Running Project: 1958 Ford Fairlane

Beginning in 1955, the Fairlane became the top-tier car at Ford, taking its name from the Dearborn, Michigan estate of Henry himself. Across seven generations, the Fairlane nameplate was used through 1970. With a redesign in 1957, the autos were longer, lower, and sleeker in appearance, not unlike the Forward Look machines over at Chrysler. This 1958 Fairlane appears to be a Club Sedan, which means it was just below the Fairlane 500 in the pecking order. We’re told it runs and drives, just doesn’t stop, so mechanical as well as cosmetic work is needed. Located in Elizabeth, Colorado, this project is available here on craigslist for $5,500 OBO. Thanks for the vintage tip, Mark_K!

Unlike Chrysler’s finned wonders of 1957-59, the Fords used less prominent tailfins which may have helped them outsell Chevy in 1957, the first time since 1935. To outdo the competition, Ford introduced two new models in 1957, the retractable hardtop called the Skyliner, and the coupe utility known as the Ranchero. Changes were minimal, but noticeable in 1958, with quad headlights and a Thunderbird-like grille up front and reworked taillights to the rear. Club Sedan production approached 40,000 units in ’58.

The seller doesn’t treat us to any history on this Ford, but it has had some more recent work done. The radiator and radiator are new along with five tires that are said to have only five miles on them. Those are mounted on stock rims, not the Magnum 500 wheels seen in the photos that came off a ’69 Mustang. Both sets of wheels and ’58 wheel covers apparently come with the car. Some brake work is needed, at least in terms of a new rear wheel cylinder.

Body shop work will be needed which may preclude a repaint that will do away with the current patina. There is rust in the rocker panels and headlight eyebrows that need to be taken care of and patch panels for the latter are being provided. The Ford is powered by a 292 cubic-inch Y-block V8 and a “three on the tree” manual transmission with overdrive which should all be good. Extra parts will accompany the Fairlane in addition to a nifty car cover. If you don’t have cash, the seller may entertain a trade.

Comments

  1. Rw

    58 was always my favorite of 50s Ford’s never seen as many, kindly like a B stepchild .

    Like 4
  2. Jim in FL

    I’m always a fan of late 50’s early 60’s iron when it’s sitting on the right wheels. Like this Ford. Torq-thrusts, keystone, Cragars with white letters. For some reason the fords seem to look the best. Still, though give me a 62 dart done in a similar manner.

    I really like this. Good luck to the new owner.

    Like 6
  3. Dave, Australia

    Nice write up Russ. The Fairlane name soldiered on upto 2007 here in OZ.
    The 1972-76 (ZF, ZG) were my favourite models, they came with 302 and 351 CID.
    Tough cars

    Like 1
  4. mike

    One of the best looking years for Ford.That and 1964’s

    Like 4
  5. junkman Member

    If this was closer it would be mine. Ultra cool, especially in coral.(pink).

    Like 2
  6. Psychofish2

    After the almost perfect ’57, Ford should have been brought up on charges for what it did for ’58.

    Even the car rags of the period noted that this refresh was not an improvement.

    It’s equally as bad as Studebaker’s ’58, but Lincoln, Buick, Olds and Edsel get all the heat, so the Ford goes under the radar. It actually looks restrained in comparison.

    That said, I’d have it in a heartbeat. So homely I can’t help but love it.

    Homely like a 62 Dart, but more coherent.

    Like 2
    • DON

      I never liked the 58s either , but I have seen some custom 58 Fords where they removed the Tbird inspired crossbar in the grille and the car looks 100% better IMHO

  7. JagManBill

    this one is almost in my backyard. Its about 5 miles from me. Note the chrome trim. If I remember correctly, Ford called this a “Spring Special” for some reason. This side chrome was only available for 2 or 3 months as I rmember

    Like 1
  8. Bob C.

    This and the 1960 models broke Ford’s “pie plate taillights” trend of the time.

    Like 1

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