September 2022 - Drew Sullivan's '56 Ford Fairlane Town Sedan
For sometime before the actual purchase occurred I was thinking of owning an antique car. Since I am not a spring chicken (or is it a turkey?) I wanted to even the score with something old and a good driver. A show car was not for me nor was anything that fit the "Trailer Queen" category. So, the search was on with help from my antique car owner friends and their friends. Then it happened! Welcome to the world of 1956 Fords!!
I bought the car in December of 2017 from a collector in Rhode Island with 62,401 miles and have done a few things-----new Coker tires, removed-plastic covers on original seats, upgraded ignition system to electronic and installed auxiliary gauges for oil, water temp, and voltage.
The Holly 4-barrel carburetor was replaced with an exact copy of the one on the car. The brakes were renewed, and automatic transmission adjusted and serviced. Also replaced the carpeting with correct color and style to match the original upholstery.
The history of the car is extensive. The car was purchased in May 1956 and driven until the end of 1957. The owner went into the service and was killed overseas. His mother put the car in storage and would not sell it until the middle of 1971.
The car was purchased and driven from 1971 to 1976. Again, the car was put into storage until 1980. The car was purchased again in 1980 and driven until 1985. Purchased on August 18,1985 with 53,100 miles, original motor, paint and interior. The car has been garaged since new. As stated above, the history is about the car and not my wife!
Driving any antique car always brings with it happy experiences and some not so happy. One particularly annoying memory was the wheel cover saga. Seemed like the wheel covers did not want to stay in place. There were numerous times my wheel covers passed me while on the road some ending up conveniently in a roadside ditch. Several unfortunately were run over and flattened into the perfectly round shape of an Aunt Jemima pancake!! Oh, I prayed many times to St. Anthony for help in this matter but remembered that lad only could assist in missing wheel covers! Now What? Seemed like, as they say, no light at the end of the tunnel. Only the light of an oncoming 132 car Memphis grain car train! The can of worms was thrown in for good measure this time (and higher blood pressure) because I was running out of wheel covers. Eventually I got results which solved the problem. The solution was found after some Bay State Antique Club and Crown Victoria Association members put their noggins together and realized some of the members experienced the same problem at one time or another. Just bend the metal tabs on the wheel covers! I Yes, I never leave the house without a pair of pliers.
Another quirk about this grey and white beast is that she "gets the hots" in extreme heat or in slow moving parades when temps are 80* with high humidity. She wants to throw steam and shut down for a break, but not in the best of places. Warm Temp parade days are avoided as a precaution.
My wife really does not want anything to do with my new toy. No air conditioning and a touch of oil from the breather cap and sometimes a whiff of high-test gas when she is accelerating cause of a little additive makes her not that interested in riding shotgun. I think she fears that I will not have enough time for her weekly "Honey Do List". Well, after all, every lady needs attention.
Many thanks and credits go to Fred Orlando, the first mechanic to help me when I purchased my 1956 Ford Fairlane Town Sedan and hadn't a clue. Also, Steve Peluso of Mendon, Ma. Who has extensive knowledge of the 19S0's cars. They both keep my 1956 gal running and looking original.
Submitted by Drew Sullivan, Dedham, MA