Pack Automotive Museum

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1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria Hardtop Coupe


Model 64A/B. 202 bhp, 292.0 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, three-speed Ford-O-Matic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115.5 in.

For 1956, Ford went all out to promote safety. They called it their “Lifeguard Design.” “Double grip” door latches were extra strong, and a “deep-center Lifeguard” steering wheel helped ensure that the horn button didn’t cause injury in a crash. “Lifeguard padding” was optional for the dashboard and sun visors, and “Lifeguard seat belts provide protection against all these sources of injury.”

All cars had the door latches and steering wheel, but orders for the optional dash pad and seat belts were underwhelming. Thus, it is unusual to find them on cars today. This Victoria hardtop coupe, however, has them both, making it rather rare. Other equipment includes dual spotlights, door edge guards, fender stone guards, rear fender skirts, accessory wire wheel covers, a Magic Aire heater, and a Continental kit. A modern stereo has replaced the original radio, and an auxiliary temperature gauge has been added. An original owner’s manual is included in the glove compartment.

Attractive in the Ford colors of Bermuda Blue and Colonial White, it has excellent contours and paint, while the brightwork is all very good and show worthy. The seat upholstery is a blue and white vinyl-cloth combination, while the headliner is white vinyl. The engine compartment is clean and tidy and mostly correct in its presentation.

The 1956 Victoria adopted a new, more gently contoured roofline, inherited from 1955’s Crown Victoria. This car lacks the tiara of the Crown Vic but gains a certain airiness in its absence. The new roofline was very popular—the ’56 Victoria outsold its 1955 counterpart by 56 percent. The reason is quite apparent in this car.

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