Photos by Chuck Gardiner.
1956 Ford Fairlane Club Sedan Thunderbird V-8 Fordomatic Dr (SOLD!)
Restored Specs & Data Plate
"Lemonade" was my muti-award winning 1956 Ford Fairlane Club Sedan. I owned the car from December, 2003 to May, 2009. It was housed in North Vancouver and Courtenay (in Vancouver Island's beautiful Comox Valley), B.C. Many vendors and parts were involved in the car's extensive restoration. The club for 1954, 1955, and 1956 Fords is the Crown Victoria Association (CVA).
The car's history is mostly unknown before 2003. However, there are copies of a 1992 title and transfer from Wooster, Ohio to Cincinnati, Ohio; and a 2003 title and transfer from Dearborn, Michigan to North Vancouver, British Columbia. The car was imported to Canada on December 2, 2003. And, after passing government-required safety and AirCare (pollution) tests, it was insured with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), and licenced as a "collector vehicle" with "stock collector plates."
The 1956 Ford Fairlane Club Sedan has had a body-off-frame restoration to match its data plate codes. Most components have been rebuilt with refurbished, reproduction, or new old stock (NOS) parts. All equipment is functional, including the:
1) "Console Range" Motorola 6-tube AM radio with cold war era CONELRAD emergency broadcast system triangle-in-circle dial marks and right front fender antenna
2) electric clock with sweep-second hand and speed-adjust control
3) automatic pop-out cigarette lighter with Ash-Guard.
The all-stock body is complimented with new:
1) reproduction genuine-accessory chrome body mount mirrors
2) reproduction period-correct Ford-logo chrome sealed beam bulb w/ amber lens fog lights
3) reproduction 1962-64 Thunderbird-style (Kelsey-Hayes) 56-spoke chrome 15 x 5" wire wheels
4) correct-width 2-3/4" wide sparkling white sidewall 6.70 x 15" radial tires
5) improved suspension adjusted to correct height—outer-frame-rails to ground clearence is 7-inches
for appearence, and modern-car drivability and traction.
Ford advertising stated, "When it comes to 6-passenger sedans, two-door style . . . this beauty has no peer." The Ford Crestmark body colors are Style-Tone Two-Tone ME-code Goldenglow Yellow and Colonial White.
Front seat adjustment is manual. Steering is manual. The Lifeguard Design, 18-inch, 3-spoke, deep-center steering wheel requires 4-3/4 turns lock-to-lock. The car has a 41-foot turning diameter. Brakes are manual, "double-seal hydraulic," with "king size" 11-inch drums.
The "Fairlane Luxury Lounge" is "color-harmonized" with L-code:
1) Dark Gray & Medium Gray nylon cloth (w/ random-dot silver Lurex metallic thread) upholstery
2) Dark Gray vinyl & Light Gray quilted vinyl door panels
3) Dark Gray Metallic paint seat side shields, garnish moldings, steering wheel/column
4) Dark Gray Metallic paint instrument panel w/ a Platinum Gray paint mid band.
The standard engine in '56 Fairlane (and Station Wagon) models is the famous M-code "Thunderbird V-8," 2-overhead-valve, 292 cubic-inch, 202 horsepower, and 289 pound-feet of torque (with Fordomatic Dr) Y-block. It was also the standard engine in 1955 Thunderbird's and 1955 Mercury's. Only Fairlane V-8 models had dual exhaust "ported through the rear bumper."
On "Lemonade," the original Holley 4000 4-barrel "teapot" carburetor was replaced with a more-dependable, new (1958-up) Holley 4160 390-CFM 4-barrel carb with vacuum secondary and electric choke. It sits on a refurbished (1957-up) 1957 Ford "B" intake manifold. The Holley loadomatic breaker-point dual-diaphram full-vacuum-advance distributor was replaced with a more-responsive rebuilt (1957-up) 1959 Ford single-diaphram vacuum-and-mechanical (centrifugal) advance distributor—the vacuum advance hands off to the centrifugal advance as rpm increases—with PerTronix electronic ignition. Instant throttle response and snappy acceleration are now provided by this torque-rich engine, and the optional rear axle (lower) 3.89:1 ratio gears.
1956 was the first year for Ford's new 12-volt electrical system—with "high-output" 30-amp. generator and "Power Punch" 55-amp. tar-top battery.
The Speed-Trigger Fordomatic Drive (3-speed automatic transmission), in usual "DR" (Drive Range) operation, provides 2nd-gear start-outs and auto upshifts to 3rd. Flooring the throttle pedal triggers fast-getaway 1st-gear start-outs with auto upshifts to 2nd and 3rd. Cruising-speed downshifts to Passing Gear (2nd gear) are made by pressing down firmly on the throttle pedal.The trunk is complete with an original-type Firestone 6.70 x 15-inch bias-4-ply tubeless white sidewall spare tire, a "large plaid" fleese-backed mat, a bumper jack, and a "Jack Instructions" decal. The rear collector plate is enclosed in a rare genuine accessory chromed frame.