Amelia Island

The Ritz-Carlton
8 March 2014
Lot 107

1959 Ford Galaxie Skyliner Retractable Hardtop


$66,000 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Amelia Island, Florida



Chassis No.
  • Offered from the collection of Richard and Linda Kughn
  • Ford’s famed “Hide-Away Hardtop”
  • An outstanding restoration; well equipped with accessories and options
  • Displayed at the Meadow Brook Concours and the Glenmoor Gathering
  • Still show ready in all regards

225 bhp, 332 cu. in. overhead-valve V-8 engine, three-speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission, independent front suspension, live axle rear suspension with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 118 in.

No Ford product of the 1950s better captured the decade’s passionate obsession with technology than the Skyliner. It debuted in 1957 and was the first American production car to have a retractable hardtop. Pulling a switch under the dashboard seemed to transform a conventional-appearing hardtop coupe into a convertible through magic, as the hinged steel top was neatly folded and slipped away under a reverse-hinged rear deck within two minutes. The magic happened courtesy of 600 feet of wiring that was spread among 10 power relays, 8 circuit breakers, 10 limit switches, 3 drive motors, and 4 lock motors. In other words, the Skyliner was an engineering masterpiece. For sheer drama, nothing else could beat its mechanical dance.

The Skyliner lasted three years in production, with its final year being 1959, when it sold 12,915 units despite a $400 premium over the conventional Sunliner ragtop, making it, at $3,346, the most expensive full-size Ford. It was a part of the Fairlane 500 series at the beginning of the model year, but it was made into a Galaxie—a simple matter of new script—halfway through the year, and it helped Ford to all but tie rival Chevrolet for number one in industry sales. The new-for-1959 styling and beautiful build quality, as well as it being an award winner at French style shows, didn’t hurt matters.

The car offered here was privately acquired for Richard and Linda Kughn’s collection several years ago. It is finished in its original colors of Indian Turquoise over Colonial White and is equipped with the desirable 225-horsepower, 332 cubic inch V-8 and Ford-O-Matic transmission, as well as such desirable options as power steering, power brakes, power windows, a dual exhaust, deluxe trim, tinted glass, and a rear-mounted Continental kit spare.

This Skyliner was restored to show-quality standards, as evidenced by its display at the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance, the Glenmoor Gathering, and the International Ford Retractable Club Showcase, and it is one of the finest automobiles within the Kughn Collection. The level of craftsmanship throughout is in keeping with the absolute highest levels of competition: The paint is gorgeous, deep, and smooth on properly fitted panels, and the interior is fresh and correct, down to the liner and luggage box in the vast top compartment. Under the hood and under the car have been well detailed and show nearly no road use; in all likelihood, the 1,534 miles showing have been accumulated only on show fields and local test runs.

No collection of 1950s American cruisers is complete without a Ford Skyliner. This is an outstanding example, deserving of close attention, and it is ready to continue its show appearances under the care of a new owner.