HomePick of the DayStreet sleeper 1965 Ford Fairlane

Street sleeper 1965 Ford Fairlane


Editor’s note: This piece is part of the Journal’s Muscle Month. We’ll be featuring stories, muscle cars and people during July about everything and anything that goes fast.

What looks to be merely an especially clean Ford Fairlane has an explosive secret under its conservative dark-green paint.   

The Pick of the Day is a 1965 Ford Fairlane 500 coupe that has been totally restored and built up into a very fast machine, according to the private seller advertising the car on   Not only that, the seller says, but it has been designed for reliability and ease of maintenance.

The Fairlane has a nicely purposeful stance

“Every nut, bolt, weather-stripping, etc. is new,” the Bayfield, Ontario, seller says in the ad description. “Body and paint totally redone with original color in 2-stage paint hand rubbed.  Interior is all new, as well as all chrome and stainless.

“Installed is a Ford 392 crate engine. (The) reliable, low-maintenance stroker crate engine produces 460 hp and 450 (pound-feet of) torque.  Brand new Ford SVO Sportsman II block and all new top-quality components from top to bottom.”

The interior looks sporty but comfortable, with auxiliary gauges and a Hurst shifter linked with the automatic transmission.  But the main highlight here is the pro-built performance V8.

The Fairlane interior looks crisp, although the AC needs to be set up

“The Smeding Ford 392 boasts such premium parts as full roller valve gear, specially modified Edelbrock Performer RPM cylinder heads with 2.02/1.60 valves, and Edelbrock RPM Air Gap intake manifold, a modular-iron crankshaft, 4130 Forged I beam with 3/8-inch ARP WaveLoc bolts, 5.956 connecting rods, hypereutectic pistons and low-friction single moly rings,” according to the ad.  

“It features 9.8:1 compression, so it can run all day long on pump gas with no problem. Plus, to reduce maintenance demands, Smeding uses a hydraulic roller camshaft.  There’s no valve lash to set, so vehicle owners can treat this engine just like the one in a brand-new vehicle.

“The street-performance engine spins to a maximum rpm of 6,000. Horsepower is rated and dynoed at 465.” 

The stroker V8 has been dynoed at 465 horsepower, the seller says

The driveline also has been completely tuned, the seller adds, with a “performance 4-speed automatic AOD tranny (with) Hurst V-Matic 2 Shifter.”

The running gear includes a “complete 9-inch Musclepak, new heavy-duty Moser 9-inch housing, with OEM located mounting provisions and seamless steel tubing” and Trac-Loc clutch posi.  The steering is via custom rack and pinion, and the Fairlane boasts new drum brakes, brake lines, camps and emergency-brake cable. 

Engine cooling is enhanced by a new aluminum radiator, the seller says, while the air-condition system for occupant cooling “needs final plumbing.”

The styling of the ’65 Fairlane has a clean look

This Fairlane looks to be in pristine condition with a gleaming paint job and black steel wheels.  I’d source a set of original hubcaps to give this coupe a unassuming stock look for surprising the other hot rodders. 

The asking price of $35,000 seems reasonable considering all the work that went into it.

To view this listing on, see Pick of the Day


Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. In 1965 my father’s Ford dealership campaigned a Fairlane Thunderbolt. To this day I can truthfully say that car launched harder than anything I have driven since. This little Fairlane Sports Coupe seems to have all the right stuff. It was obviously a base model when new because the higher trim level had bucket seats and a console. When new these little cars with their 289 HI PO were pretty hot little cars. The 271 horse power 289 shredded tires quite well and gave Mustangs of the day a real run for their money. Compared to my COPO Camaro SS, and other muscle of today these Fairlanes were far from technologically advanced – but they were very easy to work on and their were lots of go fast parts back in the day. The asking price seems reasonable for all the work he’s done, but being so far off from original he’ll need just the right buyer to make this all work.


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