Repair or Replace: 1969 Ford Fairline



Ford Fairline

The 1969 Ford Fairline Cobra 428 isn’t an overly flashy ride. It’s looks are low key and it epitomizes the very definition of a sleeper car. With a base price, a skosh over $3,000, owning one of these Fords was in reach of its muscle car admirers in 1969. The 428 Cobra Jet V-8 helped propel these cars through the quarter mile in the high-13’s to low 14’s at over 100 mph. Not too bad for a 3,500 lb car. In the neighborhood of 14,000, ’69 Cobras were built before the model was renamed the Torino Cobra for the 1970 model year. Old cars like this one don’t get restored as often as some of its counterparts. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not entitled to some serious consideration when looking for a vintage muscle car to restore. This particular Ford was optioned originally in triple black. It retains its original numbers matching 428 CJ motor and C6 automatic. A bonus to this restoration is it comes with another ’69 donor car for all the extra parts a person may need. Unfortunately, this Cobra was caught in a shop fire, but the damages aren’t life threatening. What a shame, though. The 1969 Ford Fairline Cobra 428 may not be the most collectible, but it does provide years of happy motoring in a vintage muscle car you don’t see every day.

F.Y.I. The nameplates Fairline or Torino don’t appear on an original Cobra. The only signsgiving the car away are the red “428” fender badges.

Automotive: A 1969 Chevrolet Corvette race car named the “Rebel” was sold at auction for over 2.5 million in 2014.

In the Movies: The ’69 Fairline has appeared in movies like “Need for Speed” and “Wild Card“.

In Music: Dizzy” by Tommy Roe stood at the top of the Billboard Charts in March of 1969.

Fun Fact: In 1969 the soon to be classic children’s television show “Sesame Street” was aired.

1969 INDY 500 Winner: Mario Andretti.

1969 Daytona 500 Winner: LeeRoy Yarborough.


Repair or Replace

1969 Ford Fairline Cobra 428

  • $14k (plus donor car)

Current Pricing: $30k+

Quick Look Paint

Ford Fairline

  • Strip (Media Blast)-
  • Complete Paint-
  • Fenders x2-
  • Quarters x2-
  • Doors x2-
  • Rockers x2-
  • Hood-
  • Decklid-
  • Roof-
  • Add for jams on all parts-
  • Undercoating-
  • Misc-$$$$-
  • Materials-

=(Paint)Labor and materials – 5-10k

(Media Blast) – 1k

Quick Look Body

Ford Fairline

Donor Car provided (complete)-

  • Body (Glass, trim, interior, exterior)-
  • Body Repair (Clean Up) – Any Existing Damage, Prime, Block)

=(Body)Labor and materials – 55+

Quick Look Total: (Body, Paint, Parts, Material, Etc.) = 


$14k asking price

= 25k Rebuild it!

7 Comments on Repair or Replace: 1969 Ford Fairline

  1. I have never started with a car that needed 2xdoors, 2xfenders, 2xquarter panels, 2xrockers, hood and decklid. That would be a tough project for someone that owns a body shop. I can’t see starting from nothing so it makes your project a useless point. It’s much cheaper to save up and start from something half way decent. Better yet pick up a unfinished project that the other guy dumped a ton of money in! That’s how I always did it.

  2. Sure it’s a tuff project. Nothing worth doing is easy. You do have a point it’s a ton of work. I agree. There are still those of us however who started working on cars for the love of it. It wasn’t about how much work we didn’t have to do to be rolling down the road. There’s something about building a car that instills a sense of pride in a person that can’t be paid for. This project would be a labor of love no doubt. It can be done though. It’s been done before. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and give the column a comment. Sorry this project wasn’t for you. That’s what makes these articles fun. Everyone isn’t supposed to agree.

  3. Not so sure this could be finished for $11k.
    At the ask of $14k there’s not enough left to make it profitable in the end, but if you want to own a nice, and pretty special Fairlane, and profit isn’t a concern, it’s a good starting point.

  4. Well, I’m all in on this one. There’s a 69 Fairlane with a 460 and 4 speed sitting in the garage waiting for final assembly and buffing. Bought for 7k. Had to redo the torque boxes (tied the frame and added two shaft hoops while at it). Fully rewired the car and installed all digital gauges. Redid the front with halogen and LED lights in a mesh grill. Had it painted in ’15 Ford Tuxedo Black single stage, color sanded it and then laid 4 coats of clear with House of Color Blue Flake. Next is doing the interior in black and gray. Figure I’ll have 16-17k total in when done. It won’t be a show car but I won’t “meet myself three times” at the local shows and cruise ins. Besides, nothing draws attention better than a lot of cubic inches talking through the full length side pipes.

  5. Sounds like a cool build Richard. I always thought black single stage paint, wet sanded and buffed, had a deeper look than base/clear applications. Almost like it was dipped and not painted. Good choice. Just don’t burn through it 😉 Shoot me some pics sometime. I’d love to see it. Take care.

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