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The Cracker Box: Enjoying A Bone-Stock Six-Cylinder Ford Fairmont

The Cracker Box: Enjoying A Bone-Stock Six-Cylinder Ford Fairmont

We had one just like this. Those same finned hubcaps that were on my mother’s 1982 Ford Mustang GL. Same ruler-friendly lines, same basic-AF interior layout with the same basic interior materials. Same wheezing six-cylinder. Same automatic on the column. In fact, the only difference between this car and the one we used as a family machine for about six months after Mom’s Olds Omega was reduced to scrap metal was the color…we had that pale-blue shade that seemed to be on a third of the Fairmont production run. But outside of color…yeah, we had one.

My memories of that Fairmont…and for that matter, most all Fairmonts of North American origin….is that it was a simple, no-bullshit car. No fancy radios, no overcooked gingerbread trim. It was almost brutal, how simple it was. Four wheels, six pistons, automatic because who rows their own anymore, brakes that will slow the car down, and styling that isn’t designed to offend. These were someone’s third car, or they were the fifth owner. Or it was in beautiful condition because some old lady took meticulous care of the car. What did we do? We took the trailer tongue section from a 1970’s era mobile home, hooked it to the car with small ship chain, and dragged the dirt driveway we lived at the end on smooth with it. We then piled in and went somewhere to eat. It did the job well. Not spectacular. Not with big noise or aching beauty, just with sheer goodness.

Nowadays, Fairmonts are drag machines waiting to be harvested. Find one and build the hell out of it because it’s a light Fox body, right? Nobody will suspect a thing when they hear a cammed V8 and a hair dryer or two going to town underhood. I guess making the Fairmont theatrical is the trade-off to enjoying a competent but boring car forty years after they hit the scene.

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5 thoughts on “The Cracker Box: Enjoying A Bone-Stock Six-Cylinder Ford Fairmont

  1. Joe Jolly

    I had one. Exactly as you described it too. Mine was brown, I bought it from my Grand Mother, it had low mileage on it and I would have bet that no one ever sat in the back seat. Looking back on it, it was so simple and required so little attention, like my 65′ Mustang 6 cyl, it was basic and good.. I wouldn’t mind having another one for a daily driver.

  2. 75Duster

    When I think of Ford Fairmont I don’t think of the LS powered ones, I think of the late Bob Glidden’s Ford Fairmont Pro Stockers of the 1980’s.

    1. jerry z

      One thing you don’t see many if any are Pro Street Fairmonts. I like to see a Bob Glidden replica on the street.

      1. bob

        There is a red pro street 427 cammer Fairmont somewhere here in central PA. It sometimes shows up at the FE reunion at Beaver or Bruce Larsons late fall car show. The car was built when those Fairmonts were new.

  3. old guy

    My uncle bought a lightly used 79 that I drove while he was on a road trip with the old car I would drive after a swap — My sister had tickets to fly to Newfoundland on a Sunday morning – we over slept and left for the airport anyway – From Cape Ann to Logan in Boston was an 18 min run
    with an 85 MPH speedo I knew how fast we were going two -three times ,,
    She yelled at me to step on it as we went past the Hilltop at 100 or so .
    she made the flight – I had to stop them from pulling off the gate as I has no ticket after carrying some stuff for her onto the plane
    always had a soft spot fro Fairmonts after that

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