A Fair Project:  1967 Ford Fairlane 500

1967-ford-fairlane-500

When I was in high school, two of my friends had cars similar to this. One was a Comet, the other a Fairlane. What I remember the most was the sweet exhaust note both of them had; I believe both were original 289s.  The ‘burble-burble-burble’ noise was music to a teenager’s ears as it represented both freedom and speed – both intoxicating drugs.  This original appearing car was found by Barn Finds reader Fred W, who is willing to inspect it if you are interested after reading this craigslist ad. The seller is asking $2,999 and the car is located in Springfield, Tennessee.

fairlane-trunk

With a nice set of pictures, albeit a little blurry, the seller shows this car is complete and original.  All of the unusual side trim remains, as well as a full set of wheel covers and emblems.  The car appears to have an original vinyl top as well, although what rust is hidden underneath is unknown. While the rear view highlights the minimal amount of rust, it also shows a bumper that has some bends.  A good chrome plating shop should be able to straighten it. On the other hand, rust is clearly evident in the right and left rear fenders.  The seller has obligingly shown pictures of the inside trunk where it can be seen that the rust isn’t terminal… yet.  On the bright side, new replacement quarter panels are available, although they are somewhat pricey.

289-v8

The seller states that the car had factory air conditioning, somewhat rare at the time, and the vents on the dashboard are clearly visible.  I can’t see any evidence in the engine compartment picture of air conditioning, but I think it would be easier to source the underhood components rather than the in-dash ones. Perhaps a conversion to a more later efficient compressor would be in order. It is nice to see the original air cleaner as so many have been replaced with aftermarket ones.  The seller states that the car has been stored in a barn for 15 years, which has me wondering whether these pictures were taken before the car was put into storage.

fairlane-interior

The interior has great patina and even the dash top looks good, but without more detailed pictures it’s hard to tell.  Enough of the seat stitching has come loose that combined with the deteriorating vinyl may mean that saving the parts of the upholstery that are intact may not be worth it, and items like the disintegrating door armrests may be expensive to source. An original plaid trunk mat and those great Ford push button seat belts bring back memories of my father’s Fords. I don’t remember him complaining about having an automatic transmission back then, but the lack of a 4-speed may dissuade enthusiasts today.  What do you think – is this original appearing but unremarkable coupe worth restoring?

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Comments

  1. CArmudegeon

    This brings back memories of my first car – a ’66 Mercury Comet Caliente convertible, light blue with a white vinyl bucket seat interior and white power top. It was also a 289 automatic.

    What a thrill to finally get my driver’s license and have my own set of wheels! Seems like only yesterday…

  2. mike canan

    Looks like a great project..not the major rust bucket often seen with a restro project. And the price is good.

  3. Tony Gauntner

    Your question “Is it worth restoring” can be easily answered by asking 2 questions. #1 What is the market value of this vehicle restored & question #2 how much would it cost to perform a reasonable restoration, reasonable being show worthy but not a trailer queen, museum piece or Riddler Award ready. The current asking price is probably not far from top of market (just as a wild guess) and considering a decent restoration with paint and metal work I’d guess would cost you at least 15 large……this is easily answered by saying ..hell no. The only way this vehicle would be worth the investment is if it were Billy Ford’s or Billy Clintons first car he got lucky in or if Jimmy Hoffa was finally discovered in the trunk. Without any significant prominance, this is another underwhelming old Ford that didn’t create any buyer excitment back then and still isn’t rattling any cages 37 years later.Not a bad car for your high school kids first set of wheels, just make it safe and let them drive it like they stole it. That’s how they’re going to drive it anyhow.

  4. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    A convertible Comet! Wow, what a first car! I’ll bet those are some great memories!

  5. rancho bella

    The price is reasonable. Restoring cars is not for the faint of heart. But, these Fords are good cars. Darn near everything is available. Once finished you have a car that can be driven cross country. Detroit Eaton sells new springs (I’d go with gt springs with half drop eye in the rear and cut a 1/3 coil in front. The car will set perfect)
    Maybe upgrade to a four speed automatic. The disc brakes kits will have it stop on dime……….on the west coast this car would sell for much more as it sits.

  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    This looks like a doable project car. As always I’m tempted.

  7. MDchanic

    My mom drove a 289, 3 on the column, ’67 Fairlane wagon through most of my childhood.

    It was a completely unremarkable, unimpressive POS, but it survived ten years of inadequate maintenance and served reliably the whole time.

    I’d buy one today if it wasn’t too expensive, just because it would bring back memories, but I can’t see what anyone else would want with one.
    I like the idea of buying it for a high schooler.

  8. Scott Allison

    My grandfather had a 67 4-door. White, no a/c, no pwr brakes, no power windows. Automatic with the 289 V8. Drove like a truck! My brother and I rode around a lot in that car.

    Me.. I’d buy it and fix it up so it looks good at the local show/shines. Of course, my wife would make me sell the Corvette first – And that isn’t happening!

  9. Tom Greenacres

    I have a good trunk lid and hood, wheel covers and rusty heads and some chrome bits, if anyone wants to come get them bearing several bottles of Angel’s Breath or JWB or the equivalent.

  10. Mike_B_SVT

    Yeah, I agree with the others. You would not recoup your investment ~ unless you went totally over the top with a Pro-Touring rebuild. The base engine and auto on the column doesn’t lend itself to “hot rod” imagery.

    I also agree that this would be an awesome first car though. Do some serious polishing on the paint and chrome to remove some of the various staining. Deep detaling / cleaning in the interior and engine bay. Spend some bucks to make it purr and stop properly, and a few more bucks replacing items that would nag at you ~ like the arm rests :-)

    Then drive the wheels off of it!

  11. jim s

    i too think make it safe and then a daily driver. looks like it has a lot of miles left in it. great find

  12. jackie harper

    if this is still available im interested for sure

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