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Motion Pictures The Ford Skyliner: One Worth Bringing Back

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,395


    Jive-Bomber submitted a new blog post:

    The Ford Skyliner: One Worth Bringing Back


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. Yea, those are pretty cool cars. There is one in the town I live in that a friends dad “restored” about 30 years ago. He is getting older now and it would almost be a barn find at this point. Every time I drive by it, I wonder about it and the 56 Olds convertible and what will happen to them. A mild kustom would be my thoughts on what to do with one.
    kidcampbell71 and VANDENPLAS like this.
  3. 1-SHOT
    Joined: Sep 23, 2014
    Posts: 2,140


    Between all the switches and relays and limit switches and electric motors it takes to make the top work correctly it can be a real job to get it working. The rest of the mechanical repair is pale compared to getting the top working. Been there done that when I worked at a Miracle Ford in the 60’s
  4. Fabulous50's
    Joined: Nov 18, 2017
    Posts: 252

    from Maine

    My 59 was in about that same shape when I bought it. Although it didn't have that great stack of parts with it!

    Just wish mine were a retractable....

    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,185


    That guy is the only one to restore it for his mom. There was a run on these for a very short time, all of the sudden it was the 50s "car du jour" and as fast as that happened it went away. Was it the spectre of switches, relays and solenoids? Was it the rising shop rates? Can't say, but unless there's some special meaning to a particular version like this story I always viewed them as almost a vanity car for Ford. "...look what we can do..." sorta thing with tech that did at least carry through til 67 (Continental and T-Bird convs used the rising deck deal). I won a bet about hardtop retactable T-Birds. There was one on the clay table and they didn't build it because the tall 1/4 panel mucked up the 'bird profile. To the folks who never noticed, look at the 1/4 panel on a Skyliner retractable. It's quite a bit visually higher than the others. 1st give away from a distance. Hope the guy doesn't get sticker shock trying to resurect mom's car.
    chryslerfan55 and loudbang like this.
  6. Just ask @Rocky he knows how to get those tops working!
    kidcampbell71 and loudbang like this.
  7. LOL! You don't know how many times I have had someone ask me if my T-bird is a retractable...that was never even made. Seems the shape of the top and the trim makes it appear it "could have been"...
    chryslerfan55 and loudbang like this.
  8. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,539


    I had a '57 retractable for one day.......the thief I bought it from came and stole it overnight along with my money! :(
    Ran good, top worked's gone!
    loudbang likes this.
  9. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,590


    I’ve never seen one customized, could be interesting.
    My dad and I got a 57 retractable back in 92 (Michigan field car). It was sitting in a field, we stopped and asked about it as my dad was looking for a 57 nine inch. The guy said we could have it if we haul it away, it was really rough and had no title. Winched it on the trailer, and then the guy said we have to take the rest of the parts with it. In the garage were a number of boxes of parts and all the glass. By the time we got home the car had broke in half on the trailer. We stripped anything salvageable off of it and took the remains to the metal scrap yard. In the end we sold the usable parts for $400, and my dad had the rear axle.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  10. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,515


    Given that all retractables are cool, I am of the opinion that Ford styling went seriously downhill during the '57 to '59 era. I was in high school when the '59's were introduced as "The world's most perfectly proportioned car". We were just a bunch of high school kids, but we knew that was a whopper.

    That being said, I don't think I'd do anything to a "Skyliner" that would compromise the prospects of a future full restoration.
  11. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,033

    from California

    those old Ford Skyliners are really cool cars for other people to own. I wouldn't want everyone looking at me when I put the top down at a show. I bet that is a selling point for some people.
    chryslerfan55 and loudbang like this.
  12. I would pull it out, for sure. I know those solenoids are problematic, but, i would either leave the top up, or down until it got it all figured out
  13. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,141

    from KCMO

    Wash it, get the motor running, the papers in order and send it on down the line
    chryslerfan55 and loudbang like this.
  14. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,615

    Marty Strode

    Or, you could make a Dune Buggy out of it like I did, back in '68. 2012-12-15 154448.jpg
    Nominal, 54 ford coupe, rod1 and 4 others like this.
  15. The Skyliner has always been an interesting car. And while I'm a fan of the '57-59 cars generally, these just don't have quite the right proportions from some angles and look awkward. They look best with the top down; this disguises the too-short top. The long, flat trunk lid and particularly the panel between the taillights don't match the rest of the car. Of the three years, I always felt the '58 was the best looking version as it's larger, wider taillights 'hides' that panel better than the other two. One of the few cars that looks better from the rear with a conny kit, but that exaggerates the too-long-in-the-rear side profile even more.

    The origin of the 'T-bird retractables' was probably these toys.... Cragstan Thunderbird W/Retractable Top. Japan | eBay They built these for several years, using the '58-63 'Bird body styles. I never saw a Ford version. The '58-60 toy version had better proportions than the real cars... LOL
    warbird1, chryslerfan55 and loudbang like this.
  16. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 8,540

    jimmy six

    Most guys at shows put the top in between.....always seemed dumb to me but most don’t have any idea these were made..
    chryslerfan55 and loudbang like this.
  17. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,432

    from Ks

    Marty, looks like it retracted too far.:D
    loudbang likes this.
  18. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,041


    I needs Larry Watson style paint, Vernon McKean upholstery, and nice and low stance.
  19. :rolleyes: This !!! In the weeds stance and Watson paint, maybe bellflower exhaust. Nothing that can’t be changed back to stock form, these cars had there heyday in the late 90’s early 2000’s but seem to have dipped in price slightly.

    super cool cars even if the proportions are slightly off.

