December 2013 - Rowe's 1956 Ford Fairlane

 My Ford story begins in 1964, when I purchased a 1956 Sunliner for $350. It had the “Thunderbird V-8”. At the time I didn’t know, it could have been a 292 or a 312. I told everyone it was a 312. It ran hard and I used it that way. I started dating my wife that same year. We spent my happy days in it. I still have her but the Sunliner is long gone.

jimrowe-cover

Fast forward to 2006, I managed to convince a farmer to sell me the “old ford in his yard”. It looked good and I discovered it was a “P” code car. As most of you know that means a Thunderbird Special V-8 with 312 cu. In. After two years of considerable restoration, we began cruzin’ in our Red / White 1956 2 door sedan. Basically stock, in the beginning. However the “old hot rodder in me made me do it.
I began with a complete 312 block bored +.60 with a very special Isky Cam. Ported and polished 113 casting heads. Ford “E” code dual quad manifold. Electronic ignition and a 57 distributor. I used Edelbrock 500 cfm carbs. I did all of the mechanical work with some assistance from my buddy Fred. Now it would really run. But the Ford-o-matic was not to stay. I replaced it with a Ford top loader 4 speed that my buddy “ Freddy the Wrench” rebuilt. Then I installed a Ford 9” rear with 3:50 gears. What a rubber burning rod this is.

My son James is a professional auto body tech. He spent many hours bringing the body up to his standards. It sure is clean. All new rubbers seals and glass. New professional Red/White interior looks period. Matches the paint to a “T”.

My bride of 45 years and I relive our childhood every time we take out our very special Ford. Several cars have come and gone but the ’56 lives on. I am 66 years young and I will never sell our beauty. I have now added front disc brakes to make it stop as fast as it runs. We have received several trophies from local car shows. I didn’t build this dream car for anyone else but me. If that sounds selfish I can live with it. This car is how I would have built one if I had the money way back then.

Now that we are “retired” we hope to make one of the regional meetings and show off our ’56. It would be great to meet other people that love these Ford as much as we do.

Regards to all my “Fairlane fans”.

Jim