The great looking classic automobile featured in this article is the 1955 Ford Fairlane Victoria. The Fairlane replaced the Ford Crestlines as Ford's top of the line model for full size vehicles. The Ford Fairlane was produced in the United States for the 1955 through 1970 model years. At first, the Ford Fairlane was a full size vehicle but later in 1962 became a mid size model.
The Fairlane model name was used in Australia through the 20th century. Up until 1964 the Fairlane was built locally there identical to the American version. Australia brought back the Fairlane in 1967 as a very different vehicle and changed several times during the next several decades.
The Ford Victoria was produced in several models. These were a two and four door sedan, a two and four door hardtop (featured car is the two door), two door coupe, two door convertible, and a two and four door station wagon.
The automobile was named after Henry Ford's 56 room, 31,000 square foot Fair Lane estate in Dearborn, Michigan, a Detroit suburb. The year 1955 was also the year Ford restyled the entire Ford line with new bodies due to it's fierce competition with Chevrolet that had been making some significant changes.
The decade of the 1950's was an exciting time in the automotive business. Changes of course were made a few years after the end of World War Two. When we entered the 1950's, modernization was really taking hold. The modernization was both the mid 1950's mechanical and design. During the mid 1950's,radically new American automobiles came to market such as the Chevy Corvette and the Ford Thunderbird. Both the Corvette and Thunderbird were in many ways an answer to the European sports car which had been gaining popularity in North America.
As always, Ford and Chevrolet were locked in heated competition, mergers were going on involving Nash, Packard and others, and styling changed so frequently that buyers were always looking for the newest model with updated engines.
New for 1955
Ford buyers had the option of purchasing their new cars with air conditioning which was named Comfortaire. This was a great new feature for some but the unit was very costly and it's estimated that Ford produced less than 500 cars in 1955 with Comfortaire. There were two engines offered for the new Fairlane, a 223 cubic inch straight six and a 272 cubic inch V8.
Ford's new Crown Victoria was lower and longer than any fixed roof cars that Ford had ever produced. This was touted quite a lot in their advertising. New wider view panoramic windshields were on all Ford cars beginning in 1955.
1955 Ford Victoria Specifications
As mentioned above, there were two engines availablefor the Ford Fairlane in 1955. These were the 223 cubic inch straight six and a 272 cubic inch V8.
Specs include a wheelbase of 115.5 inches, an ove200 units. Perall length of 198.5 inches, a width of 75.9 inches. Shipping weight was 3,190 lbs.
Total production of the 55 Fairlane was 622,200 units. Production for the 55 Fairlane Two Door Victoria was 113,370 units.
Base price for the 1955 Two Door Victoria Hardtop was about $2,100 new.
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References for this article included...American Cars of the 1950's : by the Editors of Consumer Guide...Fords of the Fifties by Michael Parris...Collector Car Price Guide.
1955 Ford Fairlane Collector Cars
As we have said before, automobiles from the 1950's make excellent collector cars. In many ways, the decade of the 50's was a period where real modernization took place, both in design and style and in mechanics. Rear tail fins took hold during this decade and as you know there was a wide variety of fins. They started out modest and as the decade progressed became ever so large as Cadillac clearly showed at the end of the 50's.
The 1955 Ford Fairlane represented the first year of the model and represents milestone status. The production in the United States lasted from 1955 to 1970 although production did continue overseas for much longer in a variety of styles as mentioned above.
There were many different trims for the Ford Fairlane in the U.S.and current price ranges for restored models cover a wide range. As for the Hardtop Victoria featured in the article top prices for museum quality models may be in the $30,000 plus range. The Ford Crown Victoria Plexi Glass Top and Convertible models are the highest valued and may be in the $60,000 range. The Two and Four Door Sedans are at the bottom of the range with top prices in the $18,000 to $23,000 range. All of the current valuations are for pristine condition, highly original models. Values are obviously less for high mileage, non restored models.
(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)