a credit card when our son was born. Sheesh...
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:31 PM   #22
autobilly
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

These cars are just plain atomic cool! I came close to buying a red '59 in '86, but had to be realistic and realise that I couldn't really afford the nearly $30K price tag.
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:35 PM   #23
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

I had to go through the top mechanism on a 64 Lincoln that used the same kind of setup, and while it's simple, it can be trying to deal with. It's all done with power-activated (not ground activated) relays and a big, round, rotary switch on the inside of the decklid.:no electronic boards or anything. The biggest problem is finding power-activated relays and figuring out where they put some of the relays, like behind the kick panel or next to the rear seat cushion. The Lincolns also have the rear window drop 6" whenever the rear doors are opened, which is fun to deal with too.
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Old 10-12-2010, 05:27 PM   #24
the-rodster
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotgas View Post
The Ford wasn't the first retractable hardtop. The Chrysler Thunderbolt of 1941 had it as well. And if you thought the Ford was funny looking,...
The Thunderbolt wasn't a production car, nor the first retractable.

Check out the 1935 Peugeot....

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Old 10-12-2010, 05:34 PM   #25
GaryC.
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

My dad's golfing buddy actually won a brand new baby blue '59 retractable in a contest!
I remember him coming to pick up my dad in that car. I asked him to make the top go down. He put it through its paces; both down and then up again. It took several hours to wipe the smile off my face. Some things always stick with you. They did have room to get two golf bags in to.
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Old 10-12-2010, 05:41 PM   #26
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

Quote:
Originally Posted by the-rodster View Post
The Thunderbolt wasn't a production car, nor the first retractable.

Check out the 1935 Peugeot....
Here's one at the Mullin Museum:
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:34 PM   #27
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

With all the horror stories of electric issues, there goes my wild dream.
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:40 PM   #28
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

My parents bought a new 59, and I bought it from them in about 66 when I got married. It was our family car as we were moving about the country from college to work. It is still one of my favorite cars!

Ours was always very reliable - only had one issue when a wire broke in the front moveable roof section early in its life. Easy to fix, but it took the engineers from Dearborn to find it. Living in PA. , the steel roof was great in the winter, and it really attracted attention when the roof went up or down. While luggage space was tight with the top down, when the top was up it was like a small pick-up truck - just had to be careful not to pack stuff on a limit switch ! Was great riding, and fast with the 352 Interceptor engine. But, Its sales were hurt because it was an EXPENSIVE Ford !

Alas, when graduation came, I was seduced by a yellow 65 Impala convertible, 327, 4 speed - and the retractable was traded in with 80K miles. Still wish I had it back - but not sure I'd want to restore one.......
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:35 AM   #29
Zombie57Ranchero
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

Another example of why the saying "They don't make things like they used to" is so true!
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:14 AM   #30
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

I knew a guy who had a black one. It was a beatiful car (he may still have it...i have no idea). But he was an electrician. I was down at his shop one day when he was trying to get top to work. He said, "The next damn car I build ain't gonna have nothin' electric in it!!!" LMAO
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:10 AM   #31
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

Very cool! Reminds me of the Jetson's. The sales video and the photo's of the test mule are killer. I wonder how many other mules/concepts Ford has stashed away up in Dearborn.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:07 PM   #32
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

I've always been on the hunt for a ragged out parts car so I can use all the parts and pieces to turn my 59 Edsel into a retractable!...hey, I can dream, right?....
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:04 AM   #33
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

These always make me think of the Felsen novel Crash Club. The main character’s parents buy a new “flip top” Ford with the “rat gear” to try and entice him away from hot rods. He ends up crashing it into a box car and killing one of his passengers.

At least I assumed that “flip top” meant the retractable. Still not clear what the “rat gear” was. A 4.11:1 ratio?

-Dave
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:01 PM   #34
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

Bought mine from San Antonio two years ago, newer restored roof works great and the car runs fantastic. One owner from 58 to 98 and a few after, Love the car!


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Old 12-01-2010, 03:44 PM   #35
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

Wanted one since I was 14, (won't say when that was!) and after 10 years of asking (3 years just to get him to answer the door!), In 2007, I bought this one out of a field where it sat since 1980, just 3 miles from my house. It is in that pic buried in the bushes/trees. Had to move a couple 70s Caddys, fence, cut down 2 trees and 10' of hedge. That's the former owner Len next to the truck. The day I get it running, I went to his house and allowed him to drive it. He shed some subtle tears when we got back.

After 27 years outside in the dirt, all I did to operate the top was replace one top screw jack that had rusted in place and BZZZZZZZZZZZZzzz, she works fine. Rebuilt everything mechanical from front end to the rear end. 352ci (will have a '63 3x2 setup one day) Cruise-O, Pwr brakes/steering & now an ARC record player, dual exhaust and Torque-Thrust wheels. The ONLY rust was a 3"x4" section on the lower front fender and everything but the clock works. I love Colorado!
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:26 PM   #36
moefuzz
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

These were beautiful cars and well engineered as were all Ford Family cars.

Thanks for posting.

.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:37 PM   #37
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

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Old 12-01-2010, 06:15 PM   #38
BeatnikPirate
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

The retractable hardtop was a cool idea. Here are some real oldies but goodies....
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:26 PM   #39
floydjer
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

Wonder if anyone chopped one?? Pics. ??
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:39 PM   #40
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Default Re: Ford Fairlane Skyliner... The Retractable Hardtop

I don't see the top fitting back into the truck if were chopped.

My latest project at work has been going though and fixing a top on a 64 Convertible Thunderbird.

It wouldn't have been as mush of a headache as it has been, save for the fact that someone else was in there that apparently had -no- idea what they were doing.

This guy also managed to break all of the gauges. Took them apart to try and figure out why they weren't working. Hmm, jackass, all of them aren't working, maybe you should have checked the power supply before taking the gauges apart and breaking the needles. It almost looks like he just poked around in them with a screw driver, decided they weren't fixable, put them back together and sold the car to the current owner.
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