Story in this months HotRod article…
Written by Tim Bernsau on October 18, 2017
Five miles north of the Canadian border, you’ll find one of the best-looking—and toughest—street cruisers around. Back in 2013, Mike Falconer of Langley, British Columbia, had been looking for a 1962 Thunderbird Sports Roadster. “Everybody has 1955-1957 Chevys,” he told us, “but I wanted a Ford.” After a couple weeks of searching the Internet, he hadn’t found a T-bird, but he came across this 1958 Fairlane 500, located south of the border in Washington. The seller had owned the car for 25 years, and the peach tree growing through the middle of it was an indication of how often the car was driven.
The car had been through some transformations over the years, hot-rodded and then brought back to relatively stock condition. Mike, of course, had his own ideas of how the Fairlane should be built—just like you see it here.
The exterior shows off Ford’s original styling as well as Mike’s low-key custom modifications. Canadians will recognize the grille from a 1958 Ford Meteor, a Canadian marque. The side trim is not custom; Ford used that design on the Fairlane Club Sedan, Club Victoria, Town Sedan, and Town Victoria in 1958. The rear wheelwells were cut to allow clearance for the 20×10 Boss 338 aluminum five-spoke wheels and 275/40R20XL Toyo tires. The front 18×8 wheels roll on 235/45ZR18XL Toyos.
When repainting the car, Mike decided to stay close to the color it already was, adding a little more rose-colored pearl (about 4 ounces) to the silver metallic paint.
Kremyr Chassis Works in Surrey, British Columbia, put together the chassis. Suspension parts were chosen with performance in mind, and added to the stock frame, including Fatman Fabrications 3-inch dropped spindles, Wilwood 12-inch disc brakes, and Wurth-It Designs rack-and-pinion steering. The rear, lowered 5 inches, uses a Calvert Racing CalTracs suspension setup.
Shelby emblems are rarely seen on 1958 Fairlanes, and there’s a reason for the ones on Mike’s car. The Ford FE 427 aluminum block, stroked to 482 ci, was built at Richmond Engines to Shelby specs. Components include a Scat 4.250 stroker crank, Lunati roller cam, and Edelbrock heads. A Shelby air cleaner tops the Quick Fuel carb and Shelby sidewinder intake. A custom stainless steel exhaust system is corked by Borla mufflers. Mike sent us the dyno test results showing the engine making 600 hp at around 6,000 rpm. The C4 Super Comp transmission from Performance Automatic is shifted with a B&M Pro Rachet T-handle shifter with a line lock. At the rear, a Ford 9-inch is loaded with 3.73:1 gears. According to the previous owner, the rearend came out of one of NASCAR racer Greg Biffle’s Number 16 Fords.
The front and rear bucket seats were transplanted from a 2005 Pontiac GTO. Prime Time Auto modified them where needed and upholstered the interior and trunk in black leather. The 500 logo has been embroidered on the seats and the Shelby Cobra emblem is used on the custom console. Interior door handles and window cranks are from Billet Specialties. American Muscle gauges were custom fit into the shaved dash. The Shelby logo appears again on the horn button of the contemporary steering wheel, mounted on a Flaming River tilt column. Interior amenities include an Alpine multimedia system, Vintage Air AC, and USB ports.
Mike’s Shelby-infused 1958 Fairlane 500 wasn’t built to be a daily driver in British Columbia, but for pleasure trips and joy rides, it’s perfect.