Home » This Statement Was Wrong From The Moment It Was Uttered: Cold Start

This Statement Was Wrong From The Moment It Was Uttered: Cold Start

Cs Fairlainenothingnewer

It’s the end of the week! Here we are at the appetizer of the weekend, and I couldn’t be prouder of all of you for what you accomplished this week, whatever it was. As a reward, I wanted to show you an old 1958 Ford Fairlaine brochure that may have the distinction of having the only tagline I’ve ever seen that is demonstrably wrong from the moment it was uttered or printed: “There’s nothing newer in the world!” Sadly, because of the way time works, this was perhaps true only for the tiniest of moments, and then so very wrong.

Now, 65 years later, this brochure is at retirement age and there are so very very many newer things in the world. Everything from the moon landing to Furbies to Benedict Cumberbatch to the Ford Taurus to the Atari 2600 is newer. It’s a weird tagline, too, just in general. Okay, sure, the car is new, but every car released in 1958 was new. What else ya got?

Luckily, the art in this brochure is masterful. Look:

Cs Fairlaine500 2

Look! We have a lady doing that Lion King-hold-up-baby-Simba-thing with a flower pot there, as the overburdened dude there carries out an entire garden department, all in front of one of the earliest retractable-hardtop convertibles, the Fairlane 500 Skyliner.

And then we have the Club Victoria edition, which Ford’s copywriters claimed “an impulsive WOW describes the way most people feel when they first see this dashing member of the Ford Victoria family,” but I’m not sure I buy that. It does seem well-suited to be crammed full of puppies, as those two elderly folks, likely members of a midcentury puppy-distribution cult, attempt to shove those little fellas in the car:



I do like how Ford gave a marketing name to those pretty simple taillights –Safety-Twin– which they claim are functional and beautiful and “harmonize” with the quad headlight setup up front. That’s a lot of talk for a set of taillights that don’t even appear to incorporate a reverse lamp.

Anyway, happy Friday, friends!

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52 Responses

  1. I was young, but remember it was very unusual to see a 58 ford after 1961 in Pennsylvania. The seams rusted out around the headlights and the light units fell out of the cars leaving big holes. 57 and especially 59 held up a lot better here. There are a lot of 58 Fords photographed in movie North by Northwest, and a real beauty featured in the closing minutes of The FBI story. (both from 1959).

      1. What I wouldn’t give for a late-model car with an interior in the sumptuous navy blue or whorehouse red of my youth. Hell, at this point, I would settle for 1974 General Motors baby-shit green.

        I used to be turned off by the garish car interiors that were common when I was a kid, thinking that black or saddle or gray was so much more tasteful and understated. Flash forward to now, and car interiors are so “understated,” they put me to sleep. That’s a dangerous effect to have from behind the wheel.

      2. I’m chuckling because there was a time manufacturers were forcing colored interiors on us — usually blue or dark red, and sometimes brown. I hated them. “Can’t you give us black or gray, like European cars?”

        1. Ha – yes! Like how back in the ’80s, when Pontiac started offering that mouse gray (that we all hate now), it was such a huge thing, a symbol of that excitement it was building for us.

  2. The 1958 model was a bit much. I think the designers got thrown off by having to integrate quad headlights into what was very clearly a two-headlight design in 1957. And since they messed with the front, they had to do “something” to the taillights. And that old couple isn’t trying to shove puppies into the car. This depicts the old days when the family went to the local farm to purchase a dog from the litter. Farmer Brown is letting the family pick their new pet from his current inventory!

      1. “…having to integrate quad headlights into what was very clearly a two-headlight design in 1957.”

        But if you look at the ’57, the fender cap is oblong while the headlight is round. So…

        1. They knew regulations were about to be amended, but that didn’t happen until mid-’57. Mopar knew, too – early 1957 DeSotos and Chryslers had single 7″ lights centered in double-light-sized housings, but they switched to a pair of 5.75″s as soon as they could (apocryphally, some owners likely had their dealer update their ‘old’ ’57s as well).

  3. I can’t help it – when I look at those old American cars, all I can see is all the pockets in those fenders where snow and mud will pack in and rust will start to eat through. I guess there was a reason that Fords rusted out in a few years in the eastern parts of North America.

  4. I never realized these had fake hood scoops. Love it!

    As an owner of a Mustang from the peak fake scoop era (SN95), I always take comfort in seeing other Fords from supposedly classier times that have them too. B/c, yeah, I admit it – I kinda like ’em. Seems to fit the sporty but in any everyday way ethos of the cars somehow.

      1. Totally; I was pleased when the 2000s retrobird mimiced it. Torinos had them too.

        My go-to is usually that the wide squared-off hood scoop on the later SN95s is a retro piece, having appeared on early ’80s Fox bodies.

  5. And no bird? Because it’s not a rear engined car. So logical…

    Unless of course the puppies are for that purpose? Is is Ford after all, known for calculating the worth of life against fire risks and such. Not needing that birdcage could most certainly give some bean counters warm underpants.

    1. Grandpa is saying “You can drop these at the side of the road just before you get on the turnpike.”
      Grandpa was a grouchy, bitter old man, too cheap to get his dog fixed; as a result he ended up with two litters of puppies every year.

  6. Jason, you bring an interesting feeling of nausea to my perusal of these brochures. So difficult to envision the unalloyed joy experienced by the people in them. The cars look like they were plunked down by aliens. I may just stay home from work today.

  7. They may have looked better than cars of today (wow i miss colors other than black, white and grey) but there is no getting around that cars today will run better and last longer than cars back then. My 69 ford did not last 20 years without the windows falling out, the starter, exhaust, plugs/plug wires. points& condenser, radio, heat, door hinges, and radiator all failed multiple times and then in 20 years the frame split in half. I will take a newer car any day.

  8. Well…there was a new term for seats later…………

    Lateral Support.

    Sliding back and forth over an upholstered ice rink masquerading as a seat would be a novel experience.

    1. I distinctly remember that feeling in the back seat of a 1962 Buick LeSabre.
      I kinda liked it when the person next to me was my main squeeze.
      “Hey, see how fast you can take the next right!”

  9. Amigos, long time lurker first time commenter… of course I love the tail light discertation and subsequent discussions…

    BUT with all due lighting respect…

    How are we not discussing those exhaust tips? Did they really make production?

    1. I find it interesting how tailpipe fashion goes back and forth.

      The ’50s was all about ornate, chromed stuff…that then went away from the ’60s through early ’90s in favor of black tubes. Then it return kinda with all the polished steel in the ’00s, followed by the current everyone-has-something-different thing.

  10. Jason has mentioned it before, but I’m always entertained about how small the people are in these old brochures. Sure, they were large cars, but the wife/grandmother are the same height as the car, and the men are only about a head taller. The cars weren’t that big!
    Did people get to the dealerships and then get disappointed that the cars weren’t 30ft long and 6ft tall?

  11. Jason, you did notice that the safety twin tail lamps were split so that one would still function when the trunk is open, right? You talked about that in an earlier article, but ignored that here. Turn in your tail light aficionados club card.

  12. In the early 70’s when hot rodding street racers built up their ’57 Chevies I knew a guy who did up a ’57 Ford and regularly cleaned up in street races. Snapped an axle more than once.

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