Kimberly V. Althage – March 4, 2022
The fifth generation of the Ford Fairlane was released in 1966 with a wide range of models available. Its revised appearance was intended to match the restyled 1965 model of the full-sized Ford. The front end featured vertically stacked dual headlights. Ford Motor Company completely redesigned the midsize Fairlane for that model year. It was this coupe version with its exquisite razor-sharp lines that was so well received, and Ford sold almost 76K units.
It is easy to see why. The fifth generation Fairlane is one of Ford’s best-looking designs. It is also a classic example of the American Muscle Car which harkens back to Ford’s “Total Performance” prime racing era from 1961 through 1971. This example in our Kansas City Showroom might appear to be a regular midsize coupe of that era, yet it incorporates some of the hottest upgrades available.
Only the highest build quality and complete restoration process happened to this beauty. First every nut, bolt, bracket, and wire were removed. The most labor-intensive part of a restoration is restoring the body and removing it from the chassis. It is the only way to achieve such perfection.
The current owner says all the metal except a single floor pan installed on its custom trunk floor is original. The engine bay is completely custom. The builder removed the shock towers, smoothed out the fire wall, and built all new sides. The body has wider rear wheel wells, or work known as mini-tubbing done. Yet, the factory wheel wells give it that stock look. The grill and the hood scoop insert were both powder coated to match the wheels.
Other meticulous body work completed on this 1966 Fairlane would include the hood being replaced with a fiberglass ram air version and the endless hours to get it to fit as if factory-made. Its front bumper was cut and tucked, and the vanity tag area was removed and reshaped for its custom look before being professionally chromed. All the trim was reworked and refinished and all new “smoked” glass was installed.
The frontend suspension is from Rod and Custom. It is a Mustang II power steering and manual rack & pinions with power steering. The single piece or full-frame rails run through its rocker arms and attached out back to the all-new Art Morrison Chassis, which resulted in a completely customized trunk area. The current owner chose to leave it bare to show off its fabrication instead of hiding such work with carpet or panels.
The rear suspension is a triangulated 4-link upgrade with coil over shocks that give it a clean appearance looks great. A heavy sway bar was also added to both front and rear to reduce roll and dramatically improve its handling, which keeps the wheels as level as possible on those corners. The rear end is a new 9-inch housing from Art Morrison with a Strange center section equipped with 3.89 gears and Strange axles. All those upgrades in handling would not be complete without top-of-the-line classic car brakes, and this beauty has new Wilwood disc brakes powered by an ABS electronic brake system on all four corners.
That metallic burnt orange or copper paint job is also top of the line. It is part of the PPG Vibrance collection. Nutmeg is its name, and it covers all interior painted areas too. The quality and presentation extend to its beautiful interior as well. The dash pad, interior dash knobs, headliner, door panels, carpet, kick panels, and sun visors are all new. Additional accents like the new Dakota digital gauge cluster and Billet Specialties A/C vents make this baby pop.
Beyond cosmetic enhancements, this car has several technical improvements as well. Its factory AM radio is now equipped with all of today’s modern advancements, such as Bluetooth, aux out, sub out, USB, and has hands-free calling capabilities. The cigarette lighter was replaced with a USB or auxiliary audio jack. Its sound quality is superb, from its factory correct 8-inch dash speaker and its high-quality two rear deck speakers, as well as a powered subwoofer mounted behind the rear seat. That rear bench is the original seat frame but has been completely restored. The front bucket seats are Procar® Touring™ series and modeled after 1966 Fairlane bucket seats and brings it all together.
Enough about aesthetics, let’s talk power. The engine is a 501 Ford Big Block Stroker (429 block) dyno’d at 500 HP with 580 f.t. pounds of torque. Ford developed the 429 engines to replace the largest of the FE-series V8s and was introduced in the 1968 Ford Thunderbird. The rotating assembly is all SCAT with H beam rods and scat crank.
The D0VE-C factory iron cylinder heads have been completely reworked to run a big block Chevy valve train with all new SS valves. Equipped with a Fluidampr the engine is internally balanced and has a Weiand Stealth intake with a new quick fuel Brawler carb (750cfm, dual feed, dual pump, no choke). Ignition is an MSD setup with the 6AL box giving it more power and improved throttle response. Its FPA Headers are custom, and ceramic coated in gun metal gray prohibiting any potential corrosion issues. Its drivetrain technology has also been modernized with new TREMEC TKO 6000 5-speed from American Powertrain along with the new hydraulic clutch setup. The oversize aluminum radiator has dual HO fans and is designed to run the single fan until the engine temp rises to 190° or until the A/C is turned on. It is controlled though the Dakota digital system.
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