Four-Door Fun! 1966 Ford Fairlane 500

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It’s unusual today to think of a time when ordinary commodity cars, such as a 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 came in either two or four-door body styles. And in the ’60s, two-door models of everything were big sellers. Today, the option doesn’t really exist as most models are four-door only unless they’re sports cars (Miata, Corvette, Porsche, etc.). Mercedes and BMW still offer two and four-door body styles on a few models but the concept has largely disappeared. Much of our BF coverage does involve two-door models but today, we’re going to take a look at this mid-sized Ford with four ports. It’s located in Castle Rock, Colorado and is available, here on craigslist for $12,999. Thanks are due to Pat L. for this tip!

Production statistics from 1966 tell us that Ford produced 160K two-door Fairlanes/500s (excluding convertibles) and 94K four-door sedans (excluding station wagons) so you can see the relative popularity of two vs. four-door arrangements. The four-door Fairlane 500, such as our subject car knocked out 68K units.

The seller claims only 57K miles of use and a limited number of owners for this V8-powered sedan. It has a 200 gross HP, 289 CI engine and the seller states that since he purchased the car he has, “worked to make the car roadworthy. I have done the following things: The original carb (was) rebuilt with an electric choke installed, a new water pump, new belts, and hoses, (the) transmission (was) rebuilt, rebuilt rear differential with all new bearings and seals, new valve cover gaskets and intake manifold gaskets, rear main seal replaced with new oil pan gasket, gauges installed for oil pressure and temperature, new 3-row radiator“. He also mentions that he has a front disc brake conversion kit that can be installed and a Petronix electronic ignition system was added. All-in-all, it is felt that the car has proven itself to be roadworthy and it has not let the owner down, not yet anyway.

The interior is said to be original and possesses a bright, clean, cheerful ’60s vibe. Other than the underdash engine gauges, it shows as original and the environment is certainly unmarred. The seller mentions that the car is “comfortable” and the front seat is not showing signs of sagging or bottom dragging – the mileage claim may well be legitimate. There are several included images and it would be hard to find fault with any aspect of the inside.

It’s also hard to find fault with any aspect of the outside. We’re told that the finish is mostly original and other than, “some dents, patina, and imperfect original paint” which I haven’t noted, it presents very well. The chrome and stainless trim are particularly sharp and the Magnum-500 style wheels always add some pizazz (the original steel wheels and covers are included in the sale).

This is a very fine example of an ordinary everyperson’s car but the elephant in the room is the two extra doors. What’s your thought, two too many or it probably doesn’t matter?

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Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    Nice bread-and-butter 4-door of the era. Of course you wouldn’t have seen those wheels on this car back then…they’d work better on a 2 door. Perfect daily driver then and now.

    Like 11
    • TorinoSCJ69

      This is nice!

      … and 13 Grand.
      Better yet, a caring owner and not flipper.

      If in the market I would be flying to look over.

      Done it before on a Torino in Texas where the owner had sent me 16 yr old pics of now a rust bucket.

      This looks like a nice driver and the money looks good.

      Just saying, costs have come down and this Ford looks ready to be bought well.

      Like 4
    • Karl

      Rex, yes that’s the episode of Dragnet with the shelf.
      Sorry, but there wasn’t a “Reply” button there.

      Like 2
  2. Driveinstile DriveinstileMember

    If this car is really in as nice a condition as the photos make it out to be, Id be very happy and proud to have it. Just a nice example of what we took for granted, and saw every day at one time in our lives, and unfortunately, now, most of these old everyday family cars and sedans have rusted up and disappeared off of our roads for good. I sure hope it goes to a good home and is continued to he cared for the way its been for the last 57 years.

    Like 10
  3. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    I will echo the other posters. It’s nice to see a clean, well-kept family car from way back then. Blue on blue looks fine. The styled wheels spruce it up, but I would be just as impressed if it had sported whitewalls and original wheel covers (which the owner has). With recent mechanical work, looks to be in great shape. Low-stress yet interesting kind of collector car; I don’t care that it isn’t fast or flashy or (gasp!) has four doors.

