Arvid Svendsen
August 25, 2011

'67 Ford Fairlane 500

A quintessential Blue Oval street fighter, Kenny Hess' Fairlane is only the latest in a strong history of hot rods. Kenny owns Kenny's Auto Repair in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and has built a number of high-performance Fords, including drag cars and pulling trucks. A buddy alerted Kenny to this '67 Ford Fairlane that had been sitting in a barn. As purchased, the rust-free car came with a 289 V-8 with an automatic on the column. However, life got even better for this Fairlane with Kenny in charge.

Word of mouth came to Kenny about a Roush-built Boss 429 in a pulling truck that was for sale locally. In pulling trim, the motor had produced 1,089 hp on the dyno. Kenny figured that since the Boss 429 was the baddest powerplant ever built by Ford, and since no one had ever put a Boss 429 in a Fairlane to his knowledge, it was incumbent upon him to build a Boss 429 '67 Fairlane post car...a black one.

Kenny purchased the Boss 429 motor and proceeded to rebuild it for street/strip duty. Concurrently, Kenny got the Fairlane ready to shoehorn the massive Boss motor in the engine compartment. Because of the width of the new engine, the shock towers were trimmed back about by 2 inches per side, while shortening the upper control arms 2 inches per side. Other custom changes include a set of fabricated headers, a custom cooling system, and a Crites 427 hood.

The performance of the Boss 429 motor exceeds expectations, and the wow factor is off the charts. It has been stroked to 557 ci via a Scat 4.50-inch forged steel stroker crank, H-beam rods, and an 0.080-inch overbore to 4.444 inches. The Boss 429 heads were ported and treated to larger titanium valves from Roush, and the mechanical roller cam and valvetrain were sourced from Comp Cams. The Blue Thunder intake manifold hosts two 750-cfm Edelbrock carburetors. Ignition chores are handled by MSD, while Steve Kaliher of Frackville, Pennsylvania, fabricated the headers.

In this writer's opinion, the '66-'67 Fairlane post is one of Ford's best looking cars ever. Weld Pro Stars announce that this car has had a few upgrades since leaving Dearborn. Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R radials are the tires of choice. The front 15x5 Pro Stars mount 26x8x15LT tires, while the rear 15x10 Pro Stars with 5 inches offset are shod with 28x12x15LTs.

The interior is straight from the factory, with just a Summit tach and gauges installed in plain view. Seat covers came from Price Upholstery in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The Hurst Super Shifter ensures short shifts and positive action for the 2.78 First-gear Top Loader, which Kenny rebuilt himself. A McLaren 12-inch clutch and pressure plate actuated by a Speedway hydraulic clutch and master cylinder kit makes shifting smooth and reliable.

Up front, the suspension is all stock, but the rear suspension is not. Kenny installed a four-link coilover suspension with frame connectors using Chassis Engineering parts. The fully braced Ford 9-inch has been fortified with 4.11 gears, a Detroit Locker, and Moser 31-spline axles.

Hot rods are all about stance and swagger, and this Fairlane defines both. Though Kenny resisted temptation for the most part, short bursts to exercise the Boss engine showed that this car was built right.

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