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Ford Fairlane

Carpedia  ·  January 16, 2020

Ford Fairlane

The Ford Fairlane is a full-size 4-door luxury sedan produced by Ford Australia since 1959. It was initially a locally assembled version of the American Ford Galaxie from 1959 to 1964. It would later be reintroduced in 1967 as a luxury long-wheelbase version of the Falcon, positioned between the Falcon and Galaxie. The Galaxie would then evolve to the LTD. The Fairlane/LTD's main competitors were the Holden Statesman, Brougham, and Caprice.

First Generation

ZA (1967-1968)

Ford Australia introduced the ZA in 1967. It shared some similarities with the American Ford Falcon, but the quad headlights set them apart. It was based on the Australian XR Falcon, now offered as the Fairlane and Fairlane 500. It had a 2,964 mm wheelbase and featured square taillights and a twin-headlight grille. The Fairlane badge was in block letters at the rear of the car.

The ZA was equipped with a 3,277-cc six-cylinder engine (90 kW, 250 N.m) paired with either a three-speed automatic transmission or manual gearbox. A 4,735cc V8 engine (149 kW, 380 N.m) was offered as an option with a three-speed automatic transmission.

ZB (1968-1969)

Ford introduced the ZB Series in March 1968. The displacement grew to 3.62L (100 kW, 281 N.m) and 4.95L (164 kW, 405 N.m) for the six-cylinder and V8 engines, respectively. The Fairlane badge on the rear was now in script instead of block letters. The base model for this range was the Fairlane Custom. 

ZC (1969-1970)

The ZC, a facelift of the ZB, was introduced in July 1969. It now had vertically-stacked headlights but shared the taillights with the ZB. It was also available, like the ZB, in Fairlane Custom and Fairlane 500 models. The engines used were the 3.6L and 4.9L as standard on the Custom and 500, respectively. A (5,766-cc) 5.8L V8 engine rated 186 kW and 497 N.m was introduced as an option on both models. For the first time, air conditioning was offered as an option for the ZC.

ZD (1970-1972)

The ZD released in November 1970 brought a new base engine, a (4,089-cc) 4.1L 6-cylinder engine that could generate up to 115 kW of power and 324 N.m torque. It received a taillight restyling, new boot garnish, and a new plastic grille with metal surround. Instead of the ZC's silver speedometer backing, the ZD now sported a black background.

Second Generation

ZF (1972-1973)

The Australian-designed ZF was introduced in 1972. The following year, the range received an upscale LTD that featured a vinyl roof and hidden headlamps. The model names remained the same - Custom and 500. The engine choices did not change, with the ZF being the last of the Fairlanes to be fitted with manual transmission.

ZG/P5 (1973-1976)

The changes made to the ZG were mainly cosmetic. There were no significant mechanical or styling changes made. They now came with a revised bar grille and revised taillight lenses.

The Fairlane-based P5 LTD was released later in 1973 as a four-door sedan with a wheelbase longer than that of the Fairlane. In 1975, Ford released the Town Cars to celebrate 50 years of Ford's presence in Australia. They only produced 500 Town Cars, 250 LTDs, and 250 Fairlanes. The Fairlanes were fitted with LTD components, such as 15-inch wheels, leather interior and electric windows, to name a few. If you happen to own one with a 351 motor (5.8L), you're lucky because only a handful of these models were made. All others were 302s (4.9L). 

ZH/P6 (1967-1979)

The ZH addressed some of the criticisms directed at the ZG. The car now displayed a more prominent and luxurious look. The LTD, in particular, was fitted with a Rolls-Royce-inspired grille. Ford discontinued the Custom, with the 500 becoming the base trim level and the Fairlane Marquis the upscale version.

The engine for the base model was the 4.9L with the 5.8L reserved for the upscale versions. Marquises built after January 1979 ditched the Ford 9-inch differentials for the Borg-Warner. There was a limited-edition LTD called the "Silver Monarch" produced in 1977. It was only available in the "Stardust Silver" colour and had a specially-imported silver vinyl roof. The interior was red velvet.

Third Generation

ZJ/FC (1979-1982)

The ZJ was a leap ahead into the new decade for Ford. They restyled it giving it a more modern look with squared-off lines and a six-light body shell. The lineup now only included a single Fairlane with two V8 engine choices - a 4.9L or 5.8L. There was a 4.1L model introduced the same year in response to the oil crisis.

