Join Lucy and Desi as they unveil the sensational new Ford Skyliner with its revolutionary Hideaway Hardtop.
Throughout the ’50s, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were America’s most beloved television couple with their smash hit show, I Love Lucy, visiting the nation’s living rooms every Monday night on CBS. With their production company Desilu Studios, Lucy and Desi virtually invented the situation comedy as we know it today, and from 1951 through 1957 when the original format was retired, the show never dropped from the top of the ratings. So it’s easy to see why the Ford Motor Company recruited Desi and Lucy and I Love Lucy to preview the sensational new Ford Skyliner retractable hardtop. For starters, Ford was guaranteed an enormous and attentive audience for the unveiling.
The messaging in the commercial spot below is fairly simple and straightforward, focusing on the Hideaway Hardtop’s ease of operation. After all, if two lovable scatterbrains like the pair played by Lucy and Desi (and it was indeed all an act by the savvy show biz professionals) could successfully raise and lower the all-steel roof, anyone could.
While the Skyliner was a sensation in the media—and it remains popular in the collector car community even now, 60 years later—the publicity never fully translated into success in the showrooms. The Ford Sunliner, a conventional cloth-top convertible that sold for $300-400 less, continually outsold the Skyliner by two-and-three-to-one margins, and the retractable model was discontinued after 1959. Still, the Skyliner remains one of the Motor City’s most memorable cars of the fabulous ’50s era.
Article courtesy of Mac's Motor City Garage.