Ford Parklane

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1956 Ford Parklane Stationwagon

The Ford Parklane was a Automobile produced by the Ford Motor Company in the United States for one year only, 1956. Launched to compete with the Chevrolet Nomad, it was a two-door Station wagon, based on the Ford Ranch Wagon, but unlike that low-end Workhorse model, it was tricked out with all the fittings of Ford's top-end Fairlane models of that year, including the distinctive stainless steel side 'tick' and a well-appointed interior.

As a Nomad competitor, it was a successful one, since 15,186 were built in comparison to 7,886 of the competition. The problem was that neither figure was particularly impressive; the Nomad (based on a Chevrolet concept car of 1954) wasn't doing all that well even before competition came over the horizon.

Two-door wagons in general have proven rather hard to sell; those who need the carrying capacity of a station wagon normally carry passengers and want easy access to those rear seats. A low end model like the Ranch Wagon appeals to a market segment who primarily want the vehicle for its hauling capacity but occasionally need to carry people, but a higher-specification car isn't what those buyers need.

A prototype for a 1957 Parklane was built, but instead Ford produced the slightly Downmarket Del Rio as their 1957 two-door station wagon, making the Parklane a single-year only model, and quite a rarity.

The Nomad, being based on a concept car, was always better known, but its main reason for fame - its use by surfers needing a vehicle to haul their boards around - came only after both cars were long discontinued. Surfers, although the perfect market for such a vehicle, never tended to buy new.

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