JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Just about every classic car collector dreams of that rare find: A car that's been sitting in a barn for decades, still in near factory condition.
That's exactly what Debbie and Fred Lowman of Pablo Bay stumbled across about a year ago. Fred is an avid '64 Fairlane fan. He's owned four of them over the years. One day he was searching Craig's List when he came across his dream listing: a '64 Fairlane with less than 30,000 miles on it.
It sounded too good to be true but ended up being the real deal. When he arrived in Ohio to check out the car, sure enough the original owner lived on a farm and yes, it had spent time over the years in and out of a barn, making it a true barn-find survivor.
Fred and Debbie's Fairlane is just as about as close to original as you can get, given its age. Except for the tires, hoses, brakes and fluids, EVERYTHING is original. Engine, transmission, radio, seats, bumpers, and the list goes on and on.
Even the seat springs are still in good shape. Just sitting in it is a treat as you can almost feel yourself being transported back to a simpler time. Yes, there are a few paint chips but Fred wouldn't dream of having them touched up. After all, they're part of the Fairlane's history.
The Lowman's '64 has a 170 six cylinder automatic with 101 horsepower. Options include power steering, a trunk light, back lights and full hub caps. The Lowman's Fairline sold for $2068.07 when new and yes, they actually have the window sticker to prove it.
Fred has loved Fairlanes since he was a kid, fondly recalling getting to sit in a factory Thunderbolt edition. "I've loved them for 48 years," Fred said. What makes the '64 so special to him was that the Thunderbolt edition that included a heavily modified 427, V8 race engine with two four-barrel carburetors. He's been hooked on the '64 ever since.
As Fred and Debbie proudly showed off the Fairlane, you could see their love of pop culture history. A 40-year-old Stroh's beer case from Detroit is in the trunk along with Debbie's unopened 1964 swirl ponytail edition Barbie in the back seat. Although, that one is a reproduction that Debbie found at Toys "R" Us.
Ford made seven generations of Fairlanes from 1955 through 1970. But for Fred and Debbie Lowman, there's no question, the fourth generation, made from 1962 to 1965, will always be their favorite.
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