Not-a-Mustang: This Ford Fairlane Fastback is a Wonderful Survivor
Combine the words “Ford” and “fastback”, and you’re likely referring to one car—the iconic Ford Mustang. Though offered in a variety of shapes over the years, it’s the achingly gorgeous fastback trim of the 1960s that Blue Oval fans recall most fondly. Glance quickly and to the untrained eye, this looks like one such fastback ‘Stang. But it isn’t. This wonderfully preserved car is a 1968 Ford Fairlane 500, a fastback version of Ford’s popular intermediate car… and my have these coupes aged well. While not as popular as similarly vintage Ford Mustangs, this Fairlane 500 is still a performance hero in its own right, and this particular unrestored “survivor” is up for grabs. Feeling nostalgic? It asks just under $23,000. RELATED: This 2010 Shelby GT500 Has Driven Just 21 Miles... Ever
It isn’t just any old Fairlane though. This “SportsRoof” fastback comes packing one of the hotter powerplants of its day, Ford’s 390 cubic inch “S code” engine, a quite desirable option. Whereas lesser Fairlanes were bestowed with 200 cubic inch six-cylinders or 289 and 302 cubic inch V8s, this car’s claimed “S code” signifies a four-barrel V8 that pushed out a heady 325 horsepower. The only way to go faster in a Ford Fairlane 500 (or its upmarket, NASCAR-winning Torino cousin) would be to spec-up the burly 428 Cobra Jet engine… which wasn’t available at the time.
According to the owner, that racy engine and its desirable four-speed manual transmission make this one of just 367 Ford Fairlane 500s so equipped. More interesting still, it’s said to have been ordered new as a dealership demonstration car in Medford, Oregon. Imagine seeing one of these sitting on the lot back in 1968, and then trying to rationalize a cheaper, slower, six-cylinder Fairlane sedan. Not gonna' happen.
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According to the listing, this gorgeous Sunlit Gold dealer demonstrator model sold new in March of 1968, and then its original owner relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Shortly afterward, the sleek fastback then passed to its second owner, who would hold onto it until 2015.
All in all, it looks to have been kept in startlingly original condition, apart from a few nicks and dents endured over the years, a bit of surface rust underneath, some replacement carpets, and a bit of a performance injection. While the 390 cubic inch V8 was hot, the Cobra Jet was even hotter, and the second owner souped-up this Ford Fairlane 500 with a few Cobra Jet bits—a dual-point distributor, carburetor, plus a set of 3.91 differential gears.
Today, it looks exceedingly pretty and honest in its old age, and for the Ford collector with a fleet of Mustangs… perhaps a lovely Fairlane would make a nice addition.
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