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Danbury Mint 1956 Ford Fairlane Sunliner


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The Sunliner name first appeared on a Ford with the 1952 Crestline, but it wasn't until the Fairlane Sunliner appeared for the 1955 model year that the model really started to take off. During the Sunliner's 11-year-long production run, the 1956 model was one of the most popular. The 1957 model sold the most at 77,728 units, but the 1956 version was the second highest-selling Sunliner, with 58,147 examples sold. Of this number, 57,872 were ordered with the V-8 engine. Sporting the same bodyshell as the older 1955 model, the 1956 Sunliner was fitted with a bit more decorative trim and minor redesign of the grille and parking lamps, which combined to give it a look that was much more appealing. It has clean and well-proportioned body lines that aren't too overpowering or dramatic--the kind of style that continues to grow on you. And when its convertible top is lowered, the '56 Sunliner's shape becomes even more attractive and inviting. The Sunliner's rear view is especially good-looking due to the way the top of the quarter panels flows into the shape of a fin, whose shape is then defined by a thick chrome bezel that renders it more prominent as a standalone design element. Its matchless rear-end styling, with its large round taillamp, lends both the 1955 and '56 Sunliners their highly distinctive appearance. Of course the 1956 Sunliner's most outstanding attribute is the stainless steel trim that runs down the side of the body, which adds greatly to the car's glamour. Similar in form to the 1955 model, the reshaped trim for the 1956 Sunliner features a fluted design element that gives the car a far more dazzling attitude. This trim piece runs down the entire length of the body, which not only helps the car appear longer than it actually is, but lower, too, due to the available two-tone paint scheme that tricks the eye. And on the rearmost section of the quarter panel trim, where it meets the taillamp bezel, there's a fake "exhaust outlet" consisting of 21 little rectangles, each painted flat black. It's all very tastefully crafted--just another charming design element that makes the 1956 Sunliner so distinctive. Below the hood lies the heart of the Sunliner--in the car shown it's the Thunderbird Special V-8. Displacing 312 cubic inches, this is the 215-horsepower version due to its use with the manual transmission; automatic transmissions were coupled with the 225-hp V-8 engine. According to factory Ford literature, "The beauty of these new Ford Y-8s lies not alone in their quick, sure responsiveness, their greater passing ability. It lies in their deep-block, low-friction design which gives you smooth, quiet power, longer engine life. The engines feature a Double Twin-Jet carburetor with integrated automatic choke, dual exhaust, turbo-wedge combustion chambers, Automatic Power Pilot, and use regular gas. "The 1956 Fords were also the first models to feature the more modern 12-volt electric system, which helped greatly with cold weather starts. And in the dealer's brochure, Ford also touted the use of new spark plugs, saying "Anti-fouling 18-mm spark plugs help maintain new-car performance longer. They resist fouling up to three times longer than conventional plugs." (Richard Lentinello, Hemmings Motor News)

I've wanted one of these for a while, just waited for one at the right price and condition. Fortunately, this one was the right price and it didn't need any repairs. Painted in Fiesta Red & Colonial White the red has some orange tones and looks good with the white. This diecast has a continental spare that swings up and I've noticed over the years, sellers have stated the spare is missing from inside the trunk when advertising. Well duh, it's on the bumper! The only big nasty when viewing this is the door fitment. Danbury still used the old dogleg hinges and the front edge gap is bad. This is consistent across all their Fairlane tooling which originates from '93. Some are a little better, but none are really great. Anyways, there's not a lot of great detail, no under hood wiring, seats and sun visors are fixed, and so are the fender skirts. 

Overall, I'm very happy with this one. It's in perfect condition, no rash and has the box. I can add it to collection of Ford convertibles.










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  • 1 month later...


Your '56 is a beauty.

I have several of Danbury Mint and Franklin mint diecast cars, and at times they both have the fit and alignment issues.

Some even have toxic issues with their paint, on certain models, and it either begins to fall off, or it begins to bubble up,

but most are really nice like yours.


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  • 5 weeks later...

I'm catching up on MCM.  This is a nice model.  I got one in a bundle at some point with the intention of flipping it.   But once it came home, it had to stay.   I think mine is missing a spotlight, but no one knows but me and you can't tell up on the shelf.    

The 55 and 56 Fords were great looking cars.    I have this one, the pink/white and purple/white 55? coupes from FM and a black/white 56? coupe from DM - I think those are 55s?  Diecast.org kinda knocked on it for weird trim shapes, but it looks great in a case on the shelf.     

Thanks for the history lesson again.

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