Stored For 32 Years: 1978 Ford Fairmont Futura

The rear 3/4-angle is arguably the best view of this 1978 Ford Fairmont Futura, or any Ford Fairmont Futura / Mercury Zephyr Z7. This Futura is listed on eBay with a current bid price of $2,200 and there is less than a day to get your bids in! This car is located in Beach City, Ohio.

Having the hood popped like that does nothing to help make the car look its best, but this car really does look good, body-condition-wise. This Futura was parked in a garage in 1985 and hasn’t even been started since then. Soooooooo.. that’s 32 years, which means going through absolutely everything mechanical. For a car that was meant to be a Ford Maverick replacement, it’s sure a huge departure from that car. Could you imagine Ford putting a Maverick and a Thunderbird in the same ad, touting their shared good looks?

Apparently, this car was repainted at some point before it was parked and the seller says that it doesn’t show any signs of ever having had rust or bodywork on it. It looks pretty much like new when you look at the parts that usually are rusted through by now. The underside looks good, too. They mention that there’s a receipt for the new shocks from 8-11-1982 and the tires were purchased at 9-26-1981 when the car had 32,803 on it. It now has only 33,926 so they’re basically brand new, but will most likely need to be replaced due to age.

I expected to see bucket seats and a console here, but this interior with its bench seat looks absolutely like new to me. How does the trunk look? Well, it’s funny you should ask, because it, too, looks like new. This car has the usual things that you would have imagined – power steering, power brakes, an automatic transmission, and AC. I’m assuming that the AC doesn’t work after three decades in storage.

Yes, a 302 V8! You expected to see an inline-six here, admit it. So did I. This 302 would have had just shy of 140 hp. The next owner will have to change the usual suspects here: all fluids, belts, hoses, full tune-up, etc. There is some rodent damage on the hood insulation right above the air cleaner but supposedly that’s all. This could be a nice car if the mechanical systems check out. Too bad that it’s not the original factory paint, though. Are there any Fairmont Futura fans out there?

Fast Finds


  1. RoselandPete

    Sure seems to be a departure from the Maverick.

  2. Tony S

    I am surprised that you didn’t mention this is built on the Ford Fox platform.

  3. Luke Fitzgerald

    These things always look to me to be styled by the truck division

    • RayT Member

      With a weekend’s work — and enough beer — you could make this a Fairmont Ranchero!

  4. Howard A Member

    Again, very limited interest. I like it, but it seemed Ford just got worse and worse. One would have to have a connection. I can’t imagine, someone going, “OMG, look, a ’78 Fairmont, FINALLY”. Maverick was a good car, Fairmont, not so much, and Tempo ( I had one of those too), just awful.( another car my ex-wife killed) For some reason, these cars had really funky steering. Not sure why. Good dependable cars, but junkyards were full of them ( with no motors). Be a good driver, but sitting that long, is not kind.

    • Fred W.

      Right on the money Howard, not a good time for Ford and the reason I crossed over about that time and started buying Japanese. My wife when we married in ’90 had an ’89 Tempo that was a nice driving, dependable car. But knowing what I knew about how long it might last, I sold it after 3 years. Last Ford ever in the family, and I was the son of a staunch Ford man.

      You would have to be a huge Fairmont fan to take something like this on- over 30 years since driven? Does anyone like that exist?

    • ICEMAN from Winnipeg

      I bought a new 1989 Mercury Topaz in September 1989. It lasted 16+ years and over 300,000 KMs. Just regular maintenance, three mufflers, a brake job or two, and one clutch replacement in that time. Solid machine that was excellent in the snow with the manual 5 speed. Easily cruised at 130-149 KMs an hour on the Trans Canada Highway in Alberta in the early 90s when the RCMP let people drive well over the posted speed limit without any hassle.

  5. JW

    My dad had one of these, dependable yes, boring yes. would I want one? Maybe to make a drag car out of which I’ve seen a few and with a engine swap and some other mechanical alterations they were 11 second cars.

  6. A
  7. glenn

    love t his car

    Like 1
  8. olddavid

    Calling Eric the Car Guy

  9. Wayne

    Not a Ranchero! A Ford Durango!
    We have been down this road quite a bit lately. American Coach works did it. And I think they were also drinking beer at the time!

  10. RJ

    I’m not surprised it has been repainted. Seems to me Ford and Mercury reds and whites from the late 70s to late 80s faded and went dull quite easily.

  11. Scotty Staff

    Auction update: this car sold for $3,160!

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.