Ed Hohenberg
December 8, 2006

Step By Step

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Mmfp_0701_01z 1980_ford_fairmont_futura Front
With the Futura option, the ultra-boxy Fairmont got the sleeker and sportier roof. It's still much boxier than a Mustang, but we have a soft spot for the shoebox types. Ten-hole Mustang wheels look completely natural on the Futura. Original paint still looks great 27 years later.
Mmfp_0701_02z 1980_ford_fairmont_futura RearMmfp_0701_03z 1980_ford_fairmont_futura Engine
The "engine from the future" is slightly warmed-over now. A B303 cam exists in an otherwise-stock '90 Mustang 5.0 powerplant. Exterior bolt-ons include a 73 mm C&L MAF and cold-air kit with K&N filter, a 65mm Accufab throttle body, a 31/44-inch phenolic spacer between the intakes, JBA shorty headers, and Taylor 9mm wires.
Mmfp_0701_04z 1980_ford_fairmont_futura Hood
Having a look under the factory hood, we see more weight savings. Notice the lack of bracing. This factory steel hood is as light as some 'glass stuff we've seen.

What if the Ford Fairmont Futura really was futuristic? What if, in 1980, the car was 10 years ahead of its time? Instead of a smogger inline-six, what if the '80 Fairmont Futura came with a fuel-injected 5.0 V-8, a T5 transmission, and an 8.8 rearend stuffed with a Traction-Lok, just like our favorite '87-'93 Fox Mustangs did?

If you're in your early twenties and driving the latest '06 or a '99-'04 GT, you may not know your beloved Mustang's roots can be traced back to the Fairmont. Long before the popular 225-horse 5.0 H.O. was stuffed between the rails, the Fox chassis was being stamped into slightly larger Fords and Mercs. Paul DuCroix of Winnipeg, Canada, has just such a beast in his funky Futura.

A longtime, die-hard Ford man, the 38-year-old Ford dealership parts-counter guru has been through a stable of Fairmonts, early Mustangs, and other early performance Fords, but of all the Fairmonts, this is his favorite, and rightly so.

The car was originally built as a "Franken-mont" by a gentleman in British Columbia, Canada, when the entire drivetrain from a '90 5.0 LX was transplanted into the Futura. Fox chassis being Fox chassis, it's amazing just how much Mustang you can add to a Fairmont. Besides the engine, trans, and 8.8 rear axle, the entire front K-member assembly was also bolted into the Futura, thereby inheriting the better brakes from the Mustang, too. The Mustang antisway bars improved the Futura's handling, and the complete LX exhaust system (with stainless tailpipes) bolted right in and looks completely natural. With the 10-hole "phone dial" wheels, the Fairmont had a whole new look. Dare we call it a Futura LX 5.0?

Jeff Matthews found the morphed Futura in British Columbia, and brought the car to Winnipeg a few years ago. Being a former Mustanger with a penchant for detail, the spotless, low-mileage, original-paint Futura very much appealed to him. Being a hot rodder, he couldn't leave it alone, so he slowly began to add more go-fast parts to the otherwise completely stock Mustang drivetrain.