The LTD was introduced in 1979 and used the same wheelbase as the Fairlane, and for the first time, it was available in a six-cylinder engine, the 4.1L.

ZK/FD (1982-1984)

The ZK was introduced in 1982. Ford dropped the 5.8L V8 engine and made some minor adjustments to the grille and taillights. In 1983, the 4.9L V8 engine was also discontinued since Ford was keen on limiting their use of V8s. They now replaced it with a new fuel-injected version, which had acceleration figures similar to the V8. The LTD FC, now designated FD, also had its V8 engine deleted.

ZL/FE (1984-1988)

The revised ZL was fitted with the V6 engines used in its predecessors. It carried over all the external features of the ZK but with integrated headlights with clear indicators, new taillights, and full wrap-around bumpers.

Fourth Generation

NA/DA (1988-1991)

Ford, though still using the long-wheelbase with a six-light body philosophy, made the next major revision to the Fairlane in 1988, now based on the EA26 platform. It improved on fuel efficiency, with the 4.1L reduced to 3.9L. The DA, which was LTD equivalent, was introduced in 1988.

There were some revisions done to the model range in 1989 for the 1990 model year; foremost was the release of the NA II and DA II. The most notable change was the introduction of a four-speed as opposed to the three-speed automatic transmission.

NC/DC (1991-1995)

Ford reintroduced the V8 engine in the NC version, which was also used to power some trims of the higher-spec Fairlane Ghia. A 1992 revision introduced the ND II and DC II, powered by 4.0L engine this time, but the trim levels remained as is. There was also a Fairlane Sportsman Ghia introduced in 1993, which was Ford's way of attracting the younger generation.

NL/DL (1996-1999)

There was little revision done to this model. They were longer and less curvy than before and still used the 4.0L that powered the NC.

Ford released the revised NL Series in 1997, which now discontinued the Sportsman but introduced a higher-spec Fairlane Concorde. The engine choices were still the 4.0L and 5.0L.

Ford expanded the model range in 1998 and now included the Ghia, the basic Concorde that used the six-cylinder engine, and the Concorde Ghia (V8).

Fifth Generation

AU (1999-2003)

The AU, introduced in 1999, utilised Ford's "New Edge" design. The LTD and the AU were the first long-wheelbase sedans to share a model code with the Falcon. 1999 also saw the release of a high-performance variant of the AU Fairlane, the FTE TL50. In 2001, the Sportsman Ghia was revived and lasted until the end of 2002.

BA (2003-2005)

Ford was rapidly losing its customer base to Holden. To mitigate this trend, Ford released the BA Series. It had similarities to the Falcon, including the headlights. A 5.4L modular V8 engine replaced the 5.0L unit. The LTD was now offered exclusively with the V8 engine.

In an attempt to woo the young consumer, Ford replaced the Sportsman with the Fairline G220 rated 220 kW at 4,750 rpm and 472 N.m at 3,250-4,000 rpm. It was distinguishable by its 17-inch alloy wheels, redline leather seats with warm charcoal, and ebony headlights bezels with unique lenses, among other features.

The Fairlane Ghia still used the six-cylinder engine. However, it now came fitted with a six-CD stack, colour ICC screen, and 7-way adjustable leather seats. The LTD was distinguishable from the Ghia with its 5.4L V8 engine, sunroof, 17-inch alloy wheels, and LTD badging.

BF (2005-2007)

Some of the changes made on the BF were carried over from the modifications done to the BA's G220 and LTD in 2005. It now had a heavily-chromed exterior. The G220, now dubbed the Fairlane G8, was fitted with leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The BF's steering and suspension were fine-tuned, with the Ghia now fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels and both LTD and Ghia installed with black leather seats. The G8, on the other hand, came equipped with 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, "Redline" leather seats, and ebony headlights bezels, among other features. A V8 engine with knock sensor powered it, pushing power to the wheels through a six-speed ZF sport automatic transmission.

It also featured 17-inch seven-spoke wheels, ten-way power-adjustable front seats, DVD player and monitor for the rear seats, and electrochromic rearview mirrors. If you need to replace these accessories or other auto parts, feel free to browse You may also send us a parts request, and we will readily assist you.

Eric Anyega

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