Barn Find Fairlane: 1966 Ford Fairlane GTA

This 1966 Ford Fairlane GTA really kicks me in the gut, in a good way. It’s small, or smallish, it looks like it’s in decent shape, it’s got a big honkin’ V8 with gobs of horsepower, and it was just pulled out of a barn. This dusty beast can be found here on craigslist in Kenova, West Virginia and the seller is asking $10,000 or offer! Thanks to Ikey H. for tracking down this car!

The fifth-generation Fairlane is my personal favorite, not that it matters in the least. We all have favorites, cars that we think are the be-all-end-all examples of a particular model. I’m a Dragnet fanatic so I’m guessing that’s why I like these stacked-headlight Fairlanes as much as I do. Bill Gannon drove one in the Dragnet redo when Jack Webb brought the show back to TV in the late-1960s for the color episodes. Although, he drove a ’67 and this is a ’66, the only two years for the fifth-gen cars.

Here is this car in all its dusty glory, being dragged onto a trailer leaving skid marks the whole way. Something is stuck, it looks like both wheels on the right side may be stuck? Maybe it’s just the flat front tire with the missing wheel cover. Who really knows and who really cares, we know that anyone who buys this car will go through every system anyway. The seller says that it’s a barn find but there’s no word on how long it was tucked away. They do say “Will need fully restored”. It sure looks good to me, body-wise.

And, there’s the missing RF wheel cover. I love that look, although I get why people switch to some sort of fancy wheel instead of losing wheel covers all the time. You can see the Cruise-o-Matic C6 three-speed automatic with SportShift console shifter there, which you should since this is a GTA (A = automatic). A 3-speed or 4-speed manual would have been available in the GT version. The interior looks surprisingly nice in this car, other than being super dirty and there being a couple of cracks in the top of the dash. The back seat looks perfect. It would be fun to clean up this interior – take out the seats and as many things as you can, put in new sound-deadener under new carpet and in the doors and then put back everything else after cleaning it up to look like new. Hopefully, the floors aren’t rusty, there’s no mention of rust anywhere in the listing but some of the exterior detail photos show surface rust if not more.

Here’s the beef in this stew. As an architect, whenever I see blue tape like that it means punchlist items that need to be completed by the contractor, but I’m assuming those are listing the firing order on the plug wires? The 1966 Fairlane GT/GTAs all had Ford’s potent S-Code 390 cubic-inch V8 with a four-barrel carb and 335 hp. There were more engine choices available in the ’67 Fairlanes but a 390 works for me very nicely. This is a clean-and-get-working-like-new car for me, and I’d just treat the rust and leave it as it looks now on the exterior, for now anyway. Have any of you owned a fifth-generation Fairlane GT/GTA?

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Member

    I’ve always liked these cars. I have a 1/24 promo car which I have had since 1966 which is this car almost exactly, including the color. I don’t know the value of these models, so I will leave it to others to discuss this aspect. But I hope someone gets it and will clean it up and/or restore it.

    I too am a fan of the late 60’s Dragnet shows. I have recently been watching them on YouTube. They are a blast to watch, especially given fifty years of hindsight. Everything about the show was fascinating and intense when I watched it as a ten year old, and in some respects it still is.

    Thanks Scotty for the write-up.

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  2. Arthell64 Member

    I like this gen fairlane also. 4 speeds seem to be rare compared to this year chevelle and gto’s.

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  3. Maverick

    Flipper.

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  4. Robert L Davis

    a little High for not being a 4 speed maybe 7k

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  5. Gaspumpchas

    Just the facts,Maam, just the facts- Sgt Joe Friday…

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  6. Troy s

    Almost owned one in ’85, when not too many people seemed too interested in older Ford’s. Think it was a ’67, I’m sure it was in red primer with black interior and I’m absolutely certain it scared me half to death along with the owner when I romped on it. Odd car as it was a GTA, had 427 call out badges, an air cleaner with a 390 sticker that was laying in the garage, and a transplanted 428 short block with a barrage of 427 hardware. Real screamer.
    I love these ’66-’67 Fairlanes, although I don’t remember all that many on the street when I was of age to drive. Favorite version for me are the handful of 427 powered 500 XL’s meant for NHRA drag racing.

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  7. Bob S

    Back in 67, I rode in a fully optioned 427/4spd powered car with the deluxe interior. Not only was it an exciting performer, but it was a beautiful car.
    Looking at the rust on the front and rear bumpers, tells me that this car has sat outdoors for a lot of years. I would want to carefully check underneath for rust. I agree with one of the above posters that the car might be priced too high.
    I have a 335hp/390/C6 powered 67 Comet convertible, and the performance is quite respectable. Unfortunately, mine has the bench seat, and I would love the buckets and the console.
    Bob

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  8. JerryDeeWrench Member

    Yes I have owned a GTA in fact it was new when I brought it. The 390 Lasted less than a thousand miles not sure what happen when I asked the dealer if he could replace it with a 427 he said he could not do that. I asked what a 427 long block cost he told me it was 700.00. I said get it and give me the new 390. I also installed 4 11 gearing my ET cane down from 14 5 to 13 2. Had a blast at Woodburn drag strip all summer. That was a great car. Put the 390 back in it and sold it the spring of. 68.

