So in August of 2012 I was perusing the D/FW Craigslist and saw a 1968 Fairlane 500 sedan listed. No, it wasn’t a Mercury, and no, it wasn’t a coupe. But given that it was rock solid, had a good 302, a decent interior, and a price tag of $800, it arrived in my driveway two days later.
Being the same basic body, it would scratch the MX itch for the time being. And being a 4-door would make a handy daily driver. I started work immediately. Pulled the interior, sandblasted, welded a small patch panel in the passenger floorboard, POR 15’d the floor, new cowl seam sealer, new weatherstripping, new carpet, blasted and painted the inside doors and lower dash. Completely rebuild the front suspension. New HD springs, rubber, ball-joints, steering linkage… I even welded up a set of roller spring perches to improve handling and prevent squawks and squeaks. Things were moving along nicely.
Then, in late September, our good friend across the street had a heart attack at 43 and we lost him. My work slowed up some. And in early December, the elderly gentlman next door to him died suddenly. That really took the wind out of my sails. They were both great guys. I had looked forward to coming home and working on the car. My two friends would see the garage door up, and wander over to check my progress and visit, or be working in their own garages or yards. It was great. But that was over. Now every time I’d open up my garage to work, I’d be alone, looking at those two empty houses. I came to dread going out to work on the Fairlane. Then came a new job with increasing hours. I didn’t get a chance to turn a wrench on any project for nine months Unfortunately, the Fairlane project to stalled out, as did most others.
Until the day I got fed up…