Photos by Chuck Gardiner.
Restored Specs & Data Plate
"Lemonade" was my multi-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), British Columbia, Canada. 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."
This 1956 Ford Fairlane Club Sedan has had a body-off-frame restoration to match its data plate codes. Most components have been refurbished or replaced with reproduction or new old stock (NOS) parts. All equipment is functional, including:
• "Console Range" Motorola AM Auto Radio 66MF Ford FDR-18805-B1, 6-tube, CONELRAD (Control of Electronic Radiation) triangle-in-circle "Civil Defense Spot" dial marks for emergency broadcast stations 640 & 1240 kHz AM—required on all American radios 1954-1963 during the Cold War.
• electric clock w/ sweep-second hand & speed-adjust control
• cigarette lighter auto pop-out, w/ Ash-Guard.
The all-stock body is complimented w/ new:
• Body Mount Mirrors pair, repro genuine-accessory w/ chrome Ford-logo
• Road Lamps pair, repro period-correct chrome w/ Ford-logo, sealed beam bulb, & amber lens
• wire wheels 15 x 5" repro chrome 1962-64 Thunderbird-style (Kelsey-Hayes) w/ 56-spokes
• radial tires 6.70 x 15" w/ correct-width 2-3/4" wide sparkling white sidewalls
• 7-inch ground clearance outer frame to ground, set by upgraded suspension.
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" interior is "color-harmonized"
"Gray Random Dot Cloth" L-code Dark Gray Cloth & Med Gray Cloth interior trim:
• Dark Gray Cloth seat bolsters - nub-weave nylon w/ stitched-in 2-in-wide quilted vertical pleats
• Medium Gray Cloth seat cushions & backs - nub-weave nylon w/ interwoven Silver lurex thread & random dot pattern, seat cushions w/ stitched-in 2-inch-wide quilted vertical pleats, seat backs plain w/ fabric-covered buttons
• Gray headlining - unnapped cotton w/ embossed diamond-pattern
• Dark Gray Metallic upper/lower instrument panel, garnish moldings, steering wheel/column, seat side shields
• Platinum Gray (H-code) mid instrument panel
• Chrome Gray Metallic sun visor brackets
• Gray (Charcoal) carpet - looped rayon
The standard engine in '56 Fairlane and station wagon models is the famous M-code "Thunderbird V-8" Y-block, 2-overhead-valve, 292-cid, 200-hp, 285-lb-ft-torque, (202/289 with Fordomatic Dr). 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 up-shifts to 3rd. Flooring the throttle pedal triggers fast-getaway 1st-gear start-outs and auto up-shifts 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.