Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
July 12, 2010
Photos By: Tracy Stocker

It was a long time ago, but William Considine remembers it vividly. While dating his future wife, Sue, he helped her find a '63 Fairlane sedan for her first car. He found the car in North Carolina and brought it home to Michigan. It was a three on the tree manual trans sedan, baby blue, and super clean. She drove that Fairlane everywhere, but eventually moved up to something newer and sold the car to her brother. He promptly began hot-rodding it, with the end result being a minor wreck and then selling the car shortly afterwards. Over the years, William's wife spoke fondly of the Fairlane and their early courtship memories. How hard would it be to find another one she thought? With that, William was on the hunt for a replacement.

He found the car you see here, a '63 Fairlane 500 Hardtop in mid-1993 in sad shape. He found it locally, but it had just been shipped up from Georgia. After dropping $1,200 in the owner's palm he headed home with it. The body was in decent overall shape, but the engine burned more oil than fuel and the fact he only had one front brake working for the drive home gave William a white knuckle ride back to his place for sure. Within a few weeks of placing the new Fairlane project on the side of his house he had a passerby stop and proclaim he had two Fairlanes "just like that one." Apparently they were project cars/parts cars that never got off the ground. William's Fairlane collection grew to three when he talked the gentleman into letting the Fairlanes go. Using these two parts cars he was able to net all of the parts he needed to buildup his Fairlane.

There was a lot of ground to cover on the Fairlane project, including a color change (the '63 was an ugly shade of brown with a white painted top), drivetrain swap, wiring, suspension, and more. As the car came from Georgia, the underside was covered in that famous red Georgia clay. His daughter Lucy was a trooper, helping Dad scrape away all those years of driving on Georgia clay roads, getting covered from head to toe in it during the process (Mom wasn't too happy however).

With the car cleaned up it was time for another family member, William's cousin Junior, to lend a hand with the bodywork and blocking the car out for paint. Once the pair was happy with the results, William brought the car to Al's Collision in Warren, Michigan, for the application of Jet Black polyurethane and several coats of clear. William and friend Tom Hannon spent several nights wet sanding and buffing the paint out to the mirror finish you see on these pages.

With the paint- and bodywork complete, it was time to move forward with the Fairlane's motivation, which was found in the form of a '90 Mustang 5.0L donor engine. His friend Harry Brown helped tear the engine down, port a set of Trick Flow Twisted Wedge aluminum heads, and top it all off with a used Vortech blower kit and some complementary induction pieces. Liddio Iacobelli's Alternative Auto tuned the whole package and burned a custom chip for the 5.0L 'Lane to purr like a kitten. Backing the blown small-block is Tremec five-speed, while the stock 8-inch rear was beefed up for the newfound power headed aft. Rounding out the project, William returned the stock interior back to the car, upgraded the suspension with a few basics, and bolted on a set of staggered fitment Torque Thrust IIs for the perfect stance. As William tells us "none of this would have been possible without all the help of my family and friends." We can surely relate to those family ties William.

The Details
William Considine's '63 Fairlane 500 Hardtop

Engine

  • '90 Mustang 5.0L
  • 4.030-inch bore
  • 3.40-inch stroke
  • Eagle H-beam rods
  • Stock Ford crankshaft, chamfered oil journals
  • JE forged pistons
  • Plasma-moly piston rings
  • Crower hydraulic roller camshaft, 0.540-inch lift, 265-degrees duration, 112-degree lobe center
  • Ported Trick Flow Twisted Wedge cylinder heads
  • 2.02-inch intake, 1.60-inch exhaust valves
  • Ford Racing 1.7:1 roller rockers
  • Ford EEC-IV EFI system/wiring/controls
  • GT-40 intake manifold
  • 42-lb/hr injectors
  • 70mm mass-air meter
  • 70mm BBK throttle body
  • Vortech B-trim supercharger, 10 psi of boost
  • K&N 7-inch filter
  • MSD 6AL ignition
  • Custom chip by Alternative Auto, Chesterfield Twp., Michigan
  • 395 rwhp

Transmission

  • Tremec TKO-500 five-speed manual
  • Aluminum flywheel
  • Aluminum driveshaft
  • Owner-modified shifter

Rearend

  • 8-inch Ford housing
  • Detroit Locker differential
  • Moser 31-spline axles
  • Richmond 4.11 gears

Exhaust

  • Hooker Super Comp headers, ceramic coated, 1 5/8-inch primary, 3-inch collector
  • 3-inch dual exhaust with X-crossover
  • Flowmaster three-chamber mufflers

Suspension

  • Front: Stock-style control arms, larger antisway bar, Competition Engineering shocks
  • Rear: Stock-style leaf springs, Competition Engineering shocks, Caltrac traction bars, subframe connectors

Brakes

  • Front: Granada 11-inch vented disc, single-piston caliper, line lock
  • Rear: Stock drum

Wheels

  • Front: American Racing polished Torque Thrust II, 15x7, 3.75-inch offset
  • Rear: American Racing polished Torque Thrust II, 16x9, 5-inch offset

Tires

  • Front: BFGoodrich Touring T/A, P205/65R15
  • Rear: BFGoodrich Touring T/A, P245/40R16

Interior

  • Original bench seat interior, Auto Meter gauges, Kenwood CD head unit installed in glovebox, 6x9 speakers in rear deck

Exterior

  • Black polyurethane basecoat/clearcoat by Al's Collision, Warren, Michigan

William retired in June 2007 after 26 years in the Air Force as Crew Chief of a KC-135 Stratotanker refueling aircraft. With the help of his friends, Gerry Ridner and Bill Fields, William was able to design an image and submit it to the Air Force's nose art program, which allows pilots to have approved nose art applied to their aircraft. William, being from Michigan (as well as being stationed there) submitted artwork reflecting the famous Detroit, Michigan Woodward Avenue cruise. The artwork includes some famous Woodward landmarks as well as William's own '63 Fairlane. The artwork was applied to his KC-135 and it flew with him everywhere for more than 12 years! Now, how cool of a conversation starter would that have been with the ground crew?

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