The '66-'67 Fairlane is a classic example of the American musclecar and a time machine right out of the "Total Performance" years. It's one of Ford's best-looking designs, and the body style even has a NASCAR history.
The genesis of this story is another case of recapturing the fun of a favorite car from long-gone high school days. In this case, Taylor, Michigan's Mark Marks' first Fairlane ownership dates from 1975. Jump ahead to 1996, and he was looking through the classified ads when this cool hardtop caught his eye. This Fairlane was well-worn, but the body was rock-solid and a big-block GT to boot. Mark knew he had a good candidate for a restoration on his hands.
And so began a year-long refurbishment project. Nothing was overlooked as the body was restored to stock. It was then trimmed out to period-appropriate perfection with Ford Candyapple Red paint and Cragar SS five-spoke chrome wheels. The interior was completely redone to replicate the car's original status. The GT came from the factory equipped with an FE 390 engine, but Mark says he "got tired of having his doors blown off by big-block Chevelles." The solution was to keep it in the FE family but open it up to Cobra Jet proportions. The FE engine in the car now actually uses a CJ block, and it displaces the full 428 ci. Mark says he has no more problems with big-block Chevelles.
The factory big-block hood...
The factory big-block hood featured these interesting "390" inserts. All midsize performance offerings from the Detroit Big Three had something similar on the hood of their big-block models. (Above) The hood pins are also part of the package.
Looking over the list of engine improvements, it's easy to understand why Mark has no trouble keeping pace with the local talent-after all, a 390 is good, but a 428 Cobra Jet is much better. We'll bet the locals found out in a hurry that the red Fairlane was fast, and the brand-X competition was now fair game.
'66 Fairlane GT Hardtop
Owner: Mark Marks, Taylor, MI
FE 428 block 0.030-overbore
Scat Steel crankshaft knife-edged
Eagle H-beam connecting rods Ross forged-aluminum pistons 11:1 compression ratio
Ford cast-iron 390 cylinder heads, ported, polished, milled Comp Cams hydraulic camshaft, 0.584 lift, 294 degrees duration Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold
Holley 800-cfm four-barrel carb
MSD billet-aluminum distributor
MSD 6AL ignition
110-octane racing fuel required
There's nothing better for...
There's nothing better for wowing the crowd than a healthy FE dressed with all the right stuff. This 428 certainly looks the part with Cobra Le Mans pent-roof valve covers and a polished Edelbrock intake. Replacing the factory cast-iron FE intake with an aluminum version saves more than 50 pounds. The air cleaner still says "390," but the extra displacement in Mark's car isn't a best-kept secret once the throttle pedal goes down.
Top Loader four-speed
Traction Lok differential
Hooker full-length headers with 251/48-inch primary tubes and 3-inch collectors
3-inch aluminized exhaust tubing
Front: Stock control arms, Competition Engineering 90/10 drag shocks, front sway-bar delete
Rear: Leaf springs, Competition
Engineering drag shocks, sway bar
Front: Stainless Steel Brakes disc-brake conversion kit
Rear: Factory drum
Front: Cragar SS chrome five-spoke, 15x6
Rear: Cragar SS chrome five-spoke, 15x7
Front: BFGoodrich Comp T/A, P225/70R15
Rear: BFGoodrich Comp T/A, P265/60R15
Completely refurbished, new upholstery, stock Ford woodgrain steering wheel, Auto Meter instrumentation, Jensen CD changer with 6x9 speakers
PPG basecoat/clearcoat Candyapple Red paint, factory 390 GT steel hood, body and paint work done by T&F Collision of Brownstown, Michigan
This shot of the Fairlane...
This shot of the Fairlane shows what may be the best-looking musclecar Ford ever designed. Mark has the vehicle stance just right. The GT package and the period-appropriate Cragar SS wheels further enhance the "Total Performance" look.
The spotless interior features...
The spotless interior features a factory simulated woodgrain steering wheel similar to the one available optionally on the Mustang. The black-face Auto Meter tachometer and gauges match the interior and keep Mark informed of what's going on under the hood. The center console with Hurst T-handle shifter completes the Fairlane's time-capsule interior.
This optional steering wheel...
This optional steering wheel gives the whole interior an upscale feel and is authentic down to the Fairlane ornament on the hub. This steering wheel was also a desirable option on the '65-'67 Mustang.