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1979 Ford Fairmont Ghia: Malaise Fighter

Ford Fairmont

The Ford Fairmont is not a car that conjures up much in the way of impassioned feelings of “must-have” ownership. But like any malaise-era vehicle, if you take things in a better direction that the manufacturer did, it might change your impression of an otherwise disappointing chapter in American automobiles. This 1979 Ford Fairmont Ghia here on eBay for $4,300 has been given a treatment not unlike what Audi does today with its S-Line vehicles, or Ford’s own skunkworks division known as SVT.  It’s been upgraded with a Mustang roller block with forged pistons, along with a single GT35 turbo. I don’t know about you, but I could be easily entertained by a Fairmont with that much power on tap. And while I realize it has drag wheels in the back, I’d swap on a matching pair to the polished rollers in the front for daily driving. What do you think – does this engine swap finally give the lowly Fairmont some street cred?


  1. RayT Member

    What the engines swap “does” for the Fairmont — just my opinion, of course — is put some heavy stress on whatever hasn’t been upgraded to match. Like brakes….

    If it were mine, which it wouldn’t be, since Fairmonts don’t grab me the way 2002s (or Pacers) do, I’d stick with the 302 but broom the turbo. I’ve seen too many examples of enthusiastic owners cranking up the boost on such conversions beyond common sense levels. Engines tend not to like that.

    What I see is a tired, nondescript sedan with a whole lot of power added. Sometimes that creates a fun car. Not this time.

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  2. JW

    It concerns me when I see someone go to all this work on a mundane car such as the Fairmont ( Dad Had One ) then put it up for sale, what went wrong or is the go fast mundane look not what he thought it would be which is what I would think. I have seen a 10 second Fairmont on one of my car sites I frequent but it was a 2 door all out drag car. I would pass myself.

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  3. Jim

    Just because it’s never been done, doesn’t make it cool

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  4. Rancho Bella

    Must be ugly car day

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  5. BradL

    Ummmm…no. I don’t care how much power it has. No.

    Much like disco, I lived through that era once. I don’t need to do it again.

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    • PaulG

      Speaking of music; does anyone else hear the Styx song “Too much time on my hands” when they see something like this?

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  6. DREW V.

    As the old sayings go “Different Strokes for different folks” and “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”… This car is definitely not for me but I have to admire the persons gumption for building such a ride. One hellova sleeper and if your idea of kicks is watching the look on other drivers faces as you leave them in your rearview than this is the car for you… As far as hiding the intake tube a simple hood scoop will take care of that and add to the image that the driver of this sleeper is another punk that inheirited Granny’s car and is trying to impress ppl… lil do they know what lurks underneath…lol…

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  7. Ralph T.

    I’ve got four of these cars. A ’78 2 door sedan, a ’79 2 door sedan, an ’80 4 door and an ’81 4 door. These things are so easy to modify it’s unreal. And they make great sleepers. I love ’em!

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  8. Art

    Here’s a picture of a Fairmont Wagon I spotted at the Sometnites Cruise in Kentucky. It too was just different enough to be cool. You would wouldn’t have seem it coming ten years ago. But that’s whats great about the hobby.

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  9. pontiactivist

    I am in the process of restoring an 82 Fairmont Futura for my engine builder. Also remember my dad had a Mercury Zephyr years ago. Im konda surprised these dont have more of a following. They are comparable size wise to a monte ss or any other g-body. They accept mods really easy. Basically a fox body mustang underneath.

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