21k Mile 1963 Ford Fairlane 500 Sedan

It isn’t clear just how long that this 1963 Fairlane 500 has been sitting in this shed, but the heavy coating of dust suggests that it has probably been a while. It has emerged from hiding and has a genuine 21,000 miles showing on its odometer. It will require a thorough mechanical check before it undertakes any extended travel. However, it does appear to be a promising option for the person who is searching for a tidy classic on a budget. The Fairlane is located in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $3,750 in a No Reserve listing.

Now, doesn’t that look better? It’s amazing the transformation that a good clean can make to a dusty barn find. The Champagne paint is original, and it still manages to hold a respectable shine. The panels are straight, and there are no signs of any rust problems. The owner supplies several photos of the Fairlane’s underside, and it does reveal some pretty heavy scaling. However, there is no apparent rot. The owner does suggest that any potential buyers should subject the car to a personal inspection. That sounds like reasonably wise counsel to me. Sometimes there are nasty surprises that don’t show in photos. The trim and chrome seem to be in good condition, while there are no signs of any issues with the glass.

I’m sure that there are a few of you who were hoping to spot a V8 under the hood. Unfortunately for you, what we get is the 170ci 6-cylinder engine. This is backed by a 3-speed manual transmission. As a combination, this is anything but potent. The Fairlane will struggle its way through the ¼ mile in 20.1 seconds and should wind out to an ultimate top speed of 88mph. If you were ordering a Fairlane in 1963, this was about as basic as it got. The trade-off is that this is a pretty bulletproof combination. That means that if the odometer reading can be confirmed, then this is a car that should have a lot of life left in it. The vehicle is said to run and drive. However, given the fact that it has been sitting for an extended period, I would be inclined to have it thoroughly inspected before undertaking any extended travel.

Opening the doors and taking a look around inside the Fairlane is a pleasant experience. It is said to be completely original, and it looks to be spotlessly clean. There is some slight stretching of the upholstery on the outer edge of the driver’s side seat, but it is minor. I wouldn’t be at all worried about it. The remaining upholstery appears to be flawless, with no signs of any rips or tears. The dash is perfect, while the carpet is free from wear or stains. As I previously mentioned, this Fairlane is about as basic as they come. It is a radio-delete vehicle, so I hope that the next owner can entertain themselves by singing as they cover those miles.

This 1963 Fairlane 500 might not feature a V8 in the engine bay, and it might not be loaded with luxury features. However, it is a clean and tidy, low mileage survivor. It would seem that it won’t take a lot of time, effort, or money to have it presented at its best, and it should be a reliable car when it hits the road. Its basic nature could be a virtue because that has the potential to mean that the sale price could remain very affordable. For the person who is seeking a practical classic on a budget, it might be well worth organizing an inspection on this car.


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Thanks Adam. For those of us who appreciate basic, everyman cars of their day, this is very cool. Looks to be in good shape. Not much money for some fun. Even has a three speed manual transmission. Take the grandkids to Sonic; they would have a blast as you ran it through the gears while explaining why you are moving that lever on the steering column while in motion.

    Looks like it was part of a collection. I wonder what is the back story. An odd car to have preserved.

    My first thought when seeing it was that, if the second incarnation of Dragnet had come out a few years earlier, this is what Joe and Bill would have been driving.

    Like 10
    • RGSmith1 Member

      I totally agree. Basic is good. A great deal for a local grocery getter. If it was closer I would definitely be tempted to take a look.

      Like 3
    • Tucker Callan

      Yes Mam, Just the Facts Mam`

      Like 2
  2. Steve Bush Member

    First, it’s a dealer, Old Forge Motorcars, not the owner, selling this Fairlane, so as always prospective buyers should be skeptical about the mileage or any other claims made. Also, a bit curious that if the dealer wished to claim such low mileage, why didn’t at least clean up a little underhood without overdetailing everything.

    Like 4
  3. Bob C.

    Still a nice old Ford, even with a six banger. At least the stick would move it along better than the 2 speed Fordomatic.

    Like 3
  4. Kenneth Carney

    Sorry folks, gotta have a radio as I really
    like my tunes. But fear not purists, there
    are companies today that make modern
    radio and speaker combos that look just like a factory unit only much better. From
    what I understand, you can even get ’em
    with Syrius XM too. Just what you need
    to play period era music while you show
    this gem at your local car show.

  5. 19sixty5 Member

    Radio delete? They were an option back in those days. Regarding a modern sound system, you can also buy “hidden” units, I would not want to remove the cover plate!

    Like 11
  6. TimM

    Could be a fun little car to run around town with the standard transmission and the six it would probably be very economical!!

    Like 1
  7. Kenneth Carney

    With a 170 cube 6 and a 3 on the tree, it
    might be good for 30 MPG on the highway and maybe 20-25 in town. 19sixty5, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a hidden system before. The only type of
    radio I’m familiar with are the in dash type
    or the FM converter units that were sold
    in the ’80s.

