1959 Ford Mainline V8 Utility (RHD)
During the 1950s, Ford competed with Holden in the utility market with the Mainline, replacing the Twin Spinners when introduced in 1952. The Mainline was a locally designed and built utility version of the four-door Customline sedan, itself sourced from Ford Canada and assembled locally. In 1955 the Australian arm of Ford announced an all-new Mainline, featuring a long overdue overhead-valve Y-block V8 engine (twelve months after it arrived in America) to give both it and the Customline a much-needed boost in performance. The comparatively rapid Customline soon proved popular with police forces while the Mainline saw numerous hearse and ambulance conversions, also gaining in popularity with tradesman around the country, particularly for its renowned abilities on dirt roads. In 1956 and 1957 Ford altered the trim (but kept the same basic '55 shape) and introduced 12-volt electrics, along with the option of automatic transmission. For 1958 a Canadian Meteor grille was adopted, along with Meteor side trim. In what proved to be the Mainline's final year, 1959 saw no further changes and that September the Mainline - and sedan sibling Customline - were phased out, in favour of the new Fairlane although utility buyers were forced to opt for the smaller Falcon. With plenty of support from local clubs, no shortage of spare parts and tough, reliable mechanicals the Mainline is an great proposition as a classic ute today.