1959 Ford Galaxie Skyliner Retractable Hardtop
Displacement: 332 Cubic Inches
Horsepower: 225 BHP
Cost New: $3,346
Ford's experiment with the retractable hardtop ended in 1959. The concept was unique to Ford and was ahead of its time. The top operating mechanism used four lock motors and three drive motors, ten power relays, ten limit switches, eight circuit breakers, plus a neutral switch, activating switch, and a cycle indicator light switch. All of these were connected by a total of 610 feet of wiring, and triggered by a dash-mounted switch.
The new Galaxie series was introduced after the start of the 1959 model year. The Galaxie had the same trim as the Fairlane 500, but used the Thunderbird's upright and formal C-pillars. This gave the Galaxie a unique look, and made the 1959s the most desirable of the retractable hardtops.
Of the 1,394,664 cars Ford produced in 1959, the Galaxie Skyliner Retractable Hardtop only accounted for 12,915 vehicles. This was the fewest retractables that Ford made in the three-year run of the style. The new 1960 cars were redesigned and, after spending over a million Dollars to add a retractable top to the new lineup, Ford decided that it was not worth the investment. While a novelty, the retractable tops never sold well and were plagued with electrical problems. Ford made 48,349 retractables in total from 1957 to 1959.