Old school customs are often an exercise in excess. Owners build outrageous machines just to push the envelope of what's possible, trying to find something that hasn't been done before. But that often results in highly individualized cars that sorely lack mass appeal. That's why this 1956 Ford Fairlane is special: it's an old school custom that embodies all the traditional tricks without going overboard with excessive modifications. This car is the perfect representation of what an average guy might have built in the late 1950s, with spectacular paint, a lot of custom trim, and a big honkin' V8 under the hood. We don't often showcase true customs like this, but when we do, they're inevitably some of the most popular cars on the showroom floor.

Customs are renowned for their use of color and special paints, and this lovely Fairlane is no exception. It's not merely silver and purple, it's a brilliant silver pearl with candy purple, and the difference between these colors and those you'd find on a production car is remarkable. Of course, cool paint will only get you so far if the bodywork isn't properly done, so every panel on this car was sanded, buffed, and massaged until it was laser-straight. And with all that bright trim, there's nowhere for misaligned panels to hide, and the gaps are extremely good considering the body is nearly 60 years old. And like any great custom, the modifications are so subtle and well-executed, it's almost impossible to tell where the changes are, because it looks so factory. Everything is crisp and beautifully blended, and you'll need a stock Fairlane next to this one to see all the modifications.

A big part of this custom's look is the trim. All Fairlanes received the dramatic sweeping side trim that stretches from the headlights to the edge of the rear quarters, and it provides the ideal break point for the two-tone color combination. Additions include the extra trim below the side windows, and you'll note the exceptional use of a fade on both that window sill as well as the tail edge of the sweep spear trim. Beautiful custom tail lights fit the stock opening, but offer a new twist on the design inside, and it's impossible to miss the authentic continental kit out back with its custom airbrushed cover. Dual teardrop spots are a traditional '50s touch, and the dual rear antennas emulate a popular factory option that was found on many cars of the era. The chrome is all show quality, the stainless has been fully polished, and all the glass appears recent.

While the original Y-block V8 was no slouch in the horsepower department, this custom is now powered by a healthy 351 cubic inch Windsor V8, which is a reliable, powerful engine that works extremely well in this custom. Dressed in bright Ford Blue, the engine bay is tidy and easy to service, and a nice compromise between flashy upgrades and OEM equipment. There's chrome on the air cleaner and valve covers, which is pretty much standard equipment in any modified car these days, but to keep it reliable, all the original Ford gear remains in place. The Fairlane's original vertical flow radiator remains in place, although air now moves through it thanks to a giant flex fan that could probably suck a small dog through the grille. There's an Autolite battery topper that gives it a vintage look that fits with the rest of the car better than a parts store battery would, and it appears that the original master cylinder has been rebuilt. The 351's original cast iron exhaust manifolds are quite and durable, but if this were my car, I'd probably find a way to dress them up a little bit better—the raw iron is a pain to maintain properly.

The transmission is a C6 3-speed automatic turning the Fairlane's original live rear axle. In fact, aside from modern tube shocks, the suspension and steering systems remain 100% original. Although there's no power steering, effort is moderate at low speeds and the car tracks well on the highway, and the manual drum brakes work as well today as they did when the car was new. The original frame and floors have been undercoated to control heat and noise, and the 351 exhales through a pair of cherry bomb mufflers that were the only choice if you were a hot rodder in the 1950s. Traditionalists will be pleased to see that it rolls on color-matched steel wheels with spinner wheel covers and vintage-looking G78-15 Coker Classic wide whitewall bias-ply tires.

The interior is nicely finished in matching silver and purple fabrics, and it's very tastefully done. With pleated seats, slick cloth and vinyl door panels, and a dashboard painted to match the body, it's the perfect complement to the body. All the original gauges have been retained and remain fully functional, with a trio of auxiliary gauges installed in their own panel under the dash. The original AM radio is still in the dash in a nod to originality and authenticity, with a modern AM/FM/CD head unit right below it so nothing had to be cut or modified. And while you might mistake it for a custom piece, that's the original steering wheel with a beautifully chromed horn ring and button inside. A floor shifter from a late-model Ford controls the C6, eliminating the Fairlane's original column shifter and giving the interior an OEM feel. You'll also find that the carpets have been expertly trimmed, with a heel pad for the driver and matching binding on the edges, including around the custom shifter housing. And remember, this was built to emulate a late-50s custom, so that means power windows and locks were a big no-no.

There's easily twice the asking price wrapped up in this gorgeous custom. Like most customs of the '50s, the mechanicals were reliable and sturdy, but they were often a means to an end, not the end in themselves, so functional and clean was the name of the game. True customs are all about appearances, and the beautifully finished bodywork on this Fairlane is a tribute to the early pioneers of metalworking and paint technology, who were often years and years ahead of the OEMs. With all the right period touches, this is a car that will make guys who were there smile, and create a whole new generation of custom car fans who understand that how a car looks is just as important as how it runs. If you're one of those guys, get in touch today, because this car is a lot of traditional fun for not a lot of money. Call now!

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$299.00 Dealer Administrative Charge is not included in advertised price. All prices and offers are before state, city and county tax, tag, title and license fees. Out of state buyers are responsible for all state, county, city taxes and fees, as well as title/registration fees in the state that the vehicle will be registered. Dealer not responsible for errors and omissions; all offers subject to change without notice, please confirm listings with dealer.

Please note: Your vehicle may require Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) verification and/or safety and emissions inspections to transfer ownership and register the Vehicle in the declared State of residence. In most States, such requirements are dependent on the age of the vehicle which varies State by State. We recommend as part of the buying process that you check with your local DMV office to ensure compliance with your declared State of residence’s titling and registration requirements.

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1956 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria

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