One Fine Ford: 1966 Ford Fairlane

My grandfather always preached to me that if I was ever looking for a collectible car of my own, never buy a car with rust.  He felt that life was just too short to deal with rust during a restoration.  Fortunately for him, there were plenty of examples of cars that he liked around, and he had the luxury of looking for one without rust.  Twenty years later, the number of collectibles without a problem of some sort has dwindled.  Sometimes, especially if we want a particular car, we have to deal with rust.  It must be a common problem for a lot of cars, because the aftermarket sells a whole lot of patch panels every year, and the major welder companies seem to do a brisk business selling homeowner sized welders.  Despite all of this, a few cars with little to no rust manage to survive.  Often hidden away in garages after their caretakers pass on, good cars pop up from time to time.  This one may be one of the good cars we speak of.  Found on Craigslist in Dawsonville, Georgia, this 1966 Ford Fairlane convertible is in fairly rust free condition, and is being sold for $10,750.

The story on this one is that it has been sitting in a garage for over twenty years.  The owner passed away a long time ago, and the family has kept it running and somewhat maintained.  The good news is that it was originally a triple black car: black interior, black top, and black body.  The seller also claims that the only rust on the car is in the bottom corner of the door, and that everything else is solid as can be.  Like a good alien story, I want to believe.  However, if I were in the market for this one, I would make it a point to rent a lift from a nearby shop to verify the claim.  These old Fords rust easily, and repairs are pricey.

There are some flaws with the car, such as some duct tape on the driver’s seat, the bumpers would benefit from re-plating, and the motor is a non-original 302 instead of the 289 it left the factory with.  In addition, the radiator has a pinhole leak, the convertible top is nearing replacement time, and it will need some brake work.  As for the rust claim, the car does seem to look rust free, but the driver’s rear quarter looks to be a bit lumpy.  Maybe it is just my eyes playing tricks on me.  However, a magnet is your friend in these situations.   If that area proves to be good, then the rest of the problems can be fixed easy enough.  Except for the non-matching engine, of course.

The interior looks to be mostly original.  It also looks useable, as long as you aren’t expecting a show car.  My guess is that the carpet and upholstery are original to the car.  While a replacement driver’s seat bottom would be a good idea, I’d leave the rest the way it is.  If you aren’t going to strip the car down and do a concours restoration on it, why bother?  If the kids drip ice cream on the seat, then you just wipe it up.  If the dog wants a ride, let him hop in.  Enjoy the car as it is.

With a small V-8, an automatic transmission, and a drop top, this would be fine cruising car.  When you go to the trouble of restoring a car to perfection, it takes a long time before you are comfortable driving it around with the family.  You want to keep it nice as possible for as long as possible.  This car is like a well worn pair of blue jeans.  You just jump in and go.  No muss.  No fuss.  There is something to be said for that level of comfort and convenience in a collectible car.  The price may be a bit high, but there seems to be a lot of miles and smiles left on this drop top.

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Comments

  1. Steve R

    If the car is as described it’s a value purchase. I wouldn’t care about matching numbers with the factory 289 2bbl. The bucket seat interior is much more appealing that the more common bench seat column shift. It could be a great driver with minimal work, a low entry point.

    Steve R

  2. jdjonesdr

    Anybody see that different shade door besides me?

    • RJ

      I noticed that also.

    • glen

      I think that is a lighting effect, it looks accurate in other photos.

    • MorganW Morgan Winter

      Looks like the left front fender and possibly hood are a newer repaint…no big deal, needs a paint job at some point anyway.

  3. JW

    The motor means nothing if your not a collector but a driver. I would want it painted back to it’s original color. I would offer 9K and let them counter offer and then explain all the work still needed to even make it road worthy.

  4. Bob C.

    289, 302, can’t go wrong either way.

  5. Rod444

    I would proudly drive that and I can imagine it looking VERY sharp back in it’s original black color.

    I always found the wheels on these Galaxies to look surprisingly modern, especially compared to many of it’s contemporaries in ’66.

    • z28th1s

      It is a Fairlane, not a Galaxie. The wheels on the car aren’t original to the car. They are ’68-’69 Mustang and Torino wheels.

      • Rod444

        Well that would explain why I like them.
        And also why I should never post before coffee. I stand corrected.

  6. MDW66

    Flat black with flames Astro van! Bring it on.

  7. Rodent

    I would like to see some underhood shots.

  8. z28th1s

    If the car checks out in person, it looks to be a pretty decent convertible and would be a fun cruiser.

  9. Troy S.

    Always thought the 66-67 fairlanes were every bit as good looking as their gm rivals. 302 is fine for cruising around and they can be pumped up to perform; I always thought a 351 would be an interesting swap in one of these. But neither engine would ever compare to the 67 GTA I drove once that had a built 428 swapped in it. That was an unforgettable thrill.

  10. BMW4RunninTundra

    It’s still out there. A bit stiff pricing? Maybe zero under the hood shots? Maybe zero under carriage shots?
    If someone in “The Family” wants a set of eyes put on it, let me know. It’s not too far away from me and I would more than happy to help out a “Family Member”!

  11. DONNA C

    that was my daddy’s car and he aint dead. it was orignally blue and not black

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