This will take you to the main site where there is history, technical information and other information on these cars.
This takes you back to the main page of the forums.
This is the control panel to change your password, information and preferences on this message board.
Click here if your lost your password or need to register on this message board. You must be a registered user to post. Registration is free.
Search this board for information you need.
Click here to buy cool Squarebirds mechandise.
Click here to support Squarebirds.org. For $20 annually receive 20mBytes webspace, a Squarebirds e-mail address and member's icon on the message board.
  #1  
Old 07-08-2011, 07:21 PM
YellowRose's Avatar
YellowRose YellowRose is offline
Super-Experienced and a HELLOFA nice guy
 
Join Date: Jan 21 2008
Posts: 11,939
YellowRose is on a distinguished road
Default 1959 Skyliner Restoration

A good, long time friend of mine, now in Oklahoma, but when I first came to know him, was in Alaska, used to own a 1959 Ford Skyliner Retractable. He has since sold it, and it has changed hands several times since then. It is still alive and is presently valued at about $55,000 after the full restoration my friend, Al Fromm did on it. Al just sent me a good number of pictures of it pre-restoration, during restoration and after restoration was completed. It is April Green in color and was a driven concourse show car when the restoration was complete. The restoration was done by Hutchens Auto Restoration & Detailing of Rolla, MO. They specialize in restoring rectractables' and other Full Sized Fords of that era. Al tells me that Lyle has a lot of Skyliner parts and even makes many of the parts that are no longer available. If you are looking for Full Size Ford parts, give him a try. He also makes the "Sunray" wheel centers. Al can also help you find parts.

Al bought this car out of Arkansas in 1994 by telephone from Alaska. When he got back to the states, he started the restoration over the winter of 1995-1996. Al was a member of the International Ford Rectractable CLub (IFRC) and took his '59 to Branson to show it. His car was selected as the 1998 1st Place winner of the 1959 Restored Driven Class! Some time after that, he sold it. I have forgotten how many points it was judged at, but I remember it was almost a perfect score.

I have some very good information on Ben Smith, who, I am told, is the man who engineered the design of the retractable hard top. I will post more about him later. Here are some pix Al sent me of his '59 Skyliner. There will be others to post later on. The first pic is what it looked like in 1994 when he bought it. The rest are a few pix of the restoration process. The final pic is what it looked like when they were done, restored back to full factory specs.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg '59SkylinerIn1994.jpg (89.3 KB, 67 views)
File Type: jpg '59SkylinerRestore-1.jpg (35.1 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg '59SkylinerRestore-2.jpg (39.4 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg '59SkylinerRestore-3.jpg (48.2 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg '59SkylinerRestore-4.jpg (39.1 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg '59SkylinerRestore-5.jpg (44.5 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg '59SkylinerRestore-Engine-1.jpg (43.2 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg '59SkylinerRestored.jpg (58.5 KB, 66 views)
__________________

Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
'59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
"It's Hip To Be Square"
Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

rayclark07"at"att.net (Home) 210-674-5781 (Cell) 210-875-1411
http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-08-2011, 11:49 PM
YellowRose's Avatar
YellowRose YellowRose is offline
Super-Experienced and a HELLOFA nice guy
 
Join Date: Jan 21 2008
Posts: 11,939
YellowRose is on a distinguished road
Default More Skyliner Pix!

Here are some more pix of the '59 Skyliner Al used to own. This Retractable was restored to exact factory specs. It sure is a pretty car. I notice that it has the single power booster and mc under the hood, like some of the 1960 Tbirds did. It also has A/C. If I remember correctly, my father-in-laws Skyliner was Dresden Blue and Colonial White. There were several blue and white combinations. The paint colors on these pix might not be exact. I am scanning from old pix that Al sent me. Here are the pix and I have a few more to scan in yet, after these.
__________________

Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
'59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
"It's Hip To Be Square"
Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

rayclark07"at"att.net (Home) 210-674-5781 (Cell) 210-875-1411
http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

Last edited by YellowRose : 07-09-2011 at 12:03 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-09-2011, 12:12 AM
YellowRose's Avatar
YellowRose YellowRose is offline
Super-Experienced and a HELLOFA nice guy
 
