Fabulous Fairlane ready to show and go

by Larry D'Argis . Sep 07 2018
Larry D’Argis / Winnipeg Free PressJohn Dumas was turned onto his 1955 Ford Fairlane Town Sedan while he was on the hunt for a summer driver in 2016. The Lorette resident has since turned the happenstance find into his own custom classic cruiser.

Larry D’Argis / Winnipeg Free Press

John Dumas was turned onto his 1955 Ford Fairlane Town Sedan while he was on the hunt for a summer driver in 2016. The Lorette resident has since turned the happenstance find into his own custom classic cruiser.

In 1955, the Ford lineup was totally redesigned and featured longer, lower and wider cars with new interiors and improved Y-Block V-8 power.

A new Fairlane series replaced the Crestline as the top trim level. Named after Ford’s Fair Lane estate, the Fairlane model gave a classy touch of elegance to what was actually a low-price car.

The Fairlane Town Sedan was the top trim level of the four-door line and came equipped with deluxe cloth and vinyl interior upholstery, chrome side-sweep moulding and chrome trim on the headlamp doors. A new 272-cubic-inch Y-Block V-8 replaced the 239-cubic-inch flathead V-8. Buyers could choose from a two-barrel carbureted version producing 162 horsepower or the four-barrel equipped Power Pack with 182 hp. Both engines offered a huge performance increase over the 110-hp flathead V-8.

John Dumas of Lorette started looking for an old car to use as a summer driver in 2016.

Unsure of what he wanted, his friend Bob Stefishen suggested he look at a 1955 Ford Fairlane Town Sedan that Tim McRae had for sale.

Painted in flat black primer, the Ford was a running, driving car with new brakes. Equipped with the optional M-code Power Pack V-8, Fordomatic automatic transmission, electric clock, AM radio, tinted glass and windshield washers, it was a nicely equipped 1950s cruiser.

Dumas bought the old Ford and added a set of 14-inch Dayton knock-off wheels with Goodyear whitewall radial tires and drove it for a year.

In the fall of 2017, Dumas, a member of the Fabulous 50’s Ford Club of Manitoba, decided the Town Sedan needed a new paint job and a fresh interior.

In December 2017, with the help of club member Albert Lannoo, Dumas began taking the car apart before it was handed over to Tony Krater in St. Andrews for a full custom paint job.

Dumas wanted the Ford to stand out, so he chose to paint the car in a striking yellow and raven black two-tone, base/clear finish.

The combination closely resembles a factory offering, usually referred to as a Bumblebee paint job.

As an added feature, Krater said he’d get the car done as soon as possible — provided Dumas gave him the go-ahead to do what he wanted with the roof. Krater was given the green light and created a multicoloured geometric roof mural, similar to the car art found on California lowriders.

This striking addition to the sedan gives it a true custom look. The unique airbrush creation includes several different layers which incorporate candy colours, lace painting and metal flake accents — all buried under several coats of clear.

The old blue interior was replaced with a new, custom, rolled and pleated black and yellow vinyl seat and door upholstery, along with a new black headliner and carpet.

The window garnish mouldings were finished in a woodgrain motif, like the finish found on cars from the 1930s and 1940s.

Many hours were spent polishing the stainless-steel trim and the bumpers, door handles and hood ornament, and much of the trim was replated by Alberta Plating in Calgary.

Mac’s Antique Auto Parts in New York supplied the new Fairlane crests, emblems and script.

For the reassembly process, Dumas, Lannoo and Norm Huley reassembled the car and carefully reapplied the stainless trim.

The big push came this past week to get the Fairlane just right in time for the club’s 24th Annual Flashback Weekend.

Tonight, the Fabulous 50’s Ford Club of Manitoba presents the 24th Annual Flashback Weekend Sock Hop social at 8 p.m. at the Transcona Country Club at 2070 Dugald Rd. The evening will feature a live band, the Marvells, and a prize-packed silent auction in support of the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation.

Saturday, there will be a scenic classic car cruise at 2 p.m. which departs from the south parking lot of the Garden City Shopping Centre at 2305 McPhillips St. and makes its way north to the Half Moon Drive Inn in Lockport.

In addition to the opportunity to enjoy the terrific food at the Half Moon, there will also be more prizes to be won and some fun-filled games. The cruise is open to all antique, classic and special-interest vehicles.

Sunday, the Flashback Weekend whips it into a fever pitch with Manitoba’s largest free car show taking place in the south parking lot of the Garden City Shopping Centre.

More than 1,000 vehicles are expected to be on display and there are more than 30 class awards up for grabs. The show is free for both spectators and participants.

Registration opens at 10 a.m. and the show runs from noon to 5 p.m. The Russell Lee band will perform throughout the day and there will be food and merchandise vendors on-site, as well as entertainment for the kids.

57ford@mymts.net

Larry D’Argis / Winnipeg Free PressTony Krater from St. Andrews painted the car and added this stunning geometric mural on the roof.

Larry D’Argis / Winnipeg Free Press

Tony Krater from St. Andrews painted the car and added this stunning geometric mural on the roof.

Larry D’Argis / Winnipeg Free PressCustom rolled and pleated black and yellow vinyl upholstery was installed, along with a new black headliner and carpet.

Larry D’Argis / Winnipeg Free Press

Custom rolled and pleated black and yellow vinyl upholstery was installed, along with a new black headliner and carpet.

Larry D’Argis / Winnipeg Free PressThe Fairlane is equipped with the optional Power Pack four-barrel carbureted 272 cubic-inch V-8. 272 cubic-inch V-8.

Larry D’Argis / Winnipeg Free Press

The Fairlane is equipped with the optional Power Pack four-barrel carbureted 272 cubic-inch V-8. 272 cubic-inch V-8.