    I think this one is doomed to sit in the barn for a long time more.

    Not a car to build or restore for the feint of heart or wallet .

    super cool cars ! And as far as the motors, switches etc. Pretty easy and cheap to get nee stuff adapted and work better then the old stuff now-a-days .
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  20. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,615

    Marty Strode

    Yeah, I was quite the fabricator in those days !
  21. ratrodrodder
    Joined: Feb 19, 2008
    Posts: 93

    from Baltimore

    Dad's got a '58. Was bought new by (somewhat distant) relatives, then put up in a barn somewhere in VA back in the '60s, I think. You're right if you think it's expensive to restore! But now it's a great cruiser, will keep up with modern traffic (unless you need to stop suddenly - that's being worked on), and "floats" down the road like I imagine a big Caddy or Lincoln would. Perfect for grabbing an ice cream after dinner with the family, plus you rarely see yourself coming down the road the other way...
  22. miker98038
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 556


    A local restorer (mainly 55-57 Tbirds) has or had one of those. IIRC, #12 of 14 total built with the F code option. It was an extremely well kept survivor, again IIRC only the front seat cushion had been replaced and the rear bumper rechromed. Really neat.
  23. 1952henry
    Joined: Jan 8, 2006
    Posts: 806


    Museum in Denver has one that was pulled from the muck IIRC. A cosmetic restoration was done, then windows cut into the panels so you could see all the wires, switches, relays, etc inside. Guy capable of fixing all of that could troubleshoot the digital drives on our draglines at work, I suppose.
    R A Wrench likes this.
  24. I understand the job well enough to thank God I'd be smart enough to just walk away from that one. For Sure you can buy a very nice finished one for half what it takes to bring that one back. This is a current add and I know you can't get there with that for 35K[​IMG]
    1959 Ford Galaxie Skyliner

    It is our pleasure to present this 1959 Ford Galaxie Skyliner retractable hardtop. Only three years ...

    kidcampbell71 and VANDENPLAS like this.
  25. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,418

    abe lugo

    There was one listed recently in LA for 3500. Missing engine. Looked some what complete. But if you don’t know these cars you’d in for a money pit to get the top to work and seal. Otherwise it’s just another 57-59 hardtop. Cool cars but more work. And no extra space.
    kidcampbell71 and VANDENPLAS like this.
  26. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,527


    upload_2021-4-14_4-1-23.png Vnak photo


    As a teenager, our dad always had some oddball things to say about a regular convertible. Our mom wanted to get a Buick Skylark to appease our dad’s liking of Buick sedans. But, despite the coolness of the Skylark convertible for the two teenage brothers, our dad “poo-pooed” the choice with his convertible comments. The most obvious is the soft top being able to tear easily, from the weather or theft. and that it was noisy.

    Then our mom was determined to get a convertible and saw an ad for a 57 Ford retractable hard top convertible. That hard top was the answer to our dad’s disliking of soft top convertibles. Now, he was stuck for a reason not to get that cool flip lid 57 Ford Skyliner. My brother and I liked the 57, as it could be ordered with a McCulloch supercharger, too. But, that faded into obscurity.


    My wife went to a neighborhood car show/historic home show back a few years ago with her sister. They had a great time and when she got home, she could not wait to show me her photos of the cool cars and trucks that were present during the day.

    The one that caught my eye was a 1959 red/white Ford Skyliner in the rows of cool hot rods and trucks. It was surprising, but ever since her mom had a 1947 Buick Convertible in 1951-52, it was a need to have a convertible then and every time a discussion of purchasing a “new car” comes up. She is a locked-in aficionado of convertibles for life.

    The following year, we took our granddaughter to the same central OC car show and tour. It was different, but one car stood out. Yes, the red/white 1959 Ford Skyliner. Now, it was open for a thorough photo essay.
    This time, a lot of people were gathering around the bright red/white Skyliner, so it took a while to get photos without any one standing around. Time was on my side…
    Being such a nice looking car always attracts people to view it and wonder what it was like driving around in the flip lid convertible. My thoughts went back to the day my brother and I saw an early model sitting on a showroom floor. Our thoughts and memories of competing against a supercharged Ford sedan at Lion’s Dragstrip came to mind and looking at a Ford Skyliner made us want to have one cool cruiser for ourselves. (It was for our mom, but our dad nixed it in the bud.)
    The only thing that the Skyliner does not have is a good side profile. With the top up, somehow, it does not have the smooth styling, but looks as if someone just added a square looking top to fit in the design. Kudos to a great, one of a kind design, but somethings always have a drawback or two. IOHO
    Rolleiflex likes this.
  27. Always thought that they were cool cars, but was that pan in the trunk the only place you could put any luggage? Pretty limiting for a road trip with the family...
  28. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 764


    I see a 58, but no 59!
    OahuEli and abe lugo like this.
  29. Correct.
  30. Not only a very limited space but for a Woman with a couple bags of grocery's not real easy to reach and heaven forbid the paper bag tears and spills out everything in it. Now she has to climb inside in her Skirt and High Heels to get the last 3 run away Apples.
    abe lugo likes this.

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