PO Box 2453
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91729
CAL-RODS FEATURED CAR FOR JANUARY 2015
written by Ray Mahoney
Make: 1968 Ford Fairlane 500 Convertible.
Color: Dunkelblau (Dark Blue) Mercedes Benz
Engine: 302 ci. 4 bbl carb. Aluminum intake with exhaust headers.
Rear-end: 8” @ 279:1
Suspension: lowered 2”
1968 was a tumultuous year; just a few months removed from the ‘Summer of Love’ with 2 assassinations (Kennedy and MLK), the Tet offensive, war protests and a Presidential election. But Detroit was shining bright, and it was the first year of Ford’s production of the newly redesigned 6th generation Fairlane. Coming in with the entry level Fairlane, the mid- level Fairlane 500 and upper-level Torino.
At first glance, someone wouldn’t know that this ’68 Fairlane is a rare find. These cars were made in Lorain, Ohio and Milpitas, CA but out of all the Fairlane production in 1968 (199,704 units; 371,787 total including Torino), only 339 were convertibles with bucket seats. Today bucket seats are common but in the 60’s, it was a big deal. In the big scheme of things, that’s not very many, and one could argue they aren't as nice as Mike and Linda Breatore’s.
Mike got his first taste of cars and working on them when his father, a WWII tail gunner on a B-17 in Europe, would let Mike, at the age of 4, work on carburetors at his work where he was a mechanic. Hooked on cars at 4 years old it’s easy to see he learned a lot.
Found on the internet by accident and turned into a work of love and devotion over a 3-year period that had Mike splitting time with his work at Los Angeles Water and Power. He finished the project after retiring; having more time to bring the Fairlane back to its present condition. Installing front disc brakes and adding mellow Flowmaster mufflers. With all new interior, including upholstery, carpets, door panels, steering wheel and new convertible top. Removing rust damage on quarter panels, fenders and welding sheet metal; Mike did a near frame-off by himself. His motto is, ‘Why pay someone else to screw up my car when I can do it myself for free.’ Well, it’s not a screw up but a truly great job; one he should be proud of.
As a convertible it lends itself to parades that Mike has done on several occasions in Glendora and San Dimas. He’s been to Wrightwood and Oak Hills for car shows as well as the Twilight Cruise and local Club events.