In the 1950s, Ford had a vehicle which suffered from a touch of an identity crisis, and this was it. The Ford Crestline was also known as the Ford Sunliner. The trick to remembering this car, though, is keeping in mind that the Sunliner was used to describe convertible versions of the car, while the hardtop was called Victoria, and the station wagon earned the name Country Squire. For all its names, the Crestline was produced during an exciting year for Ford. 1953 was the company’s 50th anniversary, a milestone which meant new features were available.
For the Crestline (which was introduced in 1952), the year 1953 meant the addition of power-assisted steering and brakes for this model, though Ford had made the two available for other models in previous years. It contained a V8 engine which allowed the Crestline to purr down the road as it showed off its sparkly paint. Every 1953 Ford model proudly displayed a commemorative wheel marking the anniversary, and the Crestline was no exception. 2001 units ofthis model were produced, allowing Ford to feature it as the pace car in the Indianapolis 500 that year. William Clay Ford had the honor of driving the pace car. The original pace car is available for all to see at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.
The Ford Crestline lasted only until 1954,when it was pulled from production. Though it had a short run, the Crestline has many key elements of a classic car from the 1950s. The Ford Fairlane would replace the model as one of Ford’s full-size cars in the 1950s, alongside the Mainline, Galaxie, and the Custom.