For $12,000, This Fairmont is Black to the Futura

Illustration for article titled For $12,000, This Fairmont is Black to the Futura
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Ford's Fox platform was the gift that keeps on giving, spawning the longest-lived Mustang ever, turbo T-birds and hot-rod Lincolns. Despite that Catholic conception rate, it all started with cars like today's NIce Price or Crack Pipe Fairmont. Sorta.


Foxy could be the description for getting a car on the cheap by picking up someone else's project before it's done. But buying an unfinished kit car project is always a risky move, not knowing the quality of the original builder's work. Most of the time that concern may be offset by the comfort in knowing that whether VW or Fiero, the underpinnings are at least readily available and, comparatively, reasonably priced. That comfort is lacking however when the original builder was a guy named Enzo, and the piecemeal car in question has a prancing horse on its nose. The power of the prance was strong yesterday, but it couldn't outweigh the bat shit insanity of picking up a 1980 308 GTS project that would only make economic sense if completed yourself, and which its current owner had already lost eight grand on. The voting wasn't a landslide, but 67% of you came to the conclusion that this particular prancing horse well earned the white pony.

Today we're going to keep the ‘F' alive, going from Ferrari to Ford, and while we're keeping in alphabetical order, our numerical sequence is rising from 308 to 429. This 1978 Ford Fairmont Futura could have originally come with a V8 engine. In fact, Ford specially designed the Fox's front suspension with the coils inboard of the struts to allow for access to the sides of a 90° engine, preventing the motor mount removal method of spark plug changes well known by Chevy Monza owners. Ha, suckers!

Originally, the Fairmont could have been had with a V8, and additional motivation options were the Lima 140-cid four, or a Thriftmaster six, sporting 60 more cubic inches. But if you had to have an eight in '78, your only choice was the venerable Windsor 302, which by then had had its cojones squeezed to the point that it only put out about 139-bhp.

Whatever was originally planted under the hood of this Fairmont, it withered and died, probably due to anemia. In replacement, this Futura's rows have been sowed with a big block 429, backed up by a C6 tranny and nine inch rear end. As Doc Brown might have said, that's some serious shit. The 7.0-litre eight was spec'd at 370-bhp in facory Cobra Jet guise,years before this Futura saw the light of day, and here in CAFE and EPA-be damned form, it should do that and a lot more. The seller has 4:10 gears in the car now, and is throwing in both 3:50 and 3:00 sets as well. With any of those, standing behind the car would likely result in a bukake of tire tread, and enough burning rubber to require it being more that 100 feet from any building entrance or day care center.

In addition to the priapistic big block and attendant robustus drivetrainus, this Futura benefits from a five-lug upgrade from a generously giving Mustang. In fact, there's a whole lotta‘ Mustang going on as it is sitting on some stallionesque alloys and it has the pony car's five dial dash in place of the Fairmont's two hole-idiot light show. The rest of the interior looks super clean with era appropriate seats that are pancake flat and look about as comfortable as a colonoscopy. Behind that Mustang dash rests a two spoke wheel thin enough to wrap your hands around twice and still a couple of knuckles to spare. In an ode to Ford's European brand, and the freaky customs on the continent, the horn is actuated not by a palm to the wheel's hub, where God and the Constitution said it should be, but by a delicate finger to the turn signal stalk. Yeah, there's a reason we broke off from those guys a couple hundred years ago.


Outside of that Welcome Back Kotter interior is what is claimed to be a perfect darker than the inside of a well digger's ass black paint job and the aforementioned Mustang rims. The ebony theme extends to the aluminum bumpers making them blend in better than I have seen on any previous Fairmont. The basket handle roofline, popularized by Ford on this car as well as the '77-'82 Thunderbirds, gives the Futura both a sporty nature and more limited visability than the standard two-door, but who cares, it still looks pretty damn good.

But good is not the word the seller uses to describe his 12K Futura. He's more partial to terms like absolutely perfect and Fast, both terms that you would consider positives in choosing any used car. But what about that $12,000 price? Sure, it's a good $1,500 under yesterday's parts car Ferrari, and this Fairmont's not only complete but probably a hell of a lot faster - at least in a straight line - than that 308. But, that being said, ain't nobody going to give you the same reaction to announcing that you rolled up in your '78 Fairmont as they would if you made the claim to Ferrari ownership. If the opinions of others are as valuable to you as a herpes outbreak or Rand Paul's limited knowledge of how Social Security works, then this fast Ford may just tickle your fancy.


If that's the case, and you're looking for a drag strip demon, or stop light sorcerer, then you'd have to give some serious thought to that $12,000 asking price. Do you think that's fair money for this Fairmont? Or, is this Futura's fee fatuously inflated?

You decide.


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I'm loving it.

Anyone who has owned a Fox Mustang knows that the goofy looks hide an amazing hooning mobile. This Fairmont is the same, just with more trunk.


BTW, these look better when you put the LTD II nose on there. Do that, and paint it black, and go hunt for some Buick T-Types.