MARCH 2017 FEATURED CAR
written by Doug Bithell
1960 Ford Starliner owned by Ron Barrett
YEAR: 1960 MAKE AND MODEL: FORD STARLINER
COLOR: BLACK UPHOLSTERY: STOCK RED CLOTH
ENGINE: STOCK 292 Y BLOCK TRANS: STOCK 2-SPEED AUTOMATIC
REAR END: STOCK FORD WHEELS: AMERICAN
Talk about eye-candy, take a look at Ron Barrett’s 1960 Ford Starliner. Ford outdid themselves with the 1960 Starliner. I personally think it was one of the best looking cars Ford ever built. The one Ron has, has so many stories I don’t know where to start.
First of all Ford only made the Starliner for two years; in 1960 they made 68,461 and in 1961 they made 29,669. This particular Starliner went to a dealership in Buffalo, New York and was purchased by Mr. Holmes in late 1959 for $2,860.00. He got ill and died in early 1960. He had told his wife about the importance of lube and changing oil every 6 months, so when he died, at 74, she drove it very seldom and mostly to local Esso station to get a lube and oil change then right back to her garage for another six months. She did this for many years. The gas station owner had told a friend, Mark Fesler, about the car and Mark offered to buy it. She told him she didn’t want to sell so he gave her his name and phone number on a piece of paper. When the lady reached 92 she called Mark and told him she couldn’t drive anymore and was ready to sell. He bought the car with about 7,500 miles on it and many years later. After a few years he was ready sell and along came Ron and bought it. The car today only has 11,726 miles on it.
When you get a chance to look at the car check out the clear plastic seat covers. They were installed at the dealer in Buffalo some 57 years ago. Look at the glove compartment door (see picture below), it reads Sunliner not Starliner. This was a factory error, or not. Maybe they just ran out of the right one and put it on. The Sunliner was the convertible version of the Starliner.
Ron has several other cars and that is why we don’t see this beauty too often. He has taken it to Solvang, Santa Anita, The Ford Show in Buena Park, and a few local cruises. You might get the feeling I'm kind of partial to this car; I am, and I had one exactly like this one in the early 60’s. Like so many other guys with their early cars I wish I had it today, like Ron, to show it off at Cal-Rod functions.
Note: Using frantic music and color video in their ads, it's clear Ford wanted everyone to know the 1960 Starliner was the car "for those who wanted the ultimate in performance". Turn your sound up; This song titled Sabre Dance by Leonard Slatkin & the London Philharmonic Orchestra is the one Ford used in their TV Ads for the 1960 Starliner.