Kimberly V. Althage – March 18, 2022
The 1955-1956 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria was the crowning gem of the bright two-tone and chrome era and represents a unique period in Ford history. One of the most imaginative cars of the decade, its claim to fame was a wrap-over-the-roof tiara. Initially named “Special Victoria” prior to its release, the “Crown Vic,” as it has been affectionately nicknamed, became a classic symbol of the times.
In 1955 Ford introduced a new body to keep up with surging Chevrolet and Plymouth models, although it remained like the 1952 Ford underneath. Including the same powerful engine that made the Ford Thunderbird famous by setting a new high in both performance and durability. The Queen of the Victorias was to be a car apart from all others.
Its smart two-tone body colors and carefully placed exterior trim, including its “crown of chrome” as well as the straight-line fin-shaped fender were the most distinguishing characteristic of all models in the Ford Fairlane series. Its low silhouette set the styling keynote for cars to come. This was also the year Ford introduced panoramic windshields found on Oldsmobiles, Buicks, and Cadillacs the previous year. It gave drivers more panoramic visibility because the A-pillars have a vertical angle.
Some argue the inspiration for the Crown Victoria was the Lincoln XL-500. It was introduced for Ford’s 50th Anniversary in 1953 and had a tiara of stainless steel with an all-fiberglass scarlet body with an all-glass (or Plexiglas) roof. Others say the inspiration for Ford’s Crown Victoria was the Mystere, a non-running fiberglass styling study/show car. Although the tiara, or chrome “basket handle” across its hardtop roof, originally appeared on the Mercury XM-800 concept car. Yet according to the late Dave Ash, the model began life in 1953 as a full-size clay.
This highly customized 1955 Crown Victoria is purple and white on the outside and its “living room on wheels” interior meticulously matches its exterior. Practically every detail of this car has been customized, including Frenched taillights and dual antennas, shaved door handles, adjustable suspension height, electric doors and trunk, and Jimmy Jones skirts. It is easy to see why this car has been a standout with the Ford Restorers of America Club for over 20 years as well as within the Dearborn Detroit area Hot Rod scene.
In fact, this beauty was featured in Cruisin Times Magazine and splashed across its cover and was on the front cover of Michigan MOTOR Magazine as well. Another article about it was in Crown Victoria Association (CVA)‘s Fomoco Times and dispersed at the Cruisin’ Hines event that year. In addition, this 55 Ford Crown Victoria represented Ford World HQ on their 100th anniversary and was pictured in front of the world headquarters. This car was also videotaped at the Ford test track for their 100th anniversary, and Bill Ford Jr. has a picture of this 55 Ford Crown Victoria in his office.
This is where Jack Roush signed his signature all over the car. Roush did $500 worth of signatures because he liked the car. Naturally, he would for it has the Mustang engine in it, specifically a 1968 428 CI Cobra Jet engine. The engine has a C6 automatic transmission with electronic ignition that was rebuilt less than 500 miles ago and donated by a Mustang.
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