The 1960s – The Glory Days of Ford Fairlane

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Only a few vehicles have a history as long, glorious and varied as that of the Ford Fairlane, which boasts five decades of tradition and dozens of series and versions.
The Fairlane is a luxury sedan, which started to be commercialised in Australia in 1959 and was initially only assembled locally with pieces coming from the US. Even its name was reminiscent of its origins, as it corresponded to the name of Henry Ford’s estate, Fair Lane, in Michigan. Probably the most charming and timeless models under this name were produced in the 60s and its curiosities and useful details for buyers can now easily be found online on  websites such as Carsales.com.au.
During this first period, the three main models were the Fairlane 500, the Custom 300 and the Ranch Wagon. The 500 was equipped with an automatic gearbox, while the Custom 300 and the Ranch Wagon had a three-speed manual transmission. The engine was a 152kW, 332-cubic-inch V8, which by 1960 was substituted by a more powerful 164 kW.
Within the next seven years more models were introduced, such as the cheaper US Fairlane 500, equipped with a smaller engine, the 1963 model with a new design, and the 1964 one, without tail fins and a new grille. Fairlane was temporarily discontinued in Australia between 1964 and 1967, when the Fairlane ZA Series, designed and built locally, was introduced.
This series included the Fairlane and the Fairlane 500, which hosted respectively a 200 and a 289-cubic-inch six cylinder V8. In March 1968 the ZB series was introduced, with improved 221-cubic-inch and 302-cubic-inch
engines available. A further improved ZC series, starting from July 1969, closed a first decade of success for the
Fairlanes, with the introduction of aesthetical innovations. Implementing vertical headlights, different tail-lights, and 221, 302 and 351 cu six-cylinder engines, these models also added the possibility of including air-conditioning, an innovation for the time and a demonstration of the high ambitions of this model, which kept its production alive through the following decades and up until 2007.

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