1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner Retractable
Tuesday November 25, 2014
Over fifty years ago, in mid-model year 1957, Ford introduced the first ever large-scale production of a hardtop convertible, the Fairlane 500 Skyliner. The brainchild of Ford engineer Gil Spears, the concept was originally intended for the 1956 Lincoln Continental, but the skyrocketing retail on the Continental prohibited adding the retractable hardtop feature, so the idea was picked up by the Ford division instead. In 1957, Ford was on a roll, finally beating Chevrolet in sales for the first time in decades by a substantial 10 percent margin, so there was money flowing for product development. The Skyliner contributed to that landmark success, not only by garnering 20,766 sales, but also by drawing large crowds into the Ford showrooms to witness this engineering marvel in action. Even then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower had to have a sleek, modern Skyliner in his garage. Not only was the styling exciting, but the promise of new “Dream-car” technology pushed Ford to new sales heights. (more…)
In the 1930s streamlining was like a magical language that defied cultural, social, and economic differences, like laughter or a smile, it was easy to interpret. During this era of aerodynamic enlightenment, from the late 1920s up until the beginning of World War II, there were several schools of thought on the application of aerodynamic principles. Most were developed in France, Germany, and the United States. Interestingly, the concepts, even those adopted in Europe, had their roots in America through the work of visionaries Buckminster Fuller and Norman Bel Geddes. The theories of Fuller were elemental; to achieve greater speed, one needed to reduce, or eliminate, a vehicle’s resistance to the wind. One way was to bludgeon it with sheer horsepower; the other was to slide through it like a rapier. Observed Bel Geddes, “Speed is the cry of our era, and greater speed is one of the goals of tomorrow.” (more…)
For General Motors and Cadillac, 1953 had been a year of celebrations, with both entities celebrating a 50th Anniversary. To mark the occasion, GM’s top three Divisions had created limited edition convertibles for the show circuit, but only the Cadillac Eldorado found favor enough to be used in the inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower as President. With the success of the Eldorado building traffic and bringing Cadillac to the forefront of the luxury-car market, 1954 was set up to be a great year for Cadillac in general, with 77,345 luxury cars sold, and the Series 62 was the core of that success. (more…)
“The past is gone. The future may never see a car like this. It is one of the brutes, and all it needs is a way of staying in contact with terra firma”
-Hot Rod Magazine, May 1970- (more…)
Join Heacock Classic Insurance and HSR (Historic Sportscar Racing, LTD.) at the legendary Daytona International Speedway for the Classic 24 Hour Race and Daytona Historics. Daytona in November always attracts a strong field of racers and this year will be no exception.
Daytona has held significant sports car racing events since 1961, and in 1966, the 24 Hours of Daytona was born. The Classic 24 Hours is dedicated to cars that have raced Daytona endurance races in the past. It’s a celebration of great classic racecars, high speeds, high banks, and a long night of performance driving in cars from 1961 – 2010. Heacock Classic is pleased to be the official insurance provider for the entire event.
The Classic 24 Hour Daytona 2014 will be the longest and the toughest historic car race in North America, an American-flavored version of the Le Mans Classic 24 hour historic car race that runs every other summer on the famous Le Mans 24 hour circuit in France. Competitors will race on the full nine-turn, 3.56-mile Daytona 24 Hour road-oval circuit that includes the infield road course and the steeply banked 2.5-mile Daytona “tri-oval”.
“That Daytona tradition will continue in the Classic 24 Hour on November 15th and 16th,” said HSR President David Hinton. “This event really struck a nerve internationally. We already have over 140 entries in the six race groups for the Classic 24, many from European teams. The latest is a Porsche 907/LH entered by Willi Kauhsen Motorsport to be driven by Le Mans winner Jurgen Barth.”
A fleet of European Group C prototypes from the 1980s is expected, along with a cadre of Daytona’s endurance racing’s all-stars. Five-time Daytona 24 Hour winner Hurley Haywood leads a cast of Daytona superstars who will race on November 15-16, 2014. Joining Haywood on the Classic 24 grid will be:
An early Classic 24 entry is the Porsche 934 raced by the late Bob Wollek in the 1976 and 1977 World Championship in races such as the Le Mans 24 Hours and 1,000kms of the Nurburgring.
Take advantage of a limited number of VIP packages that are available, which include access to the Drivers Club in the lounge level of the 500 Club onsite, where you can mingle with the drivers, enjoy a great view of the racing, and enjoy food and beverages, and enjoy special behind the scenes tours. Heacock Classic is proud to sponsor the Drivers Club, and we hope you’ll purchase a VIP package and join us for a great racing weekend.