While the paint is impressive, it's even more so when you discover that Dan painted it over 10 years ago and that Brian has owned the car for over 12 years. It started out as a typical driver that needed new floorpan pieces and the standard rust repair of the lower rear quarter-panels. Dan had to fabricate them because when he started on this car, those stampings were not available. After plenty of longboarding and metal prepping, Dan sprayed the Fairlane in his own custom-mix red. The interior also received some attention, but most of that had to do with the minor custom dash efforts with the Auto Meter gauges.
This family-affair Ford is another rolling billboard for Tallant's Hot Rods. "We just finished an '03 Cadillac De Ville for a customer," Dan says. "He wanted the ultimate sleeper, so we converted it to rear-wheel drive and dropped in a GM 572 crate motor. It'll spin the tires forever." That's not too surprising coming from a guy who makes it look like too much fun.
Who: Brian and Linda Lewis
What: '66 Ford Fairlane
Where: The fair town of Liberty, Missouri
Engine: Dan opened the cylinders up 0.030 inch and added an L&W crankshaft, 9.5:1 forged pistons, and a Comp Cams Dual Energy cam with 272/292 advertised duration and 0.496/0.520-inch valve lift. Big horsepower really wasn't the goal with this engine, so those are stock iron '74 351W heads fitted with 2.02/1.60-inch stainless valves and Comp Cams roller-tipped rocker arms. Dan added an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, a Holley 750 carburetor, and a set of Hooker 1 51/48-inch headers and Flowmaster mufflers to round out the power packaging. To bring a little brightwork to the engine compartment, Dan bolted on a March billet pulley system and a Vintage Air HVAC system to get through those humid Kansas City summers.
Transmission: That's a Ford AOD connected with a TPI 10-inch converter that stalls at 3,000 rpm, just in case Mom wants to bring the Rs up at the stop light.
Rearend: Dan dialed in a 9-inch and fitted it with a set of Richmond 4.11:1 gears and stock axles.
Suspension: This is where most of the work was performed. Dan started with an Air Ride Technologies Mustang II front suspension package and then re-engineered it so he could raise everything up inside the body. The plan was to build the car that could set ride height almost on the ground and still drive. The Air Ride four-link rear suspension required fabricated subframe connectors that Dan then connected to the triangulated four-bar setup.
Brakes: The effort here was to produce a simple braking system that would be easy to maintain and still work safely every time, so Dan went with factory 11-inch discs in front and a set of 10-inch drums in the rear.
Wheels and tires: No matter how many times we see 'em, those American Torq-Thrust II wheels still look great, especially on a car like this. The fronts are a set of 16x7s mounted with BFGoodrich 205/55R16s, while the rears are a set of 17x8s with 245/45R17 BFGs.
Interior: NKC Auto Trim in North Kansas City, Missouri, did the gray leather interior stitching while Brian performed the custom wiring that includes the custom dash and Auto Meter gauges.
Body and paint: The original car was in pretty good shape, but because it hailed from nearby Sedalia, the Midwest rust monster still had a say in the matter. By the end of the welding phase, new floorpans and lower quarter-sections took most of the time. After smoothing it all out, Dan mixed up his own custom PPG red and laid the color down. All the other trim pieces are original, as is the glass.