Join Date: Jan 21 2008
Posts: 11,939
YellowRose is on a distinguished road
Default Last Of Al's '59 Skyliner Pix

Here are a few more pix. That is Lyle Hutchens under the Skyliner either tying her down for transport, or releasing her after transport. You will see the Hutchens truck used to transport classic cars to and from repair or restoration. Next I will post some information regarding Ben Smith, the engineer responsible for developing the retractable hard top. He is called the Father of the Retractable.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg '59SkylinerTripToRolloMO-1.jpg (37.0 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg 1997TripToRolloMo.jpg (48.0 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg HutchensTruck.jpg (39.5 KB, 66 views)
__________________

Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
'59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
"It's Hip To Be Square"
Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

rayclark07"at"att.net (Home) 210-674-5781 (Cell) 210-875-1411
http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

Last edited by YellowRose : 07-09-2011 at 12:14 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-09-2011, 03:54 AM
simplyconnected's Avatar
simplyconnected simplyconnected is offline
Slow Typist
 
Join Date: May 26 2009
Posts: 7,161
simplyconnected is on a distinguished road
Default

These are absolutely beautiful cars.

I want to point out some major confusion Ford created with the badges. Now, you know these are Skyliners because the badge on the top says so.

The quarter panel script says, "Galaxie".
The trunk lid says, "Fairlane 500".

I have seen ads for a, Galaxie Skyliner Fairlane 500 car (when that is just impossible).

Officially, a 1959 body style 51A is:
Galaxie Hide-Away Hardtop.

In 1958, before the name 'Galaxie' existed, Ford body style 51A was:
Fairlane "500" Hide-Away Hardtop.

No mention at all about 'Skyliner'. So, without official Ford catalogs, everyone just called them, '57-'59 Ford Retractables' (which doesn't appear anywhere).
__________________
My latest project:
CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
--Lee Iacocca

Last edited by simplyconnected : 07-09-2011 at 10:10 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-09-2011, 01:36 PM
YellowRose's Avatar
YellowRose YellowRose is offline
Super-Experienced and a HELLOFA nice guy
 
Join Date: Jan 21 2008
Posts: 11,939
YellowRose is on a distinguished road
Default 1959 Skyliner Restoration

Hi Dave! Thanks for the explanation! It gets confusing! As you say, they are beautiful cars. I have a CD full of pix of many, many more Retractables that I might put on a web page.
__________________

Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
'59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
"It's Hip To Be Square"
Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

rayclark07"at"att.net (Home) 210-674-5781 (Cell) 210-875-1411
http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-10-2011, 01:25 AM
YellowRose's Avatar
YellowRose YellowRose is offline
Super-Experienced and a HELLOFA nice guy
 
Join Date: Jan 21 2008
Posts: 11,939
YellowRose is on a distinguished road
Default 1959 Skyliner Restoration

Al has been reading these comments and gave me some additional information. Here is what he had to say.

"Ben Smith was the Head of the MP#5 Project (Contiental prototype)
and the Ford retractable hardtop 57-59 design team at 31 years of age.

The photos of Lyle in the trailer was from Rolla, MO-to-Okla. return of car after some repairs/ minor fixes.


I scored 927/1000 points at Branson. National Showcase 129 and there are to date only 300 that ever made it to the exclusive Showcase club. They started this award in the early 80's

The first 57 retractables were called 'Hide Away Hardtops" They are known as non-script cars that carried no "Skyliner" on the roof pillar

The 57's, 58's, and early 59's were Fairlane 500 both on the rear and
the upper rear fenders. That remained same on the rear because the
tooling would be too expensive in mid model-year production and the first zero covered the trunk lock on all other models that had a trunk or tailgate. The Galaxie script was attached to the rear sides and a gold anodized stick-on emblem on the glove box door.

The factory air was "Selectaire" and it was a $400 option. Very high dolllar in 1959 !! The dealer installed A/C was "Polaraire" and it was physically much larger.

All Retractables were Body 51A (all years) 51A is defined as" Hide Away Hardtop"."

