Solid Project: 1966 Ford Fairlane GTA 390

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This 1966 Fairlane GTA could be an ideal candidate for Blue-Oval enthusiasts seeking a restoration project. It promises impressive performance and excellent comfort wrapped in a practical package that can comfortably seat five. It looks tired, but it is an essentially solid beast that would make a great DIY build. Although the engine is currently out, the indications are that almost everything required to return it to its former glory is included. The GTA is listed here on eBay in Pacifica, California. The seller set a BIN of $12,500 with the option to make an offer.

Classic cars from dry climates will always attract attention because they often have little or no rust. That seems to be the case with this GTA. Although its Candy Apple Red paint is baked, the seller indicates its only rust is a few pinholes in the floors. The underside shots seem to support the claim, meaning patches could be the most straightforward and cost-effective approach. The frame, trunk pan, and drop-offs, sport surface corrosion, but this Fairlane appears structurally sound. The panels have accumulated bumps and dents, although none seem bad enough to justify replacement. A thorough cleaning may reveal the glass as acceptable, while some trim and chrome items require restoration or replacement. The Cragar wheels aren’t original, but if cleaning and polishing dramatically improves their appearance, they won’t look out of place on this GTA when it returns to its rightful place on our roads.

If I could sit down with an owner and provide one piece of advice before they place their classic on the market, it would be to provide decent photos. A picture is said to be worth a thousand words, and this one is the only shot of the Fairlane’s interior. It tells us little beyond the fact that it is trimmed in Red and the console is damaged. That feature confirms there are bucket seats, but we are otherwise flying blind. The saving grace is that the seller seems approachable and willing to supply additional photos to interested parties. They pulled the 390ci V8 due to low compression, meaning it needs work to produce the 335hp it delivered when new. Combined with a three-speed automatic transmission, the buyer should expect a ¼-mile ET of 15 seconds when the GTA returns to active service. The seller states the engine block isn’t original, although the cylinder heads, exhaust manifolds, and transmission are. It requires brake work and a few other tweaks, but they include extra parts to help the winning bidder with their build.

It is sometimes challenging to determine whether a project car is desirable and whether enthusiasts are genuinely moved by the promise it shows. That isn’t the case with this 1966 Fairlane GTA, with eighty-six people watching the listing. Ford sold 317,274 examples of the Fairlane in 1966, with 33,015 people selecting the GT Hardtop variant. I am unable to confirm how many were GTAs. Although values continue climbing, they remain in affordable territory. If the new owner restored this classic to a high standard, they could find themselves behind the wheel of a car worth around $50,000. Its solid and complete nature, combined with the BIN figure, makes it a car deserving more than a casual glance. Are you tempted?

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  1. Woofer WooferMember

    I have a ‘thing’ about 66 Fairlanes because that was my first car in high school. I was a junior in 1969, riding my 350 Honda everywhere, weather permitting. My brother was going in the service and sold me his 66 Fairlane GT, 390, 4-speed for $1,000. But I don’t think this one in the ad is worth $12,000. I could start naming things wrong with it but the list would be too long. Someone else can have fun with it. Good luck.

    Like 11
    • 8banger 8bangerMember

      I concur!

      Like 4
  2. timothy r herrod

    I bought one of these for 50 dollars in 1978. Don’t know if it was the original motor as it was a 2 barrel, locked up anyway. I was putting a 390 out of a 64 galaxy, had both motors pulled out and was getting the galaxy motor ready to re-install when dad caught me and freaked out, said that there was no way I was putting that big motor in that car. I tried to tell him that it was the same motor that I took out but he wasn’t having it. I was 16 at the time so I had to listen to him, respecting elders sorta thing. Traded it for a 68? plymouth 4 door with a /6

    Like 1
  3. Rob Jay

    It would be worth 50K restored but it’ll cost more than that to buy it and then restore it. If you do literally everything yourself you might get it done for the 50K it should be worth. Parts and shipping have gone up considerably the last few years and if you farm out any labor at $100+/hr you’ll be in the hole.

    Like 4
  4. Anthony

    Tv shows have made buying old cars almost impossible everyone thinks their 2500 dollar car is worth 15,000 dollars

    Like 8
    • Jim

      Bingo, give this man a cigar. Or a Beer.

      Like 0
  5. john Douglas muldoon

    The most important thing about a project car is not the value when complete, but the purchace price when buying. Whatever it is we love its definitely not the money we put into it but the love of what we create in the process! I can’t justify the cost on this project but love the vehicle.

    Like 4
  6. 64 Bonneville

    I have a cousin has a 66 GTA Fairlane, 390 automatic. She was a real speed demon with it. Whupped quite a few guys drag racing it. she is going thru cancer treatment, right now, still young, only in her mid 50s’ my thoughts and prayers are with her. Would still like to have her car though. I just hope she can beat it, my wife didn’t after 13 years.

    Like 1
    • Fast FredMember

      Prayers for your cousin ,sorry for the loss of your wife.

      Like 2
      • 64 bonneville

        Thanks Fast Fred, really appreciate it.

        Like 0
  7. 79camaro

    My fiance is fighting cancer and I know it’s a hard road. She had a 1971 mustang Mach 1. I got us a 79 Camaro to try and get her spirits up. I know it’s not a mustang but I hope she will come around and maybe drive it this summer. My mom had a 60’s galaxy with a 390 4 speed convertible and she knew how to bang the gears. Always pray and I always try to make our loved ones smile 😊

    Like 1
  8. Brutus' Bestie

    My first car was a 66 Fairlane. Bought it on a mechanic’s lean for @ $250. Drove it through high school and college and sold it for $400 after college. Now I see these Rust bucket turds for thousands more than their value and realize how bad a businessman I am. My Fairlane was way better than these offers.

    Like 0
  9. J.W. Jones

    Mom & Dad bought a 66 Fairlane brand new. 390 4 speed black on black with no AC. In Florida. I remember being small enough to ride lying down on the package tray going down the highway; back when that was legal.

    It was Mom’s daily driver until 1976 when she finally dropped the hammer and demanded something with power steering and AC so he bought her a 76 Granada that had the extremely unreliable Duraspark I ignition.

    Like 0

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