MARCH 2016: FOUND ON MAIN STREET: A VERY RARE 1956 FORD STATION WAGON

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The most famous cars of the 50s were the iconic Tri-Five Chevys that had a three year run from 1955-57.

 

‘Most people are familiar with these GM legends in all their variations, including the Nomad two door station wagon models.’

 

 

Most people would not be familiar with Ford’s answer to the Chevy Nomad in 1956: the Ford Parklane two-door station wagon.

 

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The 1956 Parklane was a one year model that was specifically built to compete with the Chevy Nomad. It may surprise people to know the little-known Parklane actually had double the production numbers of the Nomad in 1956 but the legend of the Nomad in the car hobby grew over the decades, while the Parklane faded from the spotlight.

 

 

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The Ford Parklane wagon was actually a notch above the bare bones Chevy Nomad in terms of luxury and was trimmed out with plenty of bling for an upscale buyer in ’56. The Parklane model disappeared after 1956 and was replaced by the less luxurious Ford Del Rio two-door station wagon which was built for a more cost-conscious Ford customer.

 

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A low production car like the Parklane means very few of them are still around 60 years after they left the Ford dealership so 1956 Ford Parklane station wagon got our attention in a big way when we spotted it on Main Street at a downtown cruise.
The Parklane’s owners were Allan and Evelyn Huber and they bought the car 11 years ago as a project for Allan. He did a frame-off restoration on the wagon and added a few extra features to the 60-year-old ride. The process “took a couple of winters” according to Allan– a time of year when many car guys hunker down in their garage and build something special.

 

 

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The Parklane is actually something very special, given the rarity of the car and the quality level of Allan’s build. The wagon now sports a fuel injected 302 Ford small block linked to a 4-speed Ford automatic tranny and blends performance with economy. Allan used the stock Ford differential on the rear end and added an upgraded front end package, along with an upgrade to disc brakes on the wagon.

 

 

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The net result is a car with 50s style and modern engineering under that 60-year-old sheet metal. The Parklane can more than handle its own in modern traffic and can deliver up to 27 mpg on a road trip. Allan also added air conditioning into the mix so he and Evelyn can also travel in comfort during the hot summer months.

 

 

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The Parklane has been on the road for nine years in 2016 and has been a great way for the Hubers to hit the car show circuit in their stylish Ford resto mod wagon. The journeys has been trouble-free because Allan built a very dependable road warrior over those two winters in his garage.

 

 

‘Allan had a pretty simple explanation for his rare ‘56 Ford wagon project; “I wanted something different”.

Mission accomplished Allan.’

 

Jim Sutherland

 

 

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