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Ford Fairlane 1962 Review

But as the owners of two 1962 Fairlane models, Don Skinner and his wife Lorraine say they're not giving theirs up any time soon.

For the Skinners, it's not all about the monetary value. As the saying goes, “Like father, like son”. Don knows it all too well and has not only adopted his late father's passion for cars, especially Fords, but has his own way of remembering his dad.

For two decades Don has treasured the Ford Fairlane his father proudly owned for 10 years. “Dad had always really been a bit of a Ford fan, I suppose it rubbed off on to me,” he says.

Don's father worked for Ford for 19 years, assembling cars at the Homebush factory. “I still class it as my dad's car,” he says. “Since I got it from my mum in 1980, I have had it re-sprayed. She was quite happy. She passed away in 1987 and was happy it had been done up and put away.”

Don's father paid $1245 for the second-hand Fairlane in 1970. The car is now insured for $15,000 but Don says it is worth far more. “It's my dad's car, I still like it because of that. It has a lot of sentimental value, I learnt a lot from him,” he says.

One of the things Don learnt from his father, along with an appreciation for Fairlanes and V8 engines, was how to drive. It was in the 1962 Fairlane that the lessons were held and where he eventually gained his licence at 17.

The sentimental Fairlane isn't alone in the Don's garage. It sits alongside another 1962 Fairlane, which the 52-year-old bought in 1983.

“I paid $300 for it,” he says. “It was in pieces, the motor was in the boot. I had to put a motor in it and I've spent about $5000 fixing it.”

The restored Fairlane made a cameo appearance in the American film Dark City, which was shot in Australia. Lorraine says you can see the car “for about 10 seconds”.

It is rare for either car to be taken out these days and when they are, it's mainly on club runs.

“It's a nice car to drive, everybody looks at you,” Don says. “The older ones still have a lot of prestige, but you have to drive them different to the ones now.”

His wife agrees.

“It was luxury in its era, but not so much now. It was top of the range, but it's only very basic when compared to modern cars,” she says.

Lorraine points out that even basic cars today are equipped with many features, which is why she believes Ford has now phased out the luxury model.

“There's no airconditioning in the 1962 Fairlane, they had no heaters, you had to order a radio, but there's a clock in it, standard,” she says. “It doesn't even have seatbelts. They didn't come out until 1963.”

But the lack of features doesn't seem to be much of a concern for envious passers-by.

Don says they attract plenty of honks and thumbs-up during their travels. And some people are even keen on striking up conversations about the car with the couple, especially older people for whom the car brings back a lot of memories.

During the 1980s, Skinner was a member of a Victorian Fairlane club, but found it was too far to travel. So he established his own Fairlane club in NSW, in 1988.

He and Lorraine are still actively involved in the club. Skinner is the president and they have developed friendships all over Australia with people who share a similar passion for the big car.

Indeed, it was the Fairlane that converted Lorraine to the joys of the automobile. “I wasn't a car person until I came into the family,” she says. “I know a little bit more about cars now.”

And while Skinner acknowledges demand may now increase he doesn't plan to sell and still has some work to do on one. “My dad's Fairlane stays as it is. I have to change the doors on the other one as a bit of rust got in.”


Fast facts

1962 Ford Fairlane

Price new: about pound stg. 1500

Price bought in 1970: $1245

Price now: insured for $15,000

Verdict: Luxury in the 1960s and '70s had a very different definition to today. The Fairlane may lack modern day features, but its classic styling and design still make it a head-turner.

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Range and Specs

500 5.4L, Leaded, 3 SP MAN $3,800 – 5,940 1962 Ford Fairlane 1962 500 Pricing and Specs