Sleepers are some of our favorite cars here at RK Motors Charlotte. Not only because they’re fast and soft-spoken, but also because they represent the ingenuity of putting big horsepower in anonymous and sometimes unpopular packages. It’s a side of our personality that, given the pages of polished cars on our website, you probably wouldn’t expect to see. And I know what you’re thinking… You doubt my sincerity about introducing a genuine, road-ready sleeper. But alas, after you take just one look at this stealthy Ford Fairlane, you’ll quell your convictions. A true R-code tribute that sports a lightweight fiberglass front clip, this sedan’s buff 427 V8, tough 4-speed transmission and factory-correct 9-inch rear end ensure it’ll handily dispose of any obnoxious show boater who cares to rev at the stoplight. If you’re in the market for a monochromatic, relaxed and unpretentious classic that’s stacked with a top option drivetrain and super clean looks, this awesome Ford is your next car!
Not surprisingly, this awesome Fairlane drove out of Ford’s Atlanta assembly plant at the beginning of the great American performance wars. After spending a short time as random showroom candy here in Charlotte, North Carolina, it began a long life of solid maintenance and back road workout routines. And today, covered in a vivid coat of correct Frost Turquoise, it sits as the beneficiary of a thorough frame-off restoration that was conducted on solid, original bones. Pull the car into the harsh summer sun and you’ll see good looking paintwork that presents well from every angle. Underneath that paint, the body’s Kansas-flat panels say a lot about the integrity of their platform. And overall, that platform’s alignment rates well above anything the factory offered, featuring even gaps and tight closing hinges all the way around.
Some of the toughest muscle cars came in a plain wrapper, and this Ford is definitely one of them. With that in mind, a good first glance notes a profile that, from its stacked headlights to its body-length side trim, features an array of correct accent pieces. Less obvious from that glance is the car’s weight-saving fenders and distinctive R-code hood which features an intimidating, center-mounted scoop. At the front of that fiberglass clip, bright halogen headlights and a wide stainless grille combine with a broad chrome bumper and small amber parking lamps to provide a tailored, classic look. Sprinkled down the car’s fuselage you’ll find stainless wheel lips, traditional door handles, “427” and “500” fender scripts, and “FAIRLANE” branded side moldings. At the top of that fuselage, like-new glass sits inside polished stainless borders, satin-finished wipers and a correct chrome driver’s mirror. And behind that glass, vertically oriented tail lights frame “FORD” branded trunk trim, a stylish “Fairlane 500” emblem and a second chrome bumper. Clean, simple and to the point, this sedan proves there really is elegance in simplicity.
Unpin this Fairlane’s hood and you’ll find a big 427 cubic inch side-oiler V8 that’s been restored to an attractive, road-worthy state. When Dearborn brass decided to shove these beefy mills into actual R-code mid-sizers, they probably had a hard time keeping a straight face. After all, what red-blooded car guy can’t help but smile at a combination like this? At full throttle, cool air flows through a finned, Thunderbird-style air cleaner into a large Holley 4-barrel. Below that carburetor, stock heads prop chrome, “POWER BY Ford” valve covers next to an aluminum, medium-rise intake and traditional points distributor. The smooth mill breathes through long-tube headers, which exhale into aluminized, true-dual exhaust pipes. And all the while a correct, “FoMoCo” branded radiator cycles water through pliable hoses and a correct assortment of clamps. As you can see, the car’s spotless engine bay has been properly sprayed in a smooth coat of satin black paint. All of its correct ancillary components, from a fresh Autolite oil cap and old school air compressor to a correct power steering pump and reproduction Autolite battery, are present and accounted for. And the gnarly big block is fast, potent and runs every bit as good as its brilliant Ford Blue paint suggests!
Take a peek under this Ford and you’ll find a freshened and exceptionally clean chassis that’s punctuated by satin black floors and a fully rebuilt suspension. At the center of those floors, a road-ready 4-speed proves just as effective as ever at slinging gears and scorching stoplights. That transmission channels power to a correct nine inch rear end that’s stuffed with highway friendly gears. Torque meets the pavement through a set of steel, body-matched wheels which spin modern 205/75R14 Michelins in front of modern 225/75R15 Michelins. The car’s suspension remains in stock form with factory control arms up front and parallel leaf springs out back. Spent gases are whisked through aluminized, true-dual pipes that employ great sounding Xlerator Turbo Mufflers. As mentioned before, there’s a rebuilt power steering system that makes turning easy and parking a cinch. And braking is an equally smooth process thanks to a combination of power discs and rebuilt drums.
Between this Fairlane’s sizeable doors, a restored turquoise interior offers the one thing many basic muscle cars didn’t – comfort. While the bench seats may not look like the lap of luxury at first, a brief stint behind the car’s wheel reveals just how comfortable they really are. Lightly used carpet, which frames a familiar Hurst shifter, covers rock solid floors while an equally nice headliner lines a long roof. The dash is stock, but a big Sun Super Tac makes it look hotter than other cars of the day. In front of the driver, an ornate factory steering wheel combines with chrome accessory knobs and wood-trimmed door panels to provide a fresh and appealing driving environment. And behind the passengers, you’ll find a vast trunk that features a correct mat, a correct jack and a pliable spare tire.
There simply aren’t that many chances to own a clean, well-done sleeper – especially at this money. And with its killer V8, slick drivetrain and trim body, this Ford is guaranteed to be a blast to drive. If you’re looking for a different kind of muscle car, one that places substance above form, this awesome Fairlane belongs in your garage!