    Like 14
  4. Howard A. Howard AMember

    Giving the author the benefit, anyone who is 60(?) or older IMMEDIATELY recognizes THIS car, as Bill Gannons( Harry Morgan) “plain wrapper”, a ’67 with poverty caps) from Dragnet ’67( ’67 later dropped). In the shows 4 year run, (1967-1970) this car was used exclusively by him and Sgt. Friday( Jack Webb). Bill almost always drove. It was a groundbreaking series, in that, for the 1st time on TV, people actually saw what a police officer went through. Webb laid it on the line, and later, with Adam-12, more realistic yet, and finally, Emergency, that covered the lives of early paramedics, was also very real.
    “Fair-a-lanes”, like my old man called them, usually led a mundane, unmaintained , unwashed, unloved life, relegated to all the piddy jobs mom did, that dad wouldn’t allow with his LTD, and amazingly, they took it in stride. Great find, and that’s “just the facts”( he never said “Ma’am”, btw)

    Like 18
    • Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

      Thanks for the reference Howard. Dragnet, one of my favorite shows. The episode “The Shooting Board” where Joe has to go through a skeptical review board after he shot a thief is particularly strong with respect to the show’s renowned realism.

      Like 11
      • Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

        Bob, is that the episode where the investigator notices a mark under a shelf, and discovers that the thieve’s bullet grazed under the shelf and raised it, thus concealing the bullet hole when the shelf sat back down?

        Like 10
    • Robert Proulx

      Had to dig the 390 emblems on the fenders and the inside shot when they pulled in the garage seeing that wood steering wheel

      Like 5
    • LCL

      Vernacular update please!
      I’ve owned dog dish, pork pie and baby moons, but never heard of poverty caps.
      What do they look like? Generic or are they factory Ford parts?
      Bye the bye, my moons were stolen in a week! I’d rather they took the car and left the moons.
      Thanks.

      Like 4
      • Jack M.

        In Canada, the term poverty caps and dog dish hubcaps are interchangeable.

        Like 10
    • Rw

      Not to go totally off subject but,the two lane black top 55 is in a ep.of Adam 12.

      Like 6
      • Andrew S MaceMember

        That ’55 was also used in American Graffiti!

        Like 3
      • Bub

        Whaaat? Too much. Do you have an episode name? A YouTube link? I’d love to see that! I think I recall seeing it on an ABC in house mid week movie ..

        Like 1
      • Howard A. Howard AMember

        The car was used in a short chase scene. Hollywood had “suppliers” of cars used for TV and movies. For example, you’ll notice the same cars in the background, Malloys gold Mustang shows up a lot, and even Red Formans Corvette showed up in the last Adam-12 episode as Reeds car.
        Side note on 2 Lane Blacktop car. Jay Leno redid a ’55 Chevy and wanted to show it to James Taylor. It was comical, in that, Taylor couldn’t have cared less. It was his 1st( and only?) movie, and he hated it so much, he never did see the finished movie.
        https://www.imcdb.org/v745160.html

        Like 2
      • Bub

        Thanks Howard A. I remember Warren Oats being outstanding in that film. 👍

        Like 0
    • JustPassinThru

      Poverty caps, indeed. I recognize it as Gannon’s car – although that wasn’t my first thought. I was thinking how, in those days, a choice of car was far more indicative of the owner’s personality.

      I grew up in a Midwestern city ex-urb, and the school we attended had a LOT of events, and parental involvement. One friend’s father, who was involved in a week of camp-schooling (pretty cool, we moved into a Boy Scout camp nearby…it had barracks for the girls, the boys were in big Army tents, and classes were in a pavilion. Great early-fall experience). But Don’s father had one of these – he was a friendly guy, very intelligent. A skilled craftsman for Ford. Don’t remember what he did, but he was as wise as Mike Brady.

      Another friend’s father, less practical, had to have a 1963 Impala SS convertible with a four-speed.

      Yet another student had his single uncle working with us (he was 24) HE drove a Gen1 Corvair Monza; and his was the car we boys used there for bathhouse runs. Paul, the uncle, let a few of us ride on the outside of the car for the mile trip…amazing how stuff like that was allowed.

      Others showed other priorities. Used luxury cars from the early 1960s; or practical new economy cars, or in a few cases, used beaters. Because money was needed elsewhere.

