Wednesday, November 19, 2014

1956 Fords - Lifeguard Design
by David W. Temple
1956 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria
1956 Ford Customline
Production of 1956 Fords began October 17, 1955. The basic styling of the big Fords, this time consisting of 18 models, did not change very much. Up front a new grille and a wraparound parking light arrangement were distinctive differences. The roof panels were altered to reduce overall height (by 1 ½ inches in Victoria models and 1-inch in sedans) yet retain the same amount of headroom and the 1955 Crown Victoria’s sleeker roof slope was applied to all two-door hardtops. A less noticeable change was the removal of the chrome “eye brows” from the headlight doors. In back, the deck lid molding and Ford crest was deleted from the Fairlane series; a new trunk handle appeared on the Fairlane sedans and a “V” molding incorporating the trunk lock and Fairlane nameplate was applied to the Fairlane hardtops. A revised Fairlane sweep was used to update the profile of the Fairlane series. This trim was also used on the new two-door station wagon model, the Parklane, and the eight-passenger Country Sedan. The Style-Tone paint option was expanded to include the 8-passenger Country Sedan as well as the Parklane. The six-passenger Country Sedan received the Customline body side molding. A two-door hardtop was added to the Customline series. At mid-year Ford added one more model to the Fairlane line, the Town Victoria Fordor. This was a four-door pillarless hardtop model offered to counter the 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air four-door pillarless hardtop.
312 V-8
Various improvements were made in the Y-block to keep in stride with the horsepower race. These included additional cubic inches and better breathing through enlarged passages in the heads and intake manifold along with a higher lift camshaft. The Thunderbird Special this year was the 312 rated at 215 hp when coupled to a manual transmission and 225 with the Fordomatic. A dual-quad 260 hp 312 became available as a dealer-installed option later in the model year as well. Horsepower ratings went up in the six-cylinder and the 272 2-bbl. thanks to a small boost in compression ratios. The 272 4-bbl. was dropped. Gaining a few additional horsepower was the 292 4-bbl. now rated at 200 hp with the manually shifted transmission or 202 with the automatic. All V-8s now had an automatic choke. Minor revisions to the carburetors, distributors, and differentials were made in the interest of improved fuel economy and in some models the transmission was modified to withstand higher torque. Upholstery patterns were altered and the instrument panel was redesigned.
1956 Crown Victoria interior
For more information of the 1956 full-size Fords purchase “Full-Size Fords: 1955-1970."
1956 Parklane