*Words by Garry Sowerby
I stopped in my tracks when I saw Jack Horne’s immaculate 1964 Ford Fairlane 500 at the Woodside car meet. Upgraded styling from the 1963 model included crisp lines to keep up with its big-brother 1964 Galaxie styling.
Jack has owned the Fairlane for five years. It’s a stable mate for his 1954 Mercury Monterey that we featured a few weeks ago.
With a four-speed manual transmission, the two-door hard top is powered by a 225-horsepower 289 CID V8 engine.
The ’64 Fairlane has always been one of my favourites from that era. There were lots of variants, including the 271-hp high-performance 289, an engine with solid-lifter camshaft, a 595 CFM 4-barrel carburetor, dual-point distributer, headers and just a 90-day warranty. Yikes!
But wait, there was a real bad-ass version of the 1964 Fairlane that still, almost 60 years later, has a reputation as one of the meanest muscle cars ever produced.
That’s the very limited production 1964 Fairlane Thunderbolt, which was basically a drag racing machine designed to take on the Hemi Mopar monsters Chrysler was producing at the time.
With a 427 CI engine fed by dual 4-barrel carbs, the car was stripped of creature comforts like a heater, window cranks, arm rests or sun visors to keep the weight down. Although the engine was rated at 425 horsepower, word on the street was that it was closer to 500.
With only 100 produced, you don’t see Fairlane Thunderbolts at local show & shines but they are still out there in collections and at speciality drag racing events.
Thanks to Jack Horne, this immaculate 1964 Fairlane 500 is prowling the summer streets of Nova Scotia for all to appreciate.