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Custom 1966 Ford Fairlane - A Road Less Traveled
Doug Schultz Has Done The Norm Before, But Not This Time!
We feel confident in saying there aren't many readers who have seen a '66 Fairlane that resembles this one. In fact, we can't recall anything like it ourselves, so we're immediately drawn to the red and titanium beast like flies on stink. It's just the reaction Doug Schultz expected when the former hot rod fabrication shop owner decided to build a new car in the fall of 2002, yet rather than do it to draw attention to him, he did it to simply be different. Schultz is no stranger to radical machinery, having built the '67 Nova that won the prestigious Goodguys Street Machine of the Year (SMOY) award in 2001, as well as a '62 Impala that competed in the '02 version of the same event. That he decided to build a Ford this time around is noteworthy.
What would cause a guy with a heavy Chevrolet leaning to build one of the most radical Fords around? Perhaps brand loyalty isn't the barrier it once seemed. "I noticed very few Fords at events like Columbus (Goodguys SMOY), and since the '66-'67 Fairlane is my favorite Ford, and a buddy of mine had one for sale, I figured, why not build one? Why not, indeed! When Schultz says build, he means it in a way that is foreign to many of us. This car is no bolt-on endeavor; rather, it's an extreme custom piece, with so much engineering and fabrication by Schultz himself it makes your head spin.
Another point to be made right up front-this Fairlane is no trailer queen. Despite competing at the highest level and eventually falling one point out of the top 5 finishers during the '07 Columbus competition, Schultz's '66 was built to drive-and fast. Need proof? Well, he autocrossed the car at its limits during the Goodguys '08 Costa Mesa meet, was foiled by a broken rearend when trying to meet up with us at the local dragstrip, and scoffed at the idea of trailering the Fairlane to our later photo shoot. Instead, Schultz drove the two-hour road trip-running side by side amongst plebian grocery getters, mobile texters, and distracted cell phone drivers. Yup, the man has guts.
Moving on to the more technical side of things, much of Schultz's preliminary planning revolved around the notion that today's state-of-the-art cars must feature a monstrous footprint. Recall your wildest high school math class doodling, and you'll get the idea. To that end, Schultz began by fabricating his own frame from 2x2 and 2x4-inch mild steel, largely to allow clearance for the P335/35R20 Michelins. Planting the rubber is an Air Ride Technologies Shock Wave suspended parallel four-link, along with a Watt's link to better control the gyrations of the 3.50 geared 9-inch axle. Front suspension is based off a Heidts Super Ride II, heavily modified to fit the Fairlane's atypical frame. Features include 2-inch drop spindles, stainless tubular control arms, Flaming River rack and steering components, and another pair of Shock Waves. Swaybars at both ends were fabbed from 1 1/4-inch, 0.120-inch chrome-moly tubing, with the front using a trick chassis mounted bellcrank linkage system. Baer disc brakes reside on all corners, only partially hidden by 18x7 and 20x12-inch Boyd wheels.
Pushing the modern chassis/suspension to the max is a more traditional big-inch, shift-for-yourself drivetrain. Schultz made it easy on himself by choosing Ford Racing's 625-horse 514-inch crate motor, which fits with ease due to the absence of original shock towers. All the goodies come from the factory on this one, including aluminum Super Cobra Jet heads, a big solid roller, and a Victor Jr. intake which was machined to accept ACCEL 68 lb/hr fuel injectors. An ACCEL throttle body sits up top, and all parameters are dictated by a Gen VII DFI as programmed by Blood Enterprises in Auburn, Washington. Schultz makes the most of the prodigious power by rowing his own with a Richmond six-speed, utilizing a Centerforce clutch and Lakewood scattershield.