Jim Smart
April 1, 1998

The new age of freedom in the 1990s called "personal expression" is what building a vintage Ford is all about. Unlike during the '80s, we aren't limited by what is available from the factory. We don't have to just restore an old Ford or Merc; we can personalize and stylize our car projects without fear of embarrassment, shame, or condemnation. The pressure's off, and it's time to have fun with our rides. So chill out, turn on, and tune in to Ford's Fairlane Sport Coupe of 1964. And meet Art and Gloria Saul of Delran, New Jersey, which is just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. Art and Gloria call this Medium Aubergine Fairlane awesome, and so will you.

This Fairlane Sport Coupe is the product of the freedom that we Americans have come to know over the past 222 years. Much of it began in Philadelphia long about 1776 at a party called the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Independence, freedom, that God-given right to think and do for oneself. Cool....

This is a sweet land of liberty, especially along the Jersey side of the Delaware River, where Art set about conceiving this Ford intermediate.

Fullerton's Auto Body in Delran massaged the body and applied the Sikkens-Lesonal Epoxy basecoat/clearcoat finish. The German paint manufacturer calls it Medium Aubergine, but it's also known as Eggplant. You've seen it elsewhere as a '93 aurus color. It infuses life into an old Fairlane.

Inside, Art opted for a street-rod-style interior. Those are stock bucket seats clad in a tight weave cloth, just like a street rod. Padding was added for comfort. Ed's Trim Shop in Hainesport, New Jersey, wove the magic inside. Outside, Art kept his efforts conservative and retro. Those are American Torq-Thrust "D" wheels and BFGoodrich Radial T/As on the ground. Otherwise, the slippery lines of the Fairlane 500 remain.

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Underhood, Art's hiding a beefy mill that makes this car a sleeper. That's a 302ci small-block built by Engine Specialties of Cinnaminson, New Jersey. Engine Specialties punched the bores 0.030 inch over, balanced the bottom end for smoothness and longevity, fitted the block with a Lunati 0.488-inch-lift camshaft, and topped the block with Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads, an MSD ignition, an Edelbrock Performer, and a 650-cfm Holley carb. Ford Motorsport SVO pieces dress up the rest.

Art unearthed his Fairlane back in 1990 when he discovered it sitting in the back of a repair shop. No matter how many times Art offered the guy serious cash for the neglected and abused ride, there was no sale. Never underestimate the persuasive power of a woman, however.

Gloria Saul was determined to see Art with the Fairlane. Her persistence paid off. She talked the gentleman out of it, handed him $350, and handed Art the title on Christmas Eve, 1990. That's an ironclad marriage if we've ever seen one. You see, Art never forgot his first Fairlane, a '63, which was sold when he shipped off to Vietnam in 1966. Through the years, he had often spoken of having another. And through the years, Gloria was listening.

Art and Gloria worked on the Fairlane together. He tells us, "My wife has become an expert at spotting old cars in fields and people's backyards as we drive down the road. She has also become my support team, thinking nothing of sitting down and spending an hour with a toothbrush going over the chrome. The Fairlane has become a hobby for both of us."