1954 Ford Skyliner
Contributed by Jim Pierce, Orlando
My first car was a 1953 Ford Crestline hardtop. It was a real beauty with a cream top over a sea foam green base. Ten years ago my wife found out that it was my desire to have a classic car. She also encouraged me to purchase one. After some investigation I found that the Y-Block engine didn’t arrive on a Ford until 1954. I really didn’t want the flat top engine but desired the Y-Block. So I started a search for a 1954 Ford. Along the way I read of the Skyliner that came out in 1954. I liked the look and narrowed my search to a 1954 Ford Crestline Skyliner. There were about three candidates for sale. I centered on one that was currently residing in a warehouse in Chicago. Turned out the car was a California car that had been relocated to Florida. It was then sold at the Zephyrhills auction and moved to Chicago area by a small car dealer. He sold it to a larger dealer in Chicago where it sat on their warehouse floor.
I happened to have a brother-in-law who lived in Chicago so I asked him to visit the warehouse and check over the car. I prepared a list of things to check although he was a “car guy”. He reported back that it was in great shape with no rust visible. He actually drove the car. The car was then checked over by local mechanics and found to be a solid car. Based on this information I purchased the car and had it transported to Florida.
Upon arrival I found there were some minor issues with the car which I had fixed. In addition the Plexiglas top was “crazed” (crackled). I found a place in Texas that fabricated tops for 1954 Fords and purchased a new top. A glass place in Orlando did an excellent install. The Plexiglas top sets in a track and when the old top was removed the tract was in excellent shape with only minimal surface rust. The new seal and top made a huge difference in the look of the car.
Next was the chrome. I had the chrome, all of it, redone at Space Coast Plating in Melbourne, Florida. They did an excellent job and the chrome is outstanding. I also had the interior replaced and the installer, after removing the interior, said “My goodness there is only a little surface rust in this body”. When I took it to the muffler shop the man commented on the lack of rust. This was truly a solid car.
There were about 114,000 Skyliner models built by Ford. In my travels around Florida I’ve only seen two others. This is the first production car to have anything other than a steel or cloth roof. The Plexiglas roof over the front seats is the great-great-grandfather of all the sunroof and moon roof cars of today. In the ten years I’ve owned the Skyliner I’ve been interviewed four times, videoed for Argentinian TV, and received many awards. Although awards are not my goal, my Skyliner is my prize.
Milestone Car Society selected the 1954 Ford Skyliner in its list of “Great Post War Cars”. The model Skyliner was used by Ford from 1954–1959 but didn’t indicate Plexiglas roof after 1956