Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What do Andrew Dice Clay, Wayne Newton, Priscilla Presley, Morris Day, and Gilbert Gottfried* have in common?**

*Also Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), Ed O'Neill (Al Bundy), Ton Loc (Ton Loc), and Sheila E
I was walking through the East Village a while back when I found myself standing in front of this square brick of cream cheese:
This is a 1965 Ford Fairlane 500 in Wimbledon White. One of the nifty details of this year is the body color in the headlight surrounds. Another is the stand up hood ornament which was only in '65.
Originally released as a full size car in 1955, the Fairlane was reduced to mid size after 1962. This year was particularly boxy and has a look unlike any of the other vintages. The years before this had quad round headlights but they were in the grill itself as opposed to being in these housings. In 1966 the headlights were stacked.
This is a beautifully proportioned sedan with the hood and trunk being close in size and the roofline somewhat tall. Clean and crisp was the order of the day for sedans.
This car was built to be overshadowed in 1965. The Mustang was only enjoying its first full year of production and other pony cars were in the works. Muscle cars were also capturing the attention of the buying public and the dealers who were selling them. In the midst of all this excitement comes another 4 door white mid size car. As good as the result is it doesn't trigger the same emotional response as the flashier offerings of the same era.
This is the squared-off evolution of the target sight Jet Engine taillights that started showing up on Fords in the '50s. To me the high point was the '61-'63 Thunderbird taillight that looks like a straight-up fighter jet afterburner. This is a few down the list from tadpole to frog but you get the gist.
The gas cap is behind that pull down door in the dead center of the rear valance. Ford kept this arrangement with the Maverick.
From this angle you can see the folded paper look making the side attractive. If this were the base Fairlane as opposed to the 500 there would be no chrome trim along the side or around the windows.
Ford has long made the best out of what they have and as a result the drivetrain choices for this ride are the same as the Mustang for '65. It also means that aftermarket parts availability is second to none.
These cool looking hubcaps mounted on steelies are original. I won't say they are poverty caps because there is a bit of black trim and the car is a 500, but they're pretty basic.
Mercury had a sibling to this ride for a couple years named the Meteor. Meteors are super rare these days and were only produced in this iteration from 1962-'63. Given the chance I would take the Merc because they are so scarce but keeping one running would be as easy as owning this car.
The larger Galaxie for 1965 had some continuity with the Fairlane. Both had wide grills that angled forward from the sides, though the Galaxie had stacked quad headlights.
This car is a treat in this condition and probably languished in a garage somewhere until it was bought by whoever parks it in the city. Just about every inch was just shy enough away from perfect to confirm originality. I would happily roll in this daily.
**By the way the answer to the opener as you probably know already is Ford Fairlane the movie. This is not an endorsement.

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