Unique Ute: 1979 Ford Fairmont Durango Tribute – STILL $13,500
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September 16, 2022 Update – The seller just replaced their third expired listing for this Durango tribute with a fresh one. In it, the pictures, description, and $13,500 asking price all remain the same.
August 12, 2022 Update – The seller just replaced their second expired listing with a fresh one. In it, the pictures, description, and $13,500 asking price all remain the same. Also, based on several comments from our knowledgeable community, this car is not a true Durango but a converted Fairmont Futura.
July 11, 2022 Update – We just confirmed the seller of this rare Ford Durango replaced their expired Craiglist ad with a fresh listing. In it, the pictures, description, and $13,500 asking price remain the same.
I spent one day a week of the summer of 1981 riding around Western New York with four classmates and an overweight driving instructor known by all as “Sarge” (he also happened to be the Town judge for many years). The driver’s ed car of choice in those days was an underpowered and unairconditioned Ford Fairmont. I’ve secretly wanted to do a 5.0L V8 swap in a Futura coupe version. The seller of this 1979 Ford Fairmont Durango, currently listed here on Craigslist in Hardwick, Vermont, just trumped that idea by swapping a 302 cubic inch Ford small block into one of only 212 units ever produced. The seller relies on the pictures more than the description to sell this rare Ute, but it appears to have good enough bones to make the trip north.
Currently offered for $13,500, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is well above this guide’s limited five-year results summary for all Ford Fairmonts produced between 1978 and 1983. By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you make an educated bid on the car we are featuring for auction here:
As a second data point, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask lands well above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $8,900 for a Futura Coupe on which this Ute is based upon. The premium is for the combination of the rarity and the V8 engine.
To produce the Durango, National Coach Works used the body of the Ford Fairmont Futura two-door coupe. Aft of the B-pillar, engineers removed the roof, trunk lid, and rear seat area. Behind the rear seats, the company added a flat-floor fiberglass cargo bed along with a bulkhead and a new rear window behind the two front seats. The rear fascia above the bumper was redesigned into a fold-down tailgate. As the tailgate included the license plate and tail lamps, National Coachworks had to produce the Durango with a disclaimer warning drivers from driving with the tailgate in the down position.
As the B-pillar design of the Fairmont Futura coupe lent itself to the conversion on an unofficial basis, there are several unique features to the Durango that identify it as a vehicle converted by National Coach. First, all production examples used Fairmont Futuras as starting points. Conversions by National Coach, which are the only versions with a functioning tailgate, feature a fiberglass filler panel between the cargo bed and the tailgate; the design of the panel stores the tailgate hinges when it is folded down. The Ford Durango was equipped only with a 200 cubic-inch inline-six, the mid-range engine of the Fairmont line paired with a three-speed automatic transmission.
The Katarina’s Garage YouTube Channel features a walk-around video of what is likely less than a handful of Fairmont Durangos that made their way into Canada when new:
Based on the limited pictures provided this 1979 Ford Fairmont Durango appears to be a driver-quality piece that can either be enjoyed as is or slowly upgraded as the buyer’s time and budget allows.
If you are serious about buying this rare Ute, you can start the conversation by calling Bob at (802) 472-5486. When you connect, please remember to mention you saw his Fairmont Durango featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s brief description:
Inspected runs and drives well. good tires. One of a kind (actually 1 of 212) hot rod_super cool rig .“
Show or go: What would you do with this 302-powered Ford Fairmont Durango? Please comment below and let us know!