1954 Ford Crestline Skyliner 239 cubic inch V-8 from North America


My very first auto. So many fond memories of motoring around S California


Oil pump failed at about 90,000 miles. Main and rod bearings replaced as a result.

Automatic transmission clutches slipped on occasion, but never had that repaired.

Replaced rusted mufflers.

General Comments:

A nicely-styled vehicle, generally more attractive that the other two of the "Big Three's" low-cost products, Chevrolet and Plymouth. Overall build quality was good and interior appointments were of high quality in the more expensive Fords such as the Skyliner and Sunliner. The Skyliner had a very interesting roof treatment. The front half of the two-door hardtop's roof was a see-through, tinted acrylic panel.

Ford's first overhead valve V-8 engine. At 239 cubic inches (same displacement as the preceding flathead V-8) and a two-barrel carburetor, not very powerful, but smooth, reliable and economical.

Fordomatic automatic transmission had three-speeds, but was designed to start in second gear rather than first to reduce wheel spin on icy roads. Would start in first gear if the accelerator was floored or if low was manually selected with steering column shift.

Four-wheel drum brakes, typical of that period, were fine, but you had to maintain greater following distance from vehicles ahead. They also were rendered less effective by heavy rain and faded quickly under repeated, heavy braking.

Handling was typical of most passenger vehicles from that era. Imprecise steering and lots of body roll, but generally neutral with a good dose of understeer if entering a turn too fast.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th April, 2018

15th Apr 2018, 03:20

Very nice review :)

The info about the transmission starting out in 2nd is a (before now) lost piece of history - not many people understand the quirkiness of transmissions from that era - thanks!!!

27th Apr 2018, 13:53

When this car was built, sedans like it were the mainstay of the North American market. The only "SUVs" back then were the short-lived Willys Jeepster or else some big, lumbering vehicle like a International Travelall or GM's Suburban Carryall, with very limited sales.

Now, Ford of North America has just announced that they are going to phase out all of their passenger cars (with the exception of Mustang and Focus) so their model lineup will be almost exclusively trucks, SUVs and "crossovers".

Who knows, maybe in another 50 years people will decide they are tired of driving cargo boxes and sedans might make a comeback?