      My old man was, in this mess, an eccentric. He had had a Rambler back then, when Ramblers were as popular as Studebakers. A shuffle, where he lost his company car with a job swap…had him buying two new ones in the space of six months. He bought a Kaiser Wagoneer. My mother was disgusted…asking if he’d planned to replace the other one with a Checker, maybe.

      Nope, he bought a Ford Galaxie for her, as plain as could be…maybe it was a dig at her; he found one that was beige and had few options beyond automatic transmission. But she liked it.

      But, just as with the author’s comments on the two-versus-four doors…I remember when, even when going bland, you could show personality in your car choices.

      Not now, sadly.

      Like 7
    • Keith

      What a difference 10 years makes. Broderick Crawford wouldn’t be caught dead in a Fairlane…or maybe he just wouldn’t fit.

      Like 0
    • bone

      The Dragnet car was light metallic green , and it was a true 390 car as Jack Webb was very particular about getting things as realistic as possible.

      Like 0
  5. Tony Primo

    The only thing that would make this car better would be a 3 speed on the tree.

    Like 5
  6. Roger

    A local police department owned a black ’66 Fairlane cruiser for a few years,after it was retired the police chief used it as his personal ride but painted it a bright blue color,last time I saw it was at his house,he has long since passed away and I’m sure the Fairlane has long been recycled.

    Like 3
  7. john muldoon

    That vehicle has well kept survivor written all over it! I won’t talk about price as it is what the market will bring. Great starter or second hand vehicle. No shame there at all!

    Like 6
  8. Robt

    Great Ford Fairllane 500, 4 doors and all. Looks like a very solid car, way nicer than the same blue on blue 66 500 2dr hardtop I drove for 25 some years.
    Personally I’d simply swap in the front disc brakes, find some fat sway bars, improved shocks, maybe relocate the front a-arms, and find a warmed over 351w to slip in between the front fenders. Lastly, but not necessary, would be a 3 on the tree or a 4 on the floor. At least that is what I always wanted to do with my hardtop. (I did slip a 351w between it’s front fenders at one point.)
    What a sleeper! A car you’d be comfortable putting through its paces on you favorite back road. Without having to tell the world “hey look at me!!”

    Like 5
  9. chrlsful

    perfect style in & out. Nice square lines B the the ‘wheel humps’ of the muscle (late 60s/late 70s). Not to B see again till the 80s. Stacked headlights R great (said Tony the T) no matter the fairlane model (galaxie, chero, s.wagon, etc) ~

    No truck motor/trans needed here (390/c6) not even the 5 oh or 302. I’d B tempted w/the AOD as itsa direct match up bell. Autos R pretty nice on the daily…

    Like 1
  10. LCL

    FYI: The 1967 Fairlane was in a commercial and print ads showing it going off a Lake Placid ski jump. It was stock except for a bash plate for the oil pan.
    Not sure what that proves.

    Like 2
    • Jim ODonnellAuthor

      https://youtu.be/uyBwLi2fq2U

      It was a Galaxie, not a Fairlane.

      JO

      Like 3
      • Dave

        Thanks for posting that! When he got out of the car it reminded me of Super Dave Osborne.

        Like 0
  11. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. I’ve always loved the 1966-67 Ford Fairlane. This one looks brand new, or always parked inside, out of the elements. Given the nice condition, I’d be willing to pay $10,000 for the car.

    Like 1
  12. Michael Cyr

    I think 4 door cars are better than 2 doors. Go to any car show and look for 4 door cars and station wagons. You won’t find a lot of them that’s why they are becoming popular now. I’m a mopar fan so I have a 1964 dodge custom 880 and it’s a 4 door

    Like 3
  13. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    Right on Michael Cyr! Here’s my ’65 New Yorker 6-window Town Sedan.

    Like 1
    • Karl

      Said it before, and will keep saying it Rex IT’S BEAUTIFUL!!!

      Like 0
  14. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    Thanks Karl! I’d love to pick my kids up at the airport in this thing.

    Like 1
  15. john Douglas muldoon

    I agree and keep in mind that every day people are shifting to more versatile vehicles that suit multiple needs that a 4 door presented and now with even more uses!

    Like 0

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