Featured is the 1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria.This model, popular with car collectors, is a true American classic.The Ford Fairlane was produced in the United States for the 1955 through 1970 model years. The Fairlane made it’s debut the same year as the Thunderbird. When the Ford Fairlane came out in 1955 it was a big sales success for the automaker.

ford fairlane victoria
1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria Hardtop

A significant note about the 56 Fords is that this represented the first year that Ford offered seat belts and also changed the electrical system from six volts to twelve volts. One year earlier in 1955 Ford offered car buyers the option of having air conditioning which Ford named Comfortaire.

The Ford Fairlane Victoria

The 1956 Ford Fairlane, as mentioned above, came with several internal changes such as seat belts. Safety was a significant selling point for the 56 Fords. Along with those seat belts steering wheels were recessed, dashboards were padded and special locks were added to doors which were to help prevent their opening during collisions. Ford Motor Company named and marketed their 1956 safety feature package..Lifeguard. They would refer to their 1956 models as having the exclusive Lifeguard Design.

The Ford Victoria was produced in several models. These were a two and four door sedan, a two and four door hardtop, two door coupe, two door convertible, and a two and four door station wagon. The 56 Fairlane Crown Victoria differed in that it had the basket handle looking cross roof chrome strip along with some additional emblems. The Crown Victoria had the same engine and transmissions options as the Victoria.

The Ford Fairlane was the company’s top of the line model which began as a full size automobile but was lowered to mid size in 1962. Ford actually used the Victoria name for the first time in 1932 with the car designed by Edsel Ford.

The 1955 and 1956 Fords received a restyling which gave their vehicles a more modern look. Lines were sharper and windshields were panoramic in design. Roof lines were lower and sleeker.

In general, the styling between the 55 and 56 models were similar. 1956 changes were essentially cosmetic and included a deeper V on the side trim, a change in the tail light lens and parking lamps plus a grille which appeared less tight than 55’s tighter rectangular mesh.

1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria Specifications

There were several engines available on the 56 Ford Fairlane Victoria. Included were a 222.9 cubic inch straight six, a 292 cubic inch Thunderbird V-8, and a 312 cubic inch Thunderbird Special V-8. Horsepower ranged from 137 for the straight six to 225 for the Thunderbird Special V-8. With the Fairlane dual exhausts were standard with any V-8 engine.

Transmissions included both a three and four speed manual along with a three speed automatic. The three speed manual was the standard transmission regardless of what engine was in the vehicle.

56 ford fairlane picsBrakes were standard four wheel hydraulic drums with vacuum assisted power brakes as an option.

1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria dimensions included a 115.5 inch wheelbase, an overall outside length of 198.5 inches, and width 75.9 inches. Average curb weight was about 3,300 lbs.


The Ford Motor Company 1956 production totaled 1,410,000 vehicles. The Fairlane model production was 642,600. Out of that number about 180,000 vehicles were Fairlane Victoria Hardtop Coup. Crown Victoria Hardtop Coups stood at 9,200 vehicles. The Crown Victoria Hardtop Coup with the glass top accounted for only 600 units.

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Reference material for this article includes…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.

1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria Collector Car Popularity

ford fairlane victoria specsMost any automobile from the 1950’s are highly collectible. Those from the mid 50’s perhaps the most sought after. The 1950’s many believe was the golden age of automobile design with flowing lines, modern styling, not to mention tail fins which signified the new jet age.

At the current time price valuations for the 1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria Two Door Hardtop ranges from about $20,000 to $40,000. As a comparison the 1956 Fairlane Crown Victoria may have prices in the $45,000 to $60,000 range.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)