Thanks for the additional comments, Al! Al is an officially IFRC qualified "Skyliner" judge.
__________________

Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
'59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
"It's Hip To Be Square"
Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

rayclark07"at"att.net (Home) 210-674-5781 (Cell) 210-875-1411
http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

Last edited by YellowRose : 07-10-2011 at 01:34 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-11-2011, 05:23 PM
tbird430's Avatar
tbird430 tbird430 is offline
Super-Experienced
 
Join Date: Jun 18 2007
Posts: 2,616
tbird430 is on a distinguished road
Thumbs up

Very nice Skyliner!!! Thanks for sharing his pics.

I've never seen a full-size 1958-59 Ford Fairlane- or Fairlane Galaxie 500 for that matter , with that underhood power brake booster set-up before. And I've been through a great many junk yards down here...

-Jon in TX.
__________________

The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

VTCI Member#6287.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-11-2011, 05:42 PM
simplyconnected's Avatar
simplyconnected simplyconnected is offline
Slow Typist
 
Join Date: May 26 2009
Posts: 7,161
simplyconnected is on a distinguished road
Default

Jon, full-size Fords have boosters mounted much higher on the firewall than Squarebirds. Even the M/C hole centers are different (giving them a different part number).

The booster looks the same but remember, this is a drum setup which requires far less boost than disk brakes.
__________________
My latest project:
CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
--Lee Iacocca
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-13-2011, 03:24 PM
tbird430's Avatar
tbird430 tbird430 is offline
Super-Experienced
 
Join Date: Jun 18 2007
Posts: 2,616
tbird430 is on a distinguished road
Red face

My father's 1959 Ford Fairlane Galaxie 500 352cid car has the same underdash power brake booster as my 1960 430cid A/C T-bird & the 1958-59 Birds.

My father's older brother bought the 1959 sedan brand new & the car has been kept in our family. I'm the 2nd owner of my 1960 Bird, so I know all our set-ups are FORD factory assembled.

Just stating that I've never seen a full sized Ford car with that underhood power brake booster as the late 1960 Birds have....
__________________

The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

VTCI Member#6287.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-13-2011, 06:34 PM
YellowRose's Avatar
YellowRose YellowRose is offline
Super-Experienced and a HELLOFA nice guy
 
Join Date: Jan 21 2008
Posts: 11,939
YellowRose is on a distinguished road
Default 1959 Skyliner Restoration

Hi Jon, My buddy Al told me that when he bought the car it had the under the hood system on it. The guy he bought it from said it had the GOOD BOOSTER on it, meaning the under the hood booster. Al checked with Lyle Hutchens. His Dad has been fixing and restoring full sized Fords since the 50's, and Lyle for many years also. Lyle said that in the latter part of the 1959 full sized Ford production run, they started putting on the under the hood booster instead of the KH under the dash version. The Bendix style became the standard for the rest of the 1959 production run. He also said that the Edsels were in production with the Bendix style under the hood booster from the gitgo. His '59 Skyliner came off the production line in KC, MO on July 21, 1959. So there ya go!
__________________

Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
'59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
"It's Hip To Be Square"
Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

rayclark07"at"att.net (Home) 210-674-5781 (Cell) 210-875-1411
http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:53 PM.

Driving, racing or working on cars can be hazardous. The procedures and advice on this website including the message board are opinion only. Squarebirds.org and its webmasters and contributors do not guarantee the correctness of the advice and procedures. The Squarebirds.org and its webmasters assume no liability for any damage, fines, punishment, injury or death resulting from following these procedures or advice. If you do not have the skills or tools to repair your car, please consult a professional. By using this site you agree to hold harmless the Squarebirds.org, its authors and its webmasters from any resulting claim and costs that may occur from using the information found on this site.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Any submissions to this site and any post on this site becomes property of Squarebirds.org . The webmasters reserve the right to edit and modify any submissions to this site. All material on this is site is copyrighted by the Squarebirds.org. Reproduction by any means other than for personal use is strictly prohibited. Permission to use material on this site can be obtained by contacting the webmasters. Copyright 2002-2016 by Squarebirds.org.