Straightening Out The Curves: 1965 Ford Fairlane 500 Sports Coupe

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Ford introduced a slightly less curvy Fairlane in 1965, the last year of the fourth generation (1962-1965) lineup.  The most noticeable design changes included straighter body lines, a new-look nose featuring rectangular body-colored headlight bezels, and the replacement of rounded taillights with boring, less sporty rectangular ones.  Motor Trend was thoroughly unimpressed and dubbed the ’65 Fairlane “the most desirable bread-and-butter car of the year” (thanks to for that interesting bit of history).  This I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-butter Sports Coupe model, available here on Craigslist in Haverhill, Massachusetts, is reported by its seller to be a former California car and is being offered at $3,490.

Yes, it’s the time of year here in the Northeast U.S. when Craigslist ads feature cars half-covered in the white stuff.  Give the seller of this Fairlane credit though as he is doing his best to protect his investment from the snow by covering it with a giant tarp.  I’m perplexed, however, as to why he didn’t bother to go the extra mile and entirely remove the tarp before taking pictures.   The seller claims the car is fresh from long-term storage and the rockers, quarter panels, doors, floors, and trunk are all in “very good shape.”  Close-up photos of the rockers are provided, as well as interior shots of the trunk and rear wheel wells where things look very promising in regard to not being too rusted.  Potential buyers might want to pull up the trunk liner and take a peek at what’s underneath, however.  Aside from needing a repaint (or not), issues a new owner might choose to address include: replace the section of missing body molding and bottom rear window trim, re-chrome the bumpers, repair or replace the dented grille, and fix the potential alignment issue with the passenger side door.

Unfortunately, photos of the interior are quite dark due to the tarp issue but they still manage to give a pretty good indication as to the condition of things.  Due to the ratty sheepskin seat cover, we can’t see the driver seat fabric but the rest of the upholstery throughout the car doesn’t look too bad.  For the most part, it looks like all that’s needed is a real good cleaning.  Front bucket seats and a center console were features of the Sports Coupe.  The console shows some discoloration and wear but it matches perfectly with the car’s weather-worn exterior.  Ah-ha!  I think that’s the piece of missing rear window trim laying on top of the console!

The seller claims the factory original 289 V8 “starts and runs” and it’s paired with Ford’s three-speed Cruise-O-Matic transmission.  Mileage isn’t given and some will say that doesn’t much matter on a 53-year-old car, but I always like to know.  A really nice photo is provided of the engine bay and the slightly rusty, grimy old 289 looks every bit its age, which I find appropriate.  Rather than seeing shiny, mirror-like valve covers and an air cleaner you can serve lunch on, the motor in this car presents as a complete and unmolested original.  The seller mentions this Fairlane would “make a great winter project.”  If you were to take it on would you look to simply make it roadworthy again so you could drive it more or less as is?  Or would you go for an all-out restoration and return it to a shining example of what it once was?  If the seller is willing to come down a bit in price this might be a great opportunity for either of those options, especially for the person who prefers their bread with butter not jelly.

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  1. sir mike

    Buy her then send send her to Holman Moody and have a clone of their racing version built…now that’s a wild race car….just ask Alan Mann racing who has one.

    Like 2
  2. stillrunners

    Not bad for the east coast for that money if it came from the west….doesn’t look too bad.

    Like 3
  3. Del

    800 dollar car

    Like 2
    • ctmphrs

      $8 dollar opinion

      Like 2
  4. Troy s

    Like the Ford’s but I must admit if this is the sporty version it does look fairly dull compared to the Chevelle’s and GTO’s of the same year. Ford was in Mustang sales shock anyways.

    Like 0
  5. James Turner

    About 20 years ago I almost bought a 1965 Ford Fairlane until some people told me it was an oddball year design and hard to relocate replacement parts for.

    Like 0
  6. Bob C.

    Definitely a forgotten year for Fairlane s.

    Like 0

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