Seven Months Gone: 1979 Ford Fairmont Durango Tribute – Sold?

by | Dec 2022 | Classifinds, Truckin Tuesday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

January 15, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

December 3, 2022 Update – The seller replaced their sixth expired listing for this Durango tribute. After six months, the seller refuses to budge on their $13,500 asking price.

October 29, 2022 Update – The seller replaced their fifth expired listing for this Durango tribute with a fresh Craigslist ad.  In this latest ad, the seller added several new pictures.  We’re convinced what’s holding the sale of this car back is the fact it’s not a true Durango.

October 10, 2022 Update – The seller replaced their fourth expired listing for this Durango tribute with a fresh one. In it, the pictures, description, and $13,500 asking price all remain the same.

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 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 in 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, originally listed in June 2022 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.

Last offered for $13,500,, 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.

Here’s the seller’s brief description:

“302 with a full fresh tune-up.
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!

  1. TS

    That’s not a real Durango. The rear gives it away. It doesn’t appear to have a tailgate like real Durangos do.

    Also, it’s not UTE. It’s not an abbreviation for anything. It’s Ute. Short for Utility.

    I owned a Durango years ago and I currently own a Falcon Ute, along with a Ranchero. I’m in the market for another Durango.

    • Anonymous

      This Car is NOT a Durango made by National Coach works, and should not be advertised as such…….. it’s someone’s home made version…… it should be listed as such!!

    • Guys with Rides

      TS, thank you for your observations. We’ve updated this post to reflect “Ute” correctly and will remember this moving forward. Please note that with all of our Craigslist Classifind posts, we rely on the seller’s description and make no claims beyond that. We agree that upon further review, this example is not a true Durango and have noted that in our latest update above.

      • Anonymous

        Do your research before making a comment.

        • Guys with Rides

          Lighten up, Francis. We did our research based on what we thought the car was based on the Craigslist ad’s pictures. Sometimes we get it wrong, but our growing knowledgeable community corrects us, we learn from it, and we move on to research the next car we’re blogging about. There’s no need for you to rub our nose in it.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t care what it is it’s cool as hell and if I had the money I’d buy it right now.


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