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1967 Fairlane custom

This car was built for two things: fun and Craig Shaner

Andy Bolig - December 15, 2011 10:00 AM

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The 351 Windsor under that Boss 429 hood scoop churns out about 415hp, happily replacing the 289 that once resided under the hood.  

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The interior was done up in black GT trim but keen-eyed readers will notice the ’56-style dash that replaces the original, squared version usually seen in ’66-’67 Fairlanes. 

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 While the dash design goes back in time, the actual instruments are updated with a complete set of Auto Meter gauges, including a can’t-miss tachometer.

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 A set of long-tube headers and five-speed help to keep the power level high and the fuel consumption low as Craig enjoys his Fairlane. 

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For a 15-year-old car guy, a pair of Fairlanes showing up was surely a dream. For the next two years, Craig would work hard to make driving one a reality. 

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Craig proudly poses by his Fairlane, and rightly so. Building such a fantastic driver should be the goal of every enthusiast. 

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Craig recently had a chance to pose his car on the famous Pocono Raceway during a car show at the famed facilities. While 427s once ruled the roundy-round tracks in the ’60s, Craig’s car surely stands out as a winner today.

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Craig combined the good parts from both cars, including the floors.

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Craig never shies away from an opportunity to share the power of his Windsor-equipped ride.  

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Craig is determined to drive his car and enjoy it and if he couldn’t make it reliable as well as fun, what’s the sense in having it?

The builder of this fine ’67 Fairlane knew exactly what Craig Shaner wanted.

That’s because it was built by Craig. Working at Cranmer’s Auto Body in Hughesville, Pennsylvania, gave him the opportunity and the facilities to do the work, but when it came to making this car distinctive, it was totally up to Craig.

The Blue Oval runs deep in Craig’s family and while family and fellow workers surely would lend a hand when necessary, make no mistake, this is Craig’s car, this is Craig’s work. While this brightly-clad coupe may look great now, there was a lot of work to get it to this point. When he was only 15 years old, Craig rescued the car out of a barn in Georgia, along with another four-door version that he intended to use for parts.

Once he got the cars home, he began stripping everything down to see what kind of foundation he had to begin the work. Turns out that after removing all the rusty, crusty stuff, there was little left over in certain areas. Luckily, areas where it was really bad on the coupe, like the floors and the cowl area, were good on the parts car. The four-door sibling also had an amazing hood, fenders and trunk lid. Since he was building a car from the ground up, he decided that he would change a few things as it came back together. While Craig loved the body style of these ’66-’67 Fairlanes, he really liked the earlier dashes from the mid-’50s versions. So, when it came time to put it all back in, Craig deviated from the original design and grafted a dash from a ’56 Ford. After a bunch of grinding, welding and fitting, you’d think that the Auto Meter gauges were the only items that didn’t come from the factory in this car.

Rust work continued through the floors, all the way into the trunk area and back up front to the radiator support. But once that was all completed, the fun began by squirting that Competition Orange paint on both the top and bottom areas and bolting on all the stuff that would make this ride so enjoyable.

Craig had the car completed for his senior year of high school but, like most projects, he wanted a 351 Windsor, but had to settle for a 289 until funds permitted the engine of his dreams. Craig had a whirlwind year, trying to find time for school, work and the Fairlane, but by the end of the year, he had saved up enough cash to begin work on that Windsor he wanted so badly. In the process of installing the larger engine, Craig also installed a five-speed transmission to help the larger engine’s diet stay somewhat similar to the 289’s.

There’s more than just a few extra cubes stuffed under those Ford Racing valve covers. While he was building the engine, Craig installed a fresh set of SRP aluminum pistons, capped off with a set of Roush heads, roller rockers and an Edelbrock intake. Together, these components help push out the 415hp that gets Craig going. And boy, did he get going! The first week of having the car running with the 351 in it, two motor mounts gave up the ghost. They were fairly easy to fix. While most people receive various gifts for their 18th birthday, the thing that stands out most vividly for Craig on his 18th was the sudden snap-bang heard by all as the eight-inch rearend proved no match for the new-found horsepower of the larger, Windsor engine.

Craig knew that with so many more horses, it would only be a matter of time before the weak spots would start to show their ugly heads. He replaced the rear with a much tougher nine-inch housing featuring a set of 3.89 gears and a posi unit and to keep the rear stable, a set of Competition Engineering traction bars was added.

Needless to say, he’s been having a lot of fun with the car both in showing it at car shows and, driving it whenever he gets a chance. His car brought home 1st place in the ’67 Fairlane Class at the York National Meet recently, and he’s participated in many other competitions, some of which were burn-outs. Never one to shy away from turning a pair of Cooper tires into asphalt crayons, he’s proven that this car can go, as well as show.

To check out Craig's Fairlane in action, go to our YouTube video here.

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