Survivor Driver: 1968 Ford Fairlane 500 Convertible

Here’s a presentable “survivor driver” that could be a fun convertible to just drive around in and enjoy. It’s not perfect by any means, but to be 53 years old, this low-production drop top (only 3,422 were made) appears to have more going for it than going against it. Currently located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, this 1968 Fairlane 500 convertible is for sale here on eBay. As of this writing, the highest bid had reached $6,600.

Ford’s intermediate line received a redesign in 1968 and the Fairlane continued the tradition of following the full-sized Ford’s styling cues. It was kind of boxy and conservatively styled next to its also redesigned for ’68 competitor, the Chevy Chevelle, but the public liked the new Fairlane line. In total, 372,327 were sold, a 36% increase over 1967.

When you view the photos, you can spot dings, some dents, chips, large paint bubbles on the fenders, and other body imperfections. The seller describes the Wimbleton White paint as driver quality at best that could use a good buffing, Overall, the Fairlane looks solid. The trim is all there, and the glass, chrome, bumpers and blue convertible top (with a glass rear window) look presentable. There are no photos of the undercarriage, but the seller says the floor pans are very solid.

The seller states that the Fairlane drives good, and it recently did a little 60-mile cruise with no problems. Other descriptions include: “shifts, stops, turns with ease, has a good idle, the power top works great, windows roll up and down, doors, trunk, and hood all close, latch, and lock as they should.” The seller confesses that “at highway speed, the front end wanders a little, probably tie rod ends or sway link bushing.”

The interior looks original, and except for the old carpet that needs to be replaced, the attractive two-toned blue vinyl seats, dash, and cabin area looks good for its age. The photos show some after market gauges have been added under the dash, but otherwise it looks original.

The seller states the Fairlane has new parts including an aluminum radiator, carburetor, new tires, and has had some speedometer and odometer work performed. Under the hood lies the 302-cubic-inch, 210 horsepower V8 that’s mated to the three-speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission. The engine has a reported 118,176 miles on the clock. Overall, this appears to be a presentable, decent driver that could give its next owner hours of fun in the sun at an affordable price. What do you think?

Comments

  1. Big_Fun Member

    I see this was blue – check under the hood and the door jams by the front fenders. I hope someone didn’t get their head ripped off with the repaint and the poor body work.
    Since most of the funny business is below the lower body crease, this may be able to be fixed with new metal. The trick, here is to get it bought right.
    This one was featured here on BF and is ready to go.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1968-Ford-Fairlane-Low-miles-one-lady-owner-original-/203720495957?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0

    Like 5
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    With its common and mundane powertrain, it’s not fast or powerful (but likely easy to fix). Clean but unexciting styling. Basic colors. Plain jane whitewalls and wheel covers. Interior does look good. Probably plenty of knicks and scratches, and rust ready to pop through by tomorrow afternoon. Doesn’t sound very attractive does it? But I’m with Big Fun, the key is to not overpay. You could end up with a decent cruiser for not much money, something with which to have fun, without much stress. Then fix it up (or not) as you desire.

    Like 5
  3. Bud Lee

    You just got to love the old Ford intermediates . I think they are underrated .

    Like 9
  4. Sam Shive

    Lot’s of BONDO in the lower fenders and the quarter panels look like the waves of the ocean…… Looks like a lot of work, and that’s why it was painted White. I’d take a magnet with me on this one.

    Like 13
    • AndyinMA

      Yup white can hide a lot of sins

      Like 3
  5. Dave

    This is a candidate for magnum 500’s or torque thrusts. There is work to be done. Really nice model

  6. Troy

    Not bad for the money you can enjoy it for a couple of summers before you dive into a restoration.

    Like 1
  7. Larry Ashcraft

    1968 was the last year Ford used “slave cylinder” power steering. That’s probably why this one “wanders a little”.. They all did.

    Like 1
  8. Mountainwoodie

    Aluminum radiators signal overheating problems to me.. Add in the color change and the bondo and you just have to be realistic about what faces you. Think of it as an expensive ‘mechanics special’ :). Though back in ‘the day’ we’d call it a thousand dollar beater. Maybe fifteen hundred because its a vert.

    Like 2
  9. Clay Harvey

    Did anybody else notice that this car doesn’t have the correct steering wheel? The one on there is from a 69-70 model.

    Like 2
  10. Majik

    Not bad. I’d drive it. “I’m a ragtop man”. I had one ’68 (went through a couple dozen ’66s), about 20 years ago. Pale blue 2-door hardtop. Gutless with a straight six. I sold it to a guy rebuilding one to cut up, as his was hit in the rear. It needed to be off the road since the rear “frame” rails where the leaf springs connect was rusted through. But the body was sweet. Love those Fairlanes. ~S

    Like 2
  11. Gary

    I wish you writers would quit describing every pile of junk as a survivor. A survivor is a ALL ORIGINAL CAR, not some repainted pile of crap with shoddy body work, a color change etc.

    Like 5
  12. bone

    Up to $7,300 now, for a no frills car with a lot of mud in it and a poor paint job in the wrong color . Lots of good stuff in it to be sure, but its what you dont see that would have me concerned

    Like 1
  13. Mike

    I’d be leery of this thing…Lots of mud below the drip line, painted white to cover the lousy mud work, and NO pics of the under carriage…It looks nice in white, just not applied with a push broom…

    SURIVOR MY A**…..

    Like 1
  14. Paul MacD

    Dash appears to be out of a 69. I agree with the comments on the shoddy body work. I think there may be many spots where a magnet would not stick.

  15. TurnbuckleTim

    I may have made a mistake but I bought it for 7,800.00 last night.
    I sold my company last year so I have time to mess with it.
    Thanks for the feedback.

    Like 2
    • Mountainwoodie

      If you wanted it, its not a mistake.

      We’d all be interested in hearing what you find as you go along. Your actual experience will either vindicate some comments or prove that our eyes are lyin to us! Enjoy the heck out of it!

      Like 1
    • Stevieg Member

      You bought a running & driving vintage convertible for less than $10,000. Is it perfect? No. But as long as it is reliable & safe, so what! Enjoy the car. Drive it. Get use out of it. In 5 or 10 years if it is just as presentable as it is now, you will be able to sell it for what you paid for it, maybe more. Or better yet, keep it and keep enjoying it. I say “well bought”!

  16. Car Nut Tacoma

    Beautiful looking car. 1968 is my favourite year for the Ford Fairlane. This car looks like a well-preserved original car. The only thing different I see are the aftermarket gauges under the dash, which I don’t like one bit. If you’re going to install aftermarket anything, I would think it’d be best to install them where the driver can see them without taking his eyes too far off the road, like where the original gauges are.

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