32,000 original miles, new interior and top, great color combination

1958 Ford Fairlane Sunliner

Ford Fairlane 1958 technical specifications

Item location: Macedonia, Ohio, United States
Make: Ford
Model: Fairlane
SubModel: Sunliner
Type: Convertible
Year: 1958
Mileage: 31,766
VIN: G8UC111914
Color: Black
Number of cylinders: 8
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Automatic
Interior color: White
Vehicle Title: Clear
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In 1958, the DOT approved the use of separate high- and low-beam headlights on production cars (which Ford called “Safety-Twin” headlights), creating a fantastic opportunity for automotive designers to create dramatic new looks. Ford, in particular, managed to create an all-new look for their 1958 models that was clean, imposing, and much less ornate than many of their competitors, making them seem ahead of their time. The Fairlane 500 was the top-of-the-line and offered a dizzying array of models and body styles, ranging from 2-door sedans and hardtops to 4-door sedans and station wagons, and two convertibles: the retractable hardtop Skyliner and the conventional cloth-topped Sunliner. Thanks to a late introduction and a slow year for auto sales overall, 1958 Fords are considerably less common than their 1957 and 1959 siblings, making them the ones to own for the enthusiast who enjoys something a little out of the ordinary.

This car’s story is its originality and the care it received with a very passionate owner. It’s an absolutely wonderful car to drive and for fans of low-mileage cars, it has that intangible factory feel that’s impossible to restore back into a car. Very nicely sorted and ready to enjoy at any level, this handsome Sunliner is a rather rare find that will be the center of attention wherever it goes.

This 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner convertible coupe is one of only 35,029 built, which seems like a big number until you realize that they built more than twice that many in 1957. Survival rates also seem low and if you see a 1958 Ford with a top that goes down it’s likely to be a Retractable Skyliner, making this 31,768 original mile car a very unusual find. The proportions are arguably much tidier than the retractable and I would argue that the 1958 models are the most handsome of the 1957-1958-1959 Ford triplets. It’s pure 1950s cool without the excesses that defined other brands, offering plenty of chrome and tasteful tail fins that make the Ford look a lot more expensive than it is, which was surely a strong selling feature when it was new.Code A Raven Black is this car’s original color and we believe that the car has been repainted once, perhaps 10-12 years ago. It still looks fantastic, and as you know, black is notoriously difficult to get right. Fortunately, it looks like this one has all its original bodywork and has never been wrecked or rusty, so the doors fit well and the big expanses of black paint on the quarter panels and hood are smooth and ripple-free. It does have a few signs of use and age, of course, but given that this car lived a charmed life as the cherished toy, the wear and tear is minimal. The sweeping side trim makes it look even longer than it is and the gold anodized insert may be a response to the 1957 Chevrolet, but it sure looks great on this ragtop. The stainless and chrome pieces are likely original and in excellent shape, with a nice shine and notably few issues. The car includes an accessory continental kit that lends it a dramatic look and is fully outfitted with a hard-shell tire cover and proper filler pieces around the bumper. Dual antennas, neat little “bullseye” fender ornaments with gold anodized centers, and the 1958 Ford hood scoop all make this car stand out.The gorgeous black and white interior was just replaced and has a very correct, authentic look. It’s handsomely appointed and big enough for six passengers, again reinforcing the Ford’s upscale image. It's a combination of new and original parts, with things like the door panels and dashboard being nice original pieces that don't look at all out of place. The cushions are firm and supportive and sliding behind the wheel of this big Ford will make you feel like a million bucks. We suspect that the carpets have been replaced since they’re simply too nice to be 60 years old, especially in black, and they’re protected by heavy-duty rubber mats. Seat belts were retrofitted and look quite correct in the handsome interior and if you think white-faced gauges are a recent invention, guess again. Ford’s arching speedometer offers crisp markings and bright orange pointers, and all the dials are fully functional. In fact, everything works except the clock, which isn’t surprising, and the while the original AM radio is still in the dash, it has been supplanted by an AM/FM/cassette head unit neatly installed underneath and powering a set of removable speakers hidden in the top well. The steering wheel is in excellent condition, the knobs and handles are not crumbling like so many other ancient plastic pieces do, and they’ve added a SunPro temperature gauge under the dash that rarely goes above 180 degrees, even on warm days. The black convertible top is also brand new, folding easily with the touch of a button and showing a crystal clear rear window and matching black boot. The massive trunk is outfitted with a new mat set as well as a brand new spare tire that’s never been used and a full jack assembly (note that there is also a spare tire in the continental kit).The engine is the original G-code 332 cubic inch “Interceptor” V8, which was the mid-range offering in 1958 and by far the most popular. The G-code featured a 4-barrel carburetor and 265 horsepower, so the big ragtop is plenty fleet of foot on the road. With so few miles, we believe the engine has never been rebuilt or out of the car, although I’m informed that the gentleman who used to care for the car was fanatical about leaks and spent considerable time chasing them down one by one. His work paid off, because this sucker’s very clean inside and out. The engine has obviously been painted and detailed at some point, so it’s not 100% correct, but it does use a factory air cleaner for a proper look and you can’t argue with how it runs. A single turn of the key and it lights off easily, settling into a smooth, easy idle even when it’s ice cold. On the road, it pulls smoothly without a hitch in the flow of torque and thanks to a pair of glasspack-style mufflers, it has a wonderful ‘50s V8 sound that gets even better with the top down.The engine is backed by a 3-speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission, which was likely installed 5-6 years ago, as the door tag decodes as a 3-speed manual transmission. We’re very impressed by the installation, which was done using 100% factory components so that the change is undetectable—even the shifter quadrant on the instrument panel was correctly installed. It shifts cleanly through all three gears and with 2.69 gears out back, this car just loafs along at highway speeds. The undercarriage is unquestionably original but in remarkably good shape with solid floors, a straight frame, and no signs of rust or rot anywhere on the critical sheetmetal components. Yes, there’s some grime and some surface scale on the heavy iron parts, but for a mostly unrestored car of this vintage, the preservation is impressive. The brakes are firm and reassuring and even without power steering, it remains easy to maneuver thanks to Ford’s new “Magic Circle” steering, which was a recirculating ball setup that did indeed offer smooth, low effort steering. Recent shocks, a new fuel pump, and the aforementioned new exhaust system make this car ready to go. It wears original 14-inch steel wheels with hubcaps and G78-14 Bedford wide whitewall tires that look right.

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