1966 Ford Fairlane 500: Reader ride

By: Rob Day, Photography by: Steve Nally

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1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500
1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500
1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500
1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500
1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500
1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500
1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500
1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500
1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 1966 Ford Fairlane 500

Rob Day's 1966 Ford Fairlane 500...

1966 Ford Fairlane 500: Reader ride
1966 Ford Fairlane 500

 

1966 Ford Fairlane 500

I’ve had a lot of Aussie muscle cars including L34, SL/R 5000, and Bathurst XU-1 Toranas and an HG GTS, all of which I wish I’d kept. I started getting into American cars about 20 years ago after a trip to the US; there I met Mel from the Houston Mustang Club and we’ve been good friends ever since. He was a transmission mechanic for 45 years and used to check out cars for me; I’ve imported four Mustangs and a ’64 Falcon Sprint with his help.

Mel always had a project car in his garage and he bought this ’66 Fairlane from a friend, who bought it from another friend in New Mexico, where it had been parked since 1976 with a blown motor. Mel spent seven years rebuilding the drivetrain and engine and mechanically it’s fantastic. It still has the original 289 block but Mel fitted roller rockers, a cam, Edelbrock manifold, Holley Avenger carbie, electronic ignition and a new exhaust. He also did the upholstery, carpet and dash pad but everything else, apart from the Magnum rims and radials, is original. All I had to get were new door panels and a head liner, which is still to go in. The paint and body has never been touched. It’s had four owners and I’m only the third owner to drive it. I’ve even got the original title to the car.

Mel’s in his 70s now and not too well, so when he told me he was going to sell the Fairlane, I snapped it up because I knew it would be good. All I’ve done is put in heavy-duty shocks and added a sway bar in the rear, which makes it a lot more stable. I’m just trying to decide whether to paint the car in its original cream or in vintage burgundy, which is the ’65 Ford colour that Mel was going to paint it. That’s why it has burgundy carpet and why, when it arrived, it had cans of burgundy paint in the boot! For sentimental reasons, I’d love to be able to finish the car in burgundy and send him a picture of it.

 

 

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