Relatable Restoration: 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 – SOLD!

by | Feb 2024 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

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

April 4, 2024, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “ClassiFIND” deleted their listing, so we can now call this one “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.

The 1990s saw what was likely the peak of classic car restorations. The funny thing about restored cars is that they start to wear just like when they were new. Granted a post-restoration car is often garaged, pampered, and babied, but a three-decade-old restoration can show signs of wear. For a car enthusiast more interested in cruising rather than winning awards, an older restoration can represent a tremendous value.

One such example is this Red and White 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 For Sale, last spotted on Brookings, Oregon in February 2024, as the seller notes their car was restored in the 1990s and has not been driven much since.  The Fairlane 500 was Ford’s highest trim level for 1958, so not only does this two door hardtop feature a desirable candy cane color combination, but the car also features the desirable 352 cubic inch Police Interceptor V8 engine mated to 3 speed manual transmission with overdrive. Other desirable options include power steering, power drum brakes, and power windows.

Last offered for $23,500, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask aligns with this guide’s six-month results for all 1958 Ford Fairlane body styles and powertrains.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $17,300 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $24,300 before making adjustments for powertrain and equipment.

The 1958 Ford Fairlane two-door hardtop equipped with the 352 Police Interceptor engine and a 3-speed manual transmission with overdrive was a significant offering from Ford during the late 1950s. This particular configuration was designed to cater to customers seeking both performance and style, making it a standout option in the automotive market of its time.

At the heart of the 1958 Ford Fairlane Police Interceptor lies the robust 352 cubic inch (5.8L) V8 engine. This powerplant was specifically engineered for law enforcement applications, prioritizing performance and durability. The engine featured a cast-iron block and cylinder heads, ensuring sturdiness under demanding conditions. With a bore and stroke of 4.00 inches by 3.50 inches respectively, the 352 V8 delivered a healthy dose of torque and horsepower, making it suitable for both pursuit and civilian use.

The Police Interceptor engine boasted several performance-enhancing features, including a high-lift camshaft, larger valves, and a dual-point distributor. These modifications optimized airflow and combustion efficiency, resulting in improved acceleration and overall engine response. With a compression ratio of around 10.0:1, the 352 V8 produced ample power while maintaining reliability, a crucial factor for law enforcement vehicles.

Paired with the potent 352 V8 engine was a 3-speed manual transmission featuring overdrive. This gearbox provided drivers with versatility in terms of gear selection, allowing for smooth acceleration and efficient highway cruising. The inclusion of overdrive further enhanced fuel economy and reduced engine wear during extended periods of highway driving.

The manual transmission offered a direct connection between the driver and the vehicle, enabling precise gear changes and a more engaging driving experience. Additionally, the overdrive functionality enabled the engine to operate at lower RPMs during highway cruising, promoting fuel efficiency and reducing noise levels inside the cabin.

To complement its powerful engine and transmission combination, the 1958 Ford Fairlane Police Interceptor featured a robust chassis and suspension system. The chassis utilized a ladder-type frame construction, providing excellent rigidity and torsional stiffness to handle the demands of law enforcement duty.

The suspension system consisted of independent coil springs at the front and leaf springs at the rear, delivering a balance of comfort and handling performance. Heavy-duty shock absorbers were employed to ensure stable and predictable handling characteristics, essential for high-speed pursuits and maneuvering through urban environments.

Visually, the 1958 Ford Fairlane two-door hardtop exuded a sense of style and sophistication typical of the late 1950s automotive design. Its sleek and streamlined body lines were accentuated by chrome trim elements, giving the vehicle a distinctive and timeless appearance.

The two-door hardtop configuration provided a sporty and elegant silhouette, further enhanced by features such as wraparound windshield and integrated tail fins. Optional exterior accessories, including dual exhaust outlets and police-specific lighting and sirens, underscored the vehicle’s purpose-built nature.

The 1958 Ford Fairlane two-door hardtop equipped with the 352 Police Interceptor engine and 3-speed manual transmission with overdrive represented a pinnacle of automotive engineering for its time. Combining performance, style, and durability, this vehicle catered to the needs of law enforcement agencies and enthusiasts alike, leaving a lasting legacy in the annals of automotive history.

The Charles Phoenix Joyride YouTube Channel provides this modern look back at the styling design elements of the 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 two door hardtop:

Based on the pictures provided, this 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 two door hardtop for sale shows some signs of minor year on its three decade old restoration.  However, you really have to look hard to find them. Offered in the low twenties, this fifties Ford offers an excellent alternative to get into the old car hobby for a lot less money than a typical Chevrolet from the same period.

If you are serious about buying this Fairlane 500, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their mid-century restored Ford featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“This 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 2 door hardtop is in excellent condition. Previous owner owned the car
Since 1994. The car was restored in the 90’s, and has not been driven many miles since. The
Odometer shows 87,385 miles which is believed to be original but is not documented. I was repainted
During the restoration period, and the engine was rebuilt at that time. It has the 352 Police Interceptor engine with a 3 speed manual transmission with overdrive. It has power steering, power drum brakes, and power windows. All gauges and lights work as they should, the radio does not work. It has beautiful interior that is near perfect. The seats carpets and headliner are in perfect condition. The car was built in California and stayed in southern California until 2008. There is no rust to be found in this car. All chrome and stainless trim is in excellent condition. The only thing this car needs is a new owner. Car is located in Brookings. Clear title in hand.

Show or go: What would you do with this restored 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 for sale? Please comment below and let us know!

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