This Rare 1956 Ford Parklane Will Make You Forget About the Chevrolet Nomad

 The Chevrolet Nomad is widely regarded as the ultimate luxury wagon of the mid-1950s. The Bel Air-based grocery getter is indeed a design icon and a rare and expensive collectible nowadays. But that's mostly because people tend to forget about other cool wagons from the era.

The Pontiac division also offered a Nomad-like vehicle from 1955 to 1957. Called the Safari, it was based on the Star Chief and shared design cues with the Chieftain. As a fan of the latter, I think the Safari is one hot wagon. But I'm not here to talk about this long-roofed Poncho.

I want to introduce you to Ford's answer to the Nomad, the Parklane. Based on the Fairlane, the Parklane was essentially a premium version of the Ranch Wagon. Ford unveiled it for the 1956 model year, a bit late to the two-door wagon party; Chevy debuted the Nomad for 1955.

Better equipped than the Ranch Wagon, the Parklane features a stainless steel B-pillar and a chrome body-side stripe similar to the Fairlane for a more upscale look. It also introduced a few exclusive features for the time, including a fully-carpeted interior (including the trunk) and a privacy cover for the cargo area.

Sadly, the Parklane was short-lived. As Ford redesigned its entire lineup for 1957, the Parklane was phased out. But its replacement, the Del Rio, remained in production until 1958. Ford sold fewer than 12,000 units in 1956, but the Parklane was actually more popular than the Nomad that year (8,103 examples).

Come 2022, and the Parklane is nowhere near as legendary as the Chevy Nomad, but this restored gray and white example is proof that Ford's two-door wagon is just as gorgeous.

Refinished in the original Platinum Gray and Colonial White, this Parklane went through a professional restoration and still retains most of its factory parts. And while the exterior might not be flashy in this color combo, the Fiesta Red interior is downright spectacular. And, of course, everything inside the cabin is spotless and true to factory spec.

As for oomph, this Parklane gets it from a 292-cubic-inch (4.8-liter) V8, the nameplate's range-topping option at the time. Shared with the first-generation Thunderbird, the four-barrel Y-block was good for a solid 200 horsepower when new. And it was almost on par with the Nomad's 225-horsepower 265-cubic-inch (4.3-liter) V8.

An award-winning wagon at the Ford Crown Victoria Association and the Denver Tri-State show, this Parklane is being sold via Hemmings as we speak. The seller wants $115,000, about as much as a restored 1956 Nomad. Would you take it over Chevy's two-door wagon?

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