Pandemic Project: 1957 Ford Fairlane Hardtop

Click Here to Begin Slideshow Last year, Dennis Gorder and his wife decided to maybe do one last car project.  “We had wanted a collector car in the 1955-1957 range,” said Dennis, former national president of a Model T Ford club.  “In the spring of 2019, we heard of a 1957 Ford Fairlane two-door hardtop project car. It had been a father/son project started in 1999 that was never completed. However, the asking price was more than we were willing to spend.” In November 2019, the price was lowered. “We negotiated,” Gorder explained. “In late November, we picked up the baby blue 1957 Ford.” According to Dennis, the body had been done and painted. The chassis had also been painted and a 390 V-8 of unknown origin had been installed. It also had bucket seats, a console and a tilt steering column.  A new wiring harness, purchased in 1999, had been installed. “Some paperwork was included,” Gorder explained. “It showed that parts had been ordered in 1999.” Needing completion were the wiring, carpeting, brakes, all heater cables and the inside windshield trim. Most of the windows would not go up and down. The seats had new covers, but no padding. Once Dennis got the car home, he found more things that needed replacement. The tires looked like new, but had 2002 date codes. The fuel lines were not safely routed. “I worked on the car over winter and then during the COVID-19 isolation period,” Gorder told Racing Junk. “Being retired I had a lot of time to work on a car,” he said. “I estimate I worked at least three days a week for about six hours per day on this project.” The Ford-specific parts houses Dennis worked with were still taking orders.  For standard parts, he found that the local NAPA store remained open. “I actually liked ordering online and having parts delivered to our house,” he noted. “There no big delays or issues.” Many of the car part suppliers Gorder used were offering free shipping. “I did not noticed any shipping delays,” he advised. “I have noticed that response time is sometimes longer than usual, which makes me believe they are working from home and perhaps on a limited basis. The CJ Pony company’s showroom was closed, but their shipments seemed to go out right after ordering. Questions took a day or two to get answered.” Dennis has a shop behind his garage.  It is heated, has internet and satellite TV.  There is also a refrigerator in case refreshments are needed. Although the ’57 Ford was purchased before the pandemic, COVID-19 did affect his project. “We originally planned to have it done by Fall, maybe for the ‘Cruising the Coast’ show,” he pointed out. “But it was on the road by mid-May.” The virus actually helped him completing the car ahead of schedule. “With no virus we’d have been concentrating on our completed cars to get ready for cruising and car shows,” he explained. “But when the virus started, there was no need to get the other cars ready, no shows to go to. So, we kept going on the ’57 Ford” Click Here to Begin Slideshow

Pandemic Project: 1957 Ford Fairlane Hardtop

Click Here to Begin Slideshow
Last year, Dennis Gorder and his wife decided to maybe do one last car project.  “We had wanted a collector car in the 1955-1957 range,” said Dennis, former national president of a Model T Ford club.  “In the spring of 2019, we heard of a 1957 Ford Fairlane two-door hardtop project car. It had been a father/son project started in 1999 that was never completed. However, the asking price was more than we were willing to spend.”

In November 2019, the price was lowered. “We negotiated,” Gorder explained. “In late November, we picked up the baby blue 1957 Ford.” According to Dennis, the body had been done and painted. The chassis had also been painted and a 390 V-8 of unknown origin had been installed. It also had bucket seats, a console and a tilt steering column.  A new wiring harness, purchased in 1999, had been installed.

“Some paperwork was included,” Gorder explained. “It showed that parts had been ordered in 1999.” Needing completion were the wiring, carpeting, brakes, all heater cables and the inside windshield trim. Most of the windows would not go up and down. The seats had new covers, but no padding. Once Dennis got the car home, he found more things that needed replacement. The tires looked like new, but had 2002 date codes. The fuel lines were not safely routed.

“I worked on the car over winter and then during the COVID-19 isolation period,” Gorder told Racing Junk. “Being retired I had a lot of time to work on a car,” he said. “I estimate I worked at least three days a week for about six hours per day on this project.” The Ford-specific parts houses Dennis worked with were still taking orders.  For standard parts, he found that the local NAPA store remained open. “I actually liked ordering online and having parts delivered to our house,” he noted. “There no big delays or issues.”

Many of the car part suppliers Gorder used were offering free shipping. “I did not noticed any shipping delays,” he advised. “I have noticed that response time is sometimes longer than usual, which makes me believe they are working from home and perhaps on a limited basis. The CJ Pony company’s showroom was closed, but their shipments seemed to go out right after ordering. Questions took a day or two to get answered.”

Dennis has a shop behind his garage.  It is heated, has internet and satellite TV.  There is also a refrigerator in case refreshments are needed. Although the ’57 Ford was purchased before the pandemic, COVID-19 did affect his project. “We originally planned to have it done by Fall, maybe for the ‘Cruising the Coast’ show,” he pointed out. “But it was on the road by mid-May.” The virus actually helped him completing the car ahead of schedule. “With no virus we’d have been concentrating on our completed cars to get ready for cruising and car shows,” he explained. “But when the virus started, there was no need to get the other cars ready, no shows to go to. So, we kept going on the ’57 Ford”
Click Here to Begin Slideshow

Pandemic Project: 1957 Ford Fairlane Hardtop

Pandemic Project: 1957 Ford Fairlane Hardtop

Pandemic Project: 1957 Ford Fairlane Hardtop

Pandemic Project: 1957 Ford Fairlane Hardtop

Pandemic Project: 1957 Ford Fairlane Hardtop

Pandemic Project: 1957 Ford Fairlane Hardtop

Back to Post
Avatar
About John Gunnell 136 Articles
John “Gunner” Gunnell has been writing about cars since ‘72. As a kid in Staten Island, N.Y., he played with a tin Marx “Service Garage” loaded with toy vehicles, his favorite being a Hubley hot rod. In 2010, he opened Gunner’s Great Garage, in Manawa, Wis., a shop that helps enthusiasts restore cars. To no one’s surprise, he decorated 3G’s with tin gas stations and car toys. Gunner started writing for two car club magazines. In 1978, publisher Chet Krause hired him at Old Cars Weekly, where he worked from 1978-2008. Hot rodding legend LeRoi “Tex” Smith was his boss for a while. Gunner had no formal journalism training, but working at a weekly quickly taught him the trade. Over three decades, he’s met famous collectors, penned thousands of articles and written over 85 books. He lives in Iola, Wis., with his nine old cars, three trucks and seven motorcycles.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


I agree to receive emails from RacingJunk.com. I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2005-2020 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands
All Rights Reserved.

Internet Brands