    • 19sixty5 Member

      There are several manufacturers of hidden, secret, or whatever you want to call them, just Google! You can also mount a conventional (less expensive) unit in the glovebox, another fairly common solution. The under-dash FM converters were available back in the 60’s!

      Like 1
    • Stevieg Member

      You won’t see a hidden radio. That’s the idea lol!
      Sorry, it’s my nature to be a smart-a$$.
      Nice little car! I would love to add this to the fleet if I were rebuilding it.
      Bob_in_tennessee, you are talking about going to Sonic & explaining to the kiddies what you are doing with that lever took me back a few years.
      I befriended a bartender who was about 15 years younger than me. Her and I went out one halloween. I was driving an older car that had a 3 on the tree. She was a bit of a gearhead, but was young and hadn’t seen it all, although she thought she had lol.
      I pick her up and off we go. I go to hit second & she freaks out! “What the f%&c are you doing” she screams lol. I had to pull over and show her the clutch pedal & the shift pattern. Later that night she asked me how I could drive that after a few beers & shots. She didn’t get the concept of “second nature”.

      Like 6
  8. Paolo

    My father bought a blue 1963 Fairlane Ranch Wagon, 6 cylinder, 3 speed from Rye Ford in Rye, New York in spring 1963 to replace a blue 1955 Ford Ranch Wagon, 6 cylinder, 3 speed that he bought from a Ford dealer in Brooklyn. It wasn’t too bad for an inexpensive car. It was certainly low powered and the column shift was a chore but it fulfilled every demand my folks placed on it and it had the rear facing 3rd seat in the back to stow extra kids, little league equipment or the last adults picked up on the occasional car-pool duty.
    I never realized how much I missed that little car.

    Like 2
  9. Don

    Had the same type of car in high school in 60s lol
    The 170 cu.in. engine with 3 speed fordomatic..top speed 93mph going down hill with a gust of wind..
    Great car for a teen …no radio..no power brakes no power steering.. Sold it for 500 bucks in 1974 …great simple cars back then.

    Like 2
  10. art

    Looks like there is not a single factory option on this Ford. No backup lights, no windshield washers, nothing. It looks like the dealer may have added bumper guards and those shades on the door windows.
    Funny how often the bare bones, plain-jane cars end up being the survivors.
    This is a neat car and looks amazingly well preserved. It will still turn heads wherever it goes.

    Like 3
  11. robt

    Would be sweet with a little 289 swapped under the hood along with the appropriate drive train and suspension. Could be done simply enough using factory parts without changing its character.
    Leave the rest of it as is. Very subtle.
    That’s a project I would undertake.

    • Jim

      I bought a 62 w/221 V8 & 3spd column shift in it back ‘in the day’. That little 221 was so anemic that I bought a wrecked 64 Galaxie & swapped the 289 from it into the Fairlane. Also swapped the 14in wheels & bought a floor shifter for it. That little Fairlane was a decent driver after that.

      Like 2
  12. David Radcliff

    Take off those atrocious bumper guards!

  13. Bob McK Member

    This could be a fun, run around car. It would even make a good daily driver.

  14. Dave

    Needs some mustang DNA

  15. Jeff L.

    Needs two less doors…

  16. C5 Corvette

    Oh the memories……My 1st car was a Black 1962 Fairlane 2 door, 3 spd, 170 cu in. It was somewhat fancier than this one. I had a nice radio with a re-verb and speakers in the back. I also got a hold of a set of 14″ Corvette wire hub caps that really set it off. It was 2 years old and I paid the dealer 975.00 for it.

  17. DAVID G

    Memories here too, first car i ever owned was an all-black 63 Fairlane 500 4dr when i was 14.
    Dad picked it up ‘secretly’ from a Wrecking Yard for $40 on Christmas Eve, wrapped it a HUGE red Bow with the Tie on top and gave me a Checkbook Box under the tree on Christmas Day. Inside the box was a small note cut into the shape of a car on which was written “Look outside in the driveway”. When i did, what a thrill for a 14 year old kid who’d theretofore only wrenched on Mowers, Snowblowers etc. Fun!!

    With 114k-ish miles on it i completely rebuilt its small-block 221 V8 with JCWhitney parts with NO MACHINING at all (didn’t understand about that yet) and the poor thing only had 50psi compression in is highest-reading cylinder, ugh. Brand new circular Piston Rings in oval-shaped cylinders, Oops!

    This one would be an excellent get. Just vet the running gear and Brakes a bit and you’ve got an instant classic cruiser…
    Hope someone gets it and keeps it as unrestored and unmodified as possible since this car deserves that. But yeah, won’t hear any complaints from me if GONE go the Bumper Guards and probably Window Shades too.

    Like 1
  18. Phlathead Phil

    Kudos to the dude who kept it so well preserved. Hope he is still alive. I photo 1 I see a mustang parked next to it. Then, in the phar background something late 40-ish or early phifties? An unknown gem sits in the phoreground awaiting discovery. Hope we get to see ‘em.

  19. Stuart

    What about the P1800 next to it?

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