December 2020 - Skip Mucci's 1956 Parklane
For most of my life my interest was in restoring 1955-1956 Fords. In fact at this point I’ve reached a total of 24 cars and climbing. My motivation was an intense love for these two years of Ford production.
The name Parklane resonates “luxury” to me. I picture this car as belonging to an owner of a country estate surrounded by copious trees and gardens with fountains. This was the most luxurious Ford Wagon of 1956 with only 15,156 made and only produced for one year. The Parklane was in competition with the 1956 Chevrolet Nomad. Restoring a Parklane immediately presents a serious challenge in locating all the parts needed for the job. That is of course if you can find a Parklane to restore in the first place. One day a friend of mine called to let me know he knew of a Parklane for sale in Indiana. The owner had the car in climate control storage for 30 years. Arrangements were made to purchase the car and two friends drove the trailer out to Indiana and then back to Malden, Massachusetts to my shop. This is where I began the process of taking everything completely apart.
From the moment the car was disassembled I wanted this to be one of my best restorations regardless of expense and including every option I could find available for use in the Parklane, which came to 22 options!! As you can judge by the figure, the car is loaded.
In the process of putting the car together, a 28 month project, every single part was either brand spanking new (NOS) or very professionally refinished. Just to give you an idea of my serious plans for the car and the expense input. The total cost of all upholstery came to $17,000 alone including rugs and all panels with the intricate details, tailgate and floor wells. There is chrome everywhere to the tune of $10,000 in replating, break away mirror, travel compass and plug for electric shaver. The side mirrors were optional along with the tissue dispenser. The tailgate came from Colorado, NOS parking light housing and hood bird, one really rare option was a “traffic viewer” mounted on the dash. Because the car has a rain shield canopy, (a $2,500 item) you can not see any overhead traffic lights. The traffic viewer on the dash does the viewing for you, so you don’t run through a red light!! Other things noteworthy of mention are riveted brake shoes and a custom made stainless steel exhaust system, Mercury tail lights and all new tinted window glass. Just to give an idea of how much prices and demand have increased for parts, I had 33 sets of Mercury tail lights on the garage wall 3 years ago. All Gone! The Mercury tail lights go for about $2,500 at present for a perfect set.
Virtually everything needed today for a car restoration is very expensive, so expensive as to being an impossible dream for most. I’m sure that if F. Lee Baile were home when the cover picture was done, he would have been dazzled by all the chrome against the Diamond and Bermuda blue paint combination. He would have possibly wanted a Parklane for his home!
The Parklane is for sale at this time. Contact the owner at 781-929-0014 for information. Let’s make a deal!