It all started when a guy came to the barn to see if “the guy that builds old cars” was still around. He was moving and needed to clean out a project car that had spent that last 20 years sitting behind his house in Chino, California. That car was a 1967 Ford Fairlane Fastback. I was immediately interested in the project although not really knowing what it would become so I decided to purchase the car for $500 and hauled it back to the farm in Ontario with the help of my father.
Looking at the baby blue Fairlane and having recently partnered with Gulf Oil a concept came to mind. What would a car look like if Holman Moody wanted to go racing in European Touring Car in the 1960s. So with that concept as a road map I did a few renderings and put together a plan to build the car for the 2013 SEMA show which was just 6 months away.
We started making calls, sending e-mails and in a few weeks had gathered our team together that was going to make the car happen. The car was stripped and shipped off to Houston where Bare Bones Customs would take the body and make it look like the rendering. While it was away getting painted we started sourcing the rest of the many needed parts. Blending the NASCAR and Touring Car worlds required balancing the European and American styling touches. We turned to Scott Drake to get the correct Le Mans style Gas Cap, Cobra Steering Wheel, Le Mans Valve Covers, and Bullet Mirrors all borrowed from Shelby Cobras and Mustangs.
We had decided to go big with a 427ci Big Block backed up with a Tremec TKO600 and Hurst Shifter from Hurst Driveline Solutions. Edelbrock Intake and Carburetor top off the motor that was shoehorned into an engine compartment that was once home to a 200ci inline 6. A QuickTime scattershield and McLeod hydraulic clutch kit connect all the power. Keeping the big block cool during Southern California Summers is a Champion Cooling Systems aluminum radiator that bolted right in. Perma Cool’s oil cooler and remote filter system. Doug Thorley long tube ceramic coated headers snake over, under and through the engine bay and chassis to dump into a complete Flowmaster 2.5” stainless steel exhaust for an amazing 427 roar.
Connecting the power to the ground are Goodyear Eagles on Cragar Eliminator 500s, color matched In Gulf Racing Orange. The stance and ride quality needed help since the car was originally a 6 cylinder so we contacted Eaton Detroit Spring to build a new set of heavy duty lowering coil spings for the front and leaf springs for the rear. Stopping is handled by Stainless Steel Disc Brakes on all four corners with a Master Power brake booster and dual master cylinder replacing the factory non-power drums.
Outside we used a period correct racing hood and light weight fiberglass bumpers from Crites Performance that gave the car a more aggressive look. The massive hood scoop is functional and feeds the 427’s Cobra air cleaner. The Le Mans Gas Cap mounted up on the rear quarter panel not only looks cool, but makes refueling the car much easier as the original was behind the license plate.
The interior had originally a standard bench seat but we teamed up with TMI Products to install their latest Pro-Series Sports X Seats in the front and upholstered the rear seat and door panels to match. The factory idiot light instrument cluster was replaced with a full set of VGX Gauges from Dakota Digital. To quiet down the cabin we installed Quiet Ride Solutions sound deadener in the passenger compartment and trunk. Great audio is even hidden with Custom Autosound’s secret audio system.
After weeks of work, many nights not sleeping, and busted knuckles we got the car to the SEMA show and all of our hard worded paid off. The car was featured in the Car Crazy TV Showcase and on Car Crazy TV. Mustangs and Fast Fords Magazine named it one of the top five best classic Fords at SEMA, HotRod Magazine used a photo of the car as their lead story online covering the SEMA show, and Popular Hot Rodding named it in the top 30 cars of the SEMA show. Everywhere we take the car it draws a crowd and makes people smile.
For more on the car visit TheGentlemanRacer.com
Special thanks to RnG Customs, Classics, & Fabrication Hesperia, California.