Vehicle
1955 Ford Custom Fairlane 2-Door Sedan
272 cid, V-8, 182 bhp

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As the 1955 automobile hit the market, a volcanic explosion of styling and mechanical innovations spread to most all makes and models –  this was truly the year of change for the automotive industry. Stepping up to the plate to swing against Chevrolet was the all-new Ford Fairlane and Crown Victoria, formidable competitors. A myriad of options were available including all power, full wheel covers or simulated wire wheel covers, and even air conditioning (rare at the time because of the expense). Many engine options were available on the upper end of the scale, but Ford had an advantage over Chevrolet with a 272 cid V8 with as much as 182 hp, compared to the Chevy with a 265 cid V8 at 180 hp with “Power Pack”. Toward the end of the model year, Ford introduced on a limited basis the 292 cid V8 at 198 hp and the 205 hp “Interceptor” police special. The full-sized Ford borrowed styling features from the newly-introduced Ford Thunderbird, such as its circular taillights, small rear fins and the distinctive stainless steel side trim. The new body shell was artfully redesigned to appear totally new and to present a “look of motion.” Two-tone paint, with numerous bright eye-catching colors (many combinations designed to appeal to women), made the new “Crown Vick” a standout. Tom McCahill writing in Mechanix Illustrated said it all: “loaded with more saleable angles than a ship load of Marilyn Monroes.” Ford ran hard in 1955, but came up just short in sales volume behind Chevrolet by 67,000 units. Highlights:
  • Fairlane model replaced “Crestline” as the top-of-the-line model
  • The “Fairlane” name taken from the name of Henry Ford’s estate – “Fair Lane”
  • Fairlane sold between 1955 and 1970
  • Price new: $2,317
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