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1961 Ford Fairlane

This black and white picture does do justice to the this classic since it had no real color (white over gray). This sharply detailed photo even picks up some of the rust on the rear quarter panel. The understated elegance of the Fairlane model with subdued fins and rocket tube taillights avoided the excessive chrome of the Fairlane 500 or (heaven forbid) the Galaxie. This photo was apparently taken without the usual baby moon hubcaps. Power was provided by the ever popular 292 cu. in. Y-block engine. With this breakthrough design, Ford engineers managed to combine the power of a straight six engine with the weight of the flagship 390 big block engine. The advertised 175 horsepower was maximized with the flexibility of the Fordomatic two speed transmission.

Purchased for $525 in 1965 with only 60,000 miles, it provided reliable service for 4 years and 80,000 miles (with the benefit of an engine rebuild, a transmission overhaul and an untold number of Rural King Duralon tires) before being traded in and presumably going directly to the scrap yard. They don't build them like this anymore though. The interior was capable of seating 8 (although the suspension wasn't quite up to it). It easily cruised highways, gravel roads, and football fields (although it occasionally met it's match on a muddy dirt road). This car was real metal. After a knave who shall remain nameless (I still haven't forgiven you, Joe) decided to empty the ash tray by throwing it out the window in downtown Greenup, the ash tray survived with just a scratch on one corner. Try that with your 2003 model!

1965 Plymouth Sport Fury

This was a BIG car. About 4300 lbs. 330HP 383 cubic inch, four speed, factory Hurst shifter. It was purchased in 1969 for about $1100 with a little over 40,000 miles. We didn't really expect cars to last forever then but this was more or less indestructable. I kept this car for about 5 years and 100,000 miles. When I sold it in 1974 it had 140,000 on it and it looked good. (I had it repainted in '72.)

The most major repair it ever needed was a clutch at 80,000 miles. Valve cover replacement was the closest I ever came to real engine work. Like most Chrysler products, it had some rattles and some rough edges. But it would run down the highway all day as fast as you could get away with.

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