The 1959 Fords won the Gold Medal for Exceptional Styling at the Brussels World Fair, and sold well. This two-door Club Victoria was a relative rarity, with just 23,892 sold. After only two years with the '57 body design, the regular line Fords were redesigned again. While retaining some of the 1957-58 118 inch wheelbase models' structural pieces, this time Ford went a little more conservative in their styling, and as a result created what was arguably the best looking 1959 car produced.
As could be expected, Thunderbird styling features were carried throughout the body styling, and to some extent into the interior. Of course, under the hood, the big Fords were keeping up in the power department also. It was not too surprising that changes in the engine offerings were few, although the big 430 CID V8 engine was now available as an option on the Thunderbird. The big engine had been introduced for 1958 in all Lincolns and the Mercury Park Lane. Placing the 350-horsepower engine into the Thunderbird made sense as the sporty coupe was built at the same factory as the Lincoln.
The Ford line's front-end styling returned to a more traditional grille and bumper layout for 1959. The bumper housed round parking lamps at each end. Above it was a grille made up of four rows of "floating stars," 22 across at its widest point, which was similar in effect to the '58 and '59 Buick grilles. An upper grille bar wrapped over the ends, below hooded quad headlamps set in a chrome surround. A Ford crest adorned the front edge of the hood panel, and fender ornaments were set atop the flat front fenders. Speaking of flat, the new hood was about as flat as you could get. The same could be said for the rear deck, which had only a V-shaped feature line on its back edge. At the endpoint of the small tailfins were round backup lamps (or ornaments if not equipped with backup lamps), which capped off each end of the "V." Large round taillamps that dipped into the rear bumper line were also new.
Along the body side, the jet-like lower quarter panel feature from the Thunderbird appeared on the upper rear quarter of the Ford line, creating the tailfin. Side trim was unique by series, with the Custom 300 using a full-length trim strip following the bodyside feature line from the hooded headlights, under the front door handle, then curving up to follow the top of the rear tailfin. Four star shaped ornaments were used on the rear quarter panels of all but the Business Coupe. The Fairlane and Fairlane 500 series had the same trim, but a second trim piece ran below from the front fender to the beginning of the raised area of the tailfin. Between the trim strips, the Fairlane was painted, while the Fairlane 500 used silver ribbed trim. The 500 also added a lower rear quarter ribbed trim behind the rear wheel opening. Inside, the instrument panel was quite similar to the prior year, although the expected color choices and material changes were made. Also, larger wraparound windshields gave a better view to the front.
The 4-passenger Thunderbird entered its second year as a luxury car with new trim, but few other changes. A new horizontal bar grille was introduced, and again it was mimicked in the taillamp bezel grilles. Along the body side, the vertical chrome strips were removed, and a chrome arrow was placed over the leading edge of the jet-shaped protrusion on the door. New this year was a power top mechanism for the convertible. However, it would get more complicated for 1960 when a more automated operation of trunk lid and top was introduced. After the start of the model year, a new Galaxie series was introduced. Although essentially trimmed the same as a Fairlane 500, it differed in the roofline by using the Thunderbird's upright and formal C-pillar. All other Fords used a wraparound style rear window with thin pillars. The introduction of the Galaxie made for a confusing model lineup this year. Models such as the Sunliner and Skyliner were introduced as Fairlane 500s but became Galaxies; they are included with the Galaxie herein.