The Ford Fairlane is an automobile model that was sold between the 1955 and 1970 model years by Ford in North America. Taking its name from the Dearborn, Michigan estate of Henry Ford, the Fairlane nameplate was used for seven different generations of vehicles. Through its production, the model line would be marketed in a wide variety of body styles, including two-door and four-door sedans, two-door and four-door hardtops, station wagons, and both traditional and retractable-hardtop convertibles.
Initially introduced as the flagship of the full-size Ford range, the Fairlane marked the introduction of the Crown Victoria and 500 nameplates, both later becoming stand-alone full-size model lines (the latter, as the Ford Five Hundred).
Following the introduction of the Ford Galaxie, the Fairlane was repackaged as an intermediate-segment car (today, mid-size) from 1962 to 1970. For 1971, Ford expanded the Ford Torino nameplate across its entire intermediate range, dropping the Fairlane (and Falcon) nameplates in North America. For the 1955 model year the Fairlane name replaced the Crestline as Ford's premier full-sized offering. Six different body styles were offered, including the Crown Victoria Skyliner with a tinted, transparent plastic roof, the regular Crown Victoria coupe with much stainless steel trim, a convertible Sunliner, the Victoria hardtop coupe, and traditional sedans. All featured the trademark stainless-steel "Fairlane stripe" on the side. Power options were a 223 cu in (3.7 L) straight-6 engine and a 272 cu in (4.5 L) V8. The 292 cu in (4.8 L) Y-block was offered as an option and was called the Thunderbird V-8.Few changes were made for 1956; a four-door Victoria hardtop and two new, more powerful V8 options, of 292 cu in (4.8 L) and 312 cu in (5.1 L), the latter available up to 225 bhp (168 kW; 228 PS), were introduced. For 1957, a new style gave a longer, wider, lower, and sleeker look with low tailfins. The new proportions and modern styling were a hit with customers to the extent that the Ford outsold Chevrolet in 1957 for the first time since 1935. A new top trim level was reversed, the Fairlane 500. For the first time, the lower-level Custom line had a shorter wheelbase than the Fairlane. Engines were largely the same as the year before. The big news for 1957 was the introduction of the Fairlane 500 Skyliner power retractable hardtop, whose solid top hinged and folded down into the trunk space at the touch of a button.Another facelift for 1958 had fashionable quad headlights, a grille that matched the 1958 Thunderbird, and other styling changes. New big-blockFE V8s of 332 and 352 CID (5.4 L and 5.8 L) replaced the previous largest V8s, and a better three-speed automatic transmission was also available.A new top-level full-sized model was introduced at mid-year 1959, the Ford Galaxie. The 1959 Galaxie displayed both "Fairlane 500" and "Galaxie" badging.