1959 Yonezawa, Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner in Original Box

1959 Yonezawa, Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner in Original Box

Pristine, friction powered, two tone, tin litho Ford Fairlane 500 Skyline two door hardtop convertible in flawless mint condition. Manufactured by Yonezawa Toys, Tokyo, Japan. Comes complete with original box.

Classic retractable hardtop controlled manually using the lever located near the right rear wheel well. Trunk is hinged from the rear and lifts up when the lever is pulled back. Simultaneously the hardtop raises away from the windshield and is drawn back into the empty trunk compartment. Hardtop then lowers into the trunk fitting snugly against the chassis. The trunk then lowers which covers the hardtop. All of these actions are accomplished with a single pull of the lever. Pushing the lever reverses the process. 

The trunk and hardtop have a tendency to slide against one another as they raise and lower. This is why finding an immaculate example like this is so difficult. Both the friction motor and retractable hardtop work beautifully.

Ron Smith and Bill Gallagher's book on tin toy cars (Schiffer Publishing, 2004) lists a virtually identical vehicle manufactured by Yachio. This apparently unknown version by Yonezawa was not referenced. The Yonezawa vehicle differs only in two aspects. 1) The Yonezawa trademark was lithoed onto the dashboard alongside the *Cragston trademark. The 1959 Yachio vehicle has no manufacturer markings. 2) Yachio included the Ford logo around the center of each hub cab. Although the litho coloration is identical between the two companies, the hubs have no Ford markings on the Yonezawa car. The manufacturer's boxes, marked only Cragston, are identical. 

The toy also features a tin litho plaid benchseat interior with lithoed dashboard and chrome plated metal steering wheel, original blue tinted celluloid windshield, embossed tail fins, twin yellow headlamps, red celluloid tail lamps, solid rubber tires with embossed tin litho hubs, embossed solid plate chassis, authentic Ford logo hood ornament, and Ford rear license plate. The flat section on the trunk is also embossed "Sunliner 500".

Chrome plated accessories include the wrap-around front grille and bumper assembly, wide streamlined side molding, windshield frame with "smoker's windows", wrap-around rear bumper, tail light rims and back-up lights.

The full color box shows an accurate panel wide illustration of the Sunliner with its hardtop partially retracted. All four side panels promote the retractable hardtop in slightly broken English, "automatically convertible top disappears into trunk". 

Size: 11" x 4¼".

Sold: Feb. 2007

Price Sold: $ 764


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Subject: 1959 Yonezawa, Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner in Original Box

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