"Darn it!" I said as we passed by the subject of today's article. "I can't tell what that is! It's going to bug me." I grumbled unhappily to my girlfriend as we drove to a deli to meet our friend for lunch. Normally, I pride myself on being able to pick out just about any classic car we pass, knowing at least the model. This time however, I was seeing the car from the back and for only a second at that, making it look like an El Camino with a huge bed cover, but those fins sure didn't look like a first gen Elky...
The image bothered me until it was time to leave, having had an amazing lunch at the deli, one that I discovered had been built in 1928.
I retraced my steps, heading back down the road I had driven up and found myself in the tiny parking lot of a local garage. Seeing the back half of the car opened up the way I did, I came to the conclusion I had found something very rare. Our featured car is a 1958 Ford Fairlane Skyliner, a car that up until that morning I had only seen in books.
My girlfriend had mentioned how much storage space was robbed when she had the top down in her SN95 Mustang, and I wondered what that would look like if your entire roof tried to fit in your trunk, no matter how large. However, I was surprised to find out by reading the CC Paul did on a yellow 1957 model , the trunk space was pretty decent no matter where the top was. (With a rear deck that long, I'd be pretty disappointed otherwise!)
The interior struck me with just how bright and lively the red against white was. It seemed to be in very good shape for its age. Cars of the late 50's always seem to have the coolest designs for the dashboard and gauge layout. It's amazing how much we take for granted with things like armrests and power windows on even the cheapest econobox, while this upmarket full size convertible makes due with a comparatively plain door panel, with just a door handle and window crank to break up the white pleated vinyl.
While I much prefer the Forward Look Plymouth cars of this era, seeing the front end of this Fairlane reminds me somewhat of the Thunderbird being sold at the same time. I wonder if this one has a piece of the grille missing, as it doesn't have the kind of crosshair shape in the middle... All in all a very cool car I am happy to have found.
That day proved to be a very interesting one. About a week before I had taken the above pictures, I had an interview with a local classic car dealer called Streetside. I had submitted my resume and cover letter hoping to be a photographer, and thinking they might let me volunteer just to get my foot in the door. They needed a new Showroom Attendant and the day I found this Skyliner... is the day I got the job! I will be tasked with cleaning, maintaining, and most importantly driving everything in their inventory. I will be a part of a small team and every single day will be filled with classic cars. It sounds like a dream come true for me.
My first day will be March 10, 2020, so by the time you're reading this I will already be there, hopefully planning to write my next article for Curbside!
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