1954 Ford Crestline Skyliner
Engine: OHV V-8
Displacement: 239 Cubic Inches
Horsepower: 130 BHP
Cost New: $2,164
It was the third year of a three-year styling cycle for Ford, but instead of waiting for newly designed 1955 cars to lead the way, the company brought out some impressive changes in 1954. The move allowed Ford to edge out Chevrolet for the lead by 20,000 cars.
The exterior changes were minimal, another change to the "spinner" grill, and alterations to the chrome work, were the only style differences. The biggest innovations were under the hood, namely Ford's first modern overhead valve V-8. The new "Y-block" V-8 engine and a new ball-joint suspension led to improved power and ride for the whole for lineup.
The new Skyliner, like the one you see here, used a Plexiglas roof section over the front seats. It gave the feel of a convertible, while still having a roof overhead. The dash also received a clear plastic section over the speedometer, which led to easier reading.
The Plexiglas hood on this vehicle was part of the "V-8 display kit" that each Ford dealer was required to order. The $200 kit contained a hood in primer with the Plexiglas window, and engine dress-up kit (chrome valve covers, air cleaner and fan), and a lighting display kit, which had a colored light "bar" for each side of the window under the hood. Few of the dealers used the entire kit; most sold off the parts and never used the light bar. There were a few hundred of the kits sold, and very few are left today.