One Fine Ford: 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 Convertible

- in Cars

The car features a B&M shifter with a shift kit as well as a TCI 1,800 stall converter. Upgrades included new springs all around, brake lines and various parts from JEGS High Performance and Summit Racing. Dearborn Classic’s (rack and pinion steering) made the job of going down the road much easier than anything offered stock in 1966. A 1998 Mustang 8.8 posi rear with disc brakes was found and installed with ‘70 Merc front discs to help it stop. It’s painted a Candy Apple Red Ford color from the 60’s (by Dupont). This was a factory color for the ’66 Fairlane, but not necessarily this car, which was a clean slate for James and Janet.

428 Thunderbird engine in 1966 Ford Fairlane
James liked the looks/details of the GTA, so he added all the various badges and trim. He chose the famous 427 S/S fiberglass hood that was available from Ford for the ‘66-67 Fairlanes as the “cherry” on top.

While this engine makes all the beautiful music you could ask for, the new owners wanted their favorite songs from time to time. They added an Alpine CD in-dash unit with a JBL amplifier and Blaupunkt subwoofers with Pioneer three-inch speakers in the kick panels.

1966 Fairlane 500 convertible
The labor of love that is this ’66 Fairlane is the latest chapter in the special they are putting together. James and Janet have lived nearly all their lives here in Florida, but like many Florida residents, they are not native to the state. James was born in Kentucky, but moved to Florida with his parents when he was very young. Janet settled here from Michigan when she was 9 years old. They met while in high school, married and have one daughter.

Cruising to all the local car shows is a frequent occurrence, so it was only natural that they joined a local car club. Their choice was the Tropical Detroit Muscle Car Club, which features all American made cars and has more than 400 members on its rolls.

1966 Fairlane wheel
Building the Fairlane was a commitment. While the memories of the work won’t fade (at least as long as the car is in the garage), it was such a labor of love building this car that James even got the Fairlane tattooed on his leg!

Not surprisingly, the Fairlane has become a trophy magnet. It won “Best Fairlane” at the 20th anniversary NPD Ford and Mustang Roundup at Silver Springs (Florida) in 2014. Trophies will continue to come, but the hours of enjoyment with the car have long begun to offset the hours of labor put into it. It is truly a worthwhile accomplishment, one that will inspire others to take a chance on a forgotten classic.

1966 Ford Fairlane 500 convertible owned by James and Janet Funk

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