(Found In) Northwest Berkeley (Berkeley, California): 1964 Ford Fairlane 500 2 Door Hardtop Coupe

image (21).jpegIt’s not easy peaking the first time on stage. It happens with music acts, television shows, and quite often, cars. The combination of right place, right time and blessings from the stars (and economic conditions) bodes well for certain product successes. Here lies the story of the re-branded, midsized Ford Fairlane. For one shining moment, without market factors against it, it claimed a genre all unto it’s own.

By 1964, it found itself, like many a pioneering girl group in the shadows of something Supreme rising from Detroit. Once the starlet, now a reliable box office draw, it tried a hand at presenting something special, smart and sporty. Yet somehow time passed it by.

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(Found In) Outer Sunset (San Francisco, California): 1965 Ford Fairlane 500 Sport Coupe

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Success for various Detroit-bred cars wasn’t unlike the track record of another factory in the Detroit Metro area in the 1960’s. Yesterday’s star, in a quick flash of 3 years could become the season bench warmer. Like The Contours of Motown, by the end of 1965, the mid-sized Ford Fairlane was singing “Do You Love Me?” to American Audiences for all the wrong reasons.

In 1962, The Fairlane was the smash hit nobody expected, just like The Contours. Priced cheaper than General Motors’s not as roomy and sometimes trouble prone “B-O-P Luxury Compacts,” the most upsized of Falcons in Junior Galaxie 500 finery walked away with sales victories.  Nearly 300,000 went out the door for the introductory year. With a new, revvy and willing small block V8, it seemed like nothing but hits would follow for the Fairlane.

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(Found In) Lower Bottoms (West Oakland) – 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Club Victoria 2 Door Hardtop

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Only in 1959 would this be considered the most conservative mainstream automotive choice. But in a field that offered the last of the Suddenly, It’s 1960! Plymouths and the Batwing Chevrolet, the Full sized Fords found themselves in a similar position to the 1957 Chevrolet.

They came to the market upright, with most of the teething problems from previous seasons mostly filtered out. In the year reeling from a decade of even more debaucherous vehicular access (some of them still in the Ford Extended Family showrooms), the 1959 Ford was an automotive Alka-seltzer that would wind up walking away with the ultimate sales prize by the end of the year.

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