Wednesday, May 11, 2011

1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Interceptor Special: Persuasive 3-year-old owns first classic car

1958 was the first year of quad headlights on Ford Fairlanes.

  In 1974 Terry Conn was three years old when his dad “gave” him a 1958 Ford Fairlane 500. Terry’s parents, Roscoe and Sheila, came to own the Interceptor model of Ford’s ‘58 Fairlane 500 for safety reasons — the safety of the seller’s wife. The husband, eager to unload the fast Ford, believed his wife’s driving habits didn’t mix well with the powerful car. 

Fully redesigned ’58 Fairlanes retained the signature sweeping side trim.

You have to look closely to spot the 1958 Fairlane in Conn's yard.

  The worrisome hubby got bent out of shape every time his lead-footed lass got behind the wheel. The ‘58 Fairlane 500 was equipped with the 300 horsepower Interceptor V-8 and three-speed column shift manual transmission. “The husband said his wife would romp down on the gas along curvy roads and over bridges, and he was afraid she would get hurt,” Sheila Conn said.

Did this Interceptor V8 Fairlane top 120 mph?

Let’s make a deal
  A deal was made and Roscoe and Sheila soon learned how much power the 352-cu. inch Interceptor Special V8 engine had. “It would twist that speedometer needle around,” recalls Shelia. She undoubtedly has fond memories of burying the Fairlane’s speedometer needle passed the 120 mph readout 37 years ago. “That police Interceptor engine would fly.”

Ford went away from the 2 round tail lights when redesigning the 1958 Fairlane.

“That’s my car”
  Terry, the Conn’s impressionable three-year-old son, was smitten by the ‘58 Ford. “Terry’s daddy, Roscoe, had somebody interested in buying the two-tone Ford coupe,” said Terry’s mom, Sheila.  “When the would-be buyer arrived, Terry cried for his daddy not to sell the Fairlane.” Roscoe gave in and sent the buyer home empty handed. Terry, at three years of age, owned his first car.

Holding onto ‘58 Fairlane
  Terry Conn, now 40, still owns the 1958 Ford that captured his imagination as a toddler. The Fairlane, severely weathered from decades parked outdoors, rests in Conn’s secluded yard with most of the original equipments in place. Conn regrets not putting the Fairlane under a cover years ago. “It would be in better shape if I had a place to keep the car covered,” said Conn. A quick walk around the car confirms the detrimental effects of parking a car out in the weather over a long period of time. 

Interceptor Special V8 emblem on the Fairlane's glove box.

Ford added larger tail fins on the Fairlane in 1958.
Body in rough shape
  The exterior of the ’58 Ford’s two-tone black and white body is scabbed with rust. The bumpers, tail lights and some trim pieces, which often steal your attention from the ugly truth, have been removed.  The rocker panels, brushing the leafy nest the Fairlane calls home, continue their slow descent into terra firma.

Inside the ’58 Ford Fairlane time capsule.

1958 Fairlane has vinyl seat with tweed inserts.
Inside and under the hood
  Surprisingly the two-tone upholstery has held up well. The white vinyl seats with black tweed inserts survived without rips and a minimal amount of mildew damage. Under the hood the scary fast Interceptor engine crowned by the factory Holley 4-barrel carburetor remains but now has late model Cobra valve covers and parts-store plug wires and hoses.

The original 352-cu. inch Ford engine, with non-original valve covers, remains in the 1958 Fairlane.

Future plans
Conn would love to bring the ’58 Ford back to life with a full restoration. A ‘58 Fairlane parts car was purchased several years ago to help move the project along. Family and work have taken priority but he plans to rebuild the car someday. Conn’s first car will stay in the family whether it’s restored or not.

1958 Ford Fairlane production numbers
Your guide to 1958 2-door Fairlanes: 

  14,713 - 
Skyliner Rectractable Convertible Coupe
  35,509 - Victoria Hardtop Sedan
  105,698 - 4 Door Sedan
  80,439 - Victoria Hardtop Coupe
  34,041 - Club Sedan 2 Door
  35,028 - Sunliner Convertible Coupe

  If you see a rare car at the junkyard or in a yard send photos and info to junkyardlife, email

1950s steel dashes weren't crash-friendly to passengers but they are certainly durable.

Ford borrowed the dummy hood scoop on ’58 Fairlanes from the Thunderbird.

Ford sold 967,945 passenger cars in 1958.

1958 Fairlanes were completely redesigned even after selling more cars than Chevrolet in 1957.

Three speed column shift transmission in this 1958 Ford Fairlane.

Bumpers and trim have been removed for future restoration.

The original 352-cu. inch Ford engine, with non-original valve covers, remains in the 1958 Fairlane.
Notice the '58 Ford Fairlane 500s ribbed roof?

A Holley 4-barrel carburetor, original 1958 equipment, tops Ford's 352-cu. in. Interceptor V8 engine.

  If you see a rare car at the junkyard or in a yard send photos and info to junkyardlife, email


Anonymous said...

Yes, I had a '58 ford interceptor special that I bought in 1963 when I was in high school and the car would fly. No one would believe it and called a "real sleeper". In those days we would drag race light to light or light to wherever. The hot rod chevy guys would look over at it and laugh then I would blow them away. I always wondered what was in the engine. It had a Mallory dual point distributor. FS Newark, Ohio

Loverof58s said...

The '58 Ford had the most beautifully integrated front grille, where bumper and grille are inseparable. Compare it to the '57 bumper and grille, which are two separate parts, and really have nothing to do with each other. I can see a relationship between the '55 Lincoln Futura Concept front (later George Barris' '66 Batmobile) and the front of the '58 Ford.

curtcurt said...

I have this same car in rough shape but is still mostly intact. Could someone tell me how much it is worth

Anonymous said...

Good grief, he's 40 now, couldn't he have gotten it up and running back in his teens? Some people have more luck than brains...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, back in 1990 my first car was a '58 Fairlane 500 4 door. There was a 2 door close by sitting in a gully and had been rear-ended so hard on the passenger side that it folded the righthand 1/4 panel, had been under water at least twice, and most of the stainless trim stolen. The guy still wouldn't sell it. "It was my uncle's, gonna restore it one day"....yeah, two years later it was at the local wrecking yard. Psh, whatever dude....

Steve Parker said...

I have for sale my Falcon ute, it is a 2001 model, 4ltr six-cylinder that will only run on LPG, no petrol, so cheap for the size of the engine.
It has some lockable hardtop, a roo / light bar Front and rear cabin roof bar not mounted. It is metallic black, is reduced, and the role used used on polished edge 18, with a good low profile tires.

BobbyQ said...

What's the VIN #?

DaWop said...

my parents had this when i was a kid. my mom raced everybody stopligh to stoplight. Can't remember losing. if you look close the speedometer says 120 but the lines mark off 130. I remember her burying the speedo behind a big shopping plaza.