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  9. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    Nice car and write-up, Scotty. Always check the “big honkin’ V8” box when ordering a vehicle; that’s my philosophy. These are my favorite Fairlanes as well. The 390 (four-speed) is the sweet spot. Thanks for re-igniting my zeal for these perfectly sized Fords.

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  10. Rob Stone

    I had a friend who had a 67 GTA with a 428. Excellent body and interior. He was so focused on his 72 Gran Torino sport that he pulled the drivetrain out and put it in tat Torino…. one of the saddest things ever…. He later had trouble with it and caught fire and burnt. I don’t know what happened to either one of those vehicles but if they could have been put back as they belonged I could disregard that nightmare.

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  11. Tom Member

    Cool car. Not a Ford guy but I always liked these. Nice drivetrain.

    Trying to figure out what the stripe between the wheels is doing. Looks really “not straight” but looking at the lower body line and the rocker I am not sure how it could have ever “looked” straight to begin with.

    Car looks very original…too bad whoever has had it could not have stored it better.

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  12. 86_Vette_Convertible

    A little on the high side based on the work I see needing done. Looked at a 67 back in the day (new) when I bought my first new car. Ultimately came down to a Malibu or a Fairlane, Malibu won due to pricing.
    This ones got some rust and corrosion issues, but someone should be able to bring it back to the highway.

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    • BONGO

      Way high..cars .com has a convertible 13000 in excellent condition and a hard top that is a 4 speed that needs very little for 7000. 10000 would put someone upside down before the dust was washed off.

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  13. Camaro Joe

    Are you guys sure the “GTA” came standard with a 390? I thought I drove a 67 Fairlane 289 4-V 1967 GTA that my Dad had in 1970. It was a bucket seat, floor shift car for sure. But that was a LONG time ago. And lots of stuff got changed in the 1960’s. And my memory is not getting better as I go.

    There was one for sale here about 25 years ago, I should have bought it but didn’t. It was a 390/4 speed car. The owner blew up a couple of 390’s trying to make them fast, but didn’t have any success.

    So he bought a 427 Cammer. But he got the Cammer but wouldn’t cut up the 67 Fairlane to put it in, so it ended up in a 69 Mustang. He got the Mustang into town a couple blocks before the cops saw it. They stopped him and didn’t see anything illegal on the car, but the way it went down was “Go back where where you came from or we will find a way to put you in jail.” The last time I
    heard of the 427 Cammer ot was sitting on a stand in his garage and it never going to be for sale.

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  14. Chuck

    I have enjoyed this ’66 390GT since 1982. It has the 390/335HP with a factory 3 speed. The automatic and 4 speed were both optional.

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  15. Woody

    Thanks Todd,and with the big-honkin V-8 in these Fords were pretty much a punch in the face for many back in the day!

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  16. Lance Nord

    I never owned a GTA, but I owned the Mercury version. It even had the factory exhaust cut-outs. Without too much difficulty, I could pop a front tire off the pavement… at least until I put a rod through the block. I looked for a replacement engine to put in it for over a year. I finally was offered a boatload of money for it. Of course, the week after it was hauled away, I found a 428SCJ… Just my luck… I’m always a day late or a dollar short.

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  17. Clint

    A cousin had a white ’66 390 4 speed GT. This is what really turned me onto Fords. He had “hopped it up” (no details…not that a 7 yr old would know anyway) and was reputed to be able to handle most anything that came his way. Very fast car.

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  18. Don

    My brother still has his 66 GT 4 so/390 under cover bought new before entering the Air Force.
    Black on black- around30k miles!!!!

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  19. McQ

    Purchased a ‘66 GTA in May, ‘66. In the ten years I owned it I drag raced it at every strip in Washington State. Before Bracket Racing I ran C Pure Stock. Only mods were glass packs and a Sun Tach. Well tuned that Fairlane ran consistent mid 14’s/high 90’s. Fairly competitive. Was able to launch better than most Fords 4 speed Fairlanes/Mustangs due to inherent problem the stick cars had with leaf spring wind-up – wheel hop. Overall it was an excellent car.

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  20. Joe

    Had a XL 500 convertible 4 speed 390 1967 in high school loved it!
    It would surprise a lot of people with how fast it was. Had to sell it when I went away to college. Would love to have it again.

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  21. ROTAG999

    My Dad owned a 66 Fairlane XL 500 same color as this with the 289-Auto and then we moved back to the US from Dominican Republic to Falls Church Va. Where he bought a 67 Fairlane XL 500 yellow with black vinyl top same 289-Auto, cut my teeth and got my learner’s permit with that car so hold’s a special memory of my first legal driving journey…………… lol

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  22. bog

    Interesting car. I like “Chuck’s” better though, as his looks “done” ! I bought a ’67 version of this car, brand new outside of Fort Knox, KY to take with me to Germany. Color scheme on mine..exactly like Chuck’s. Whatever yellow Ford called it those years, and black interior with chrome around front buckets and nice console. And “yes”, mine had the 390/4bbl and only trans and rear-end that came with the hi-po package. Upon reflection, I actually like certain styling items on the ’66 better..like the hood trim and taillights. A few years ago a buddy found a nice red ’67 with a 390 4spd and spent considerable time, effort, and $$ to make a “better than clone” GT. It was lovely. And fast ! Sadly, he passed away and his wife sold it to another friend that promised to keep working on it and racing it. p.s. Mine was pretty darn fast on the Autobahn too..

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