• If anyone wonders why the Japanese automakers took over the market from the big three in the early 80's they only need to look here. It was the very beginning of short-sighted corporate greed. It would only get worse..

  • My driver's ed car was a Fairmont wagon in this same shade of blue. This was back in the day when the football coach taught driver's ed in the public school. I took it over the summer and me and another kid spent the summer driving the coach around town on errands.

    • Ha! I also took drivers ed with the football coach sleeping/instructing in the passengers seat. We had a fox body LTD, a fancier version of this. We were all just happy to be driving around town, the car didn't really matter.

  • Kevin, Kevin, Kevin…. You have missed the point. The Fairmont was one of the most honest, straight-forward cars Detroit ever produced. I owned a succession of these things, all used, from 1984 until 2004. They had a lot of space but were quite light. Lots of fun to toss around in the snow. If you didn't like the 200 cid six, you could step up to the V-8.

    I learned to love that they never asked for anything. Even when I did have to work on them, I could tell that a mechanic had provided input to every aspect of the car's design. They are not just easy to work on, they are designed to make the work easy.

    And back in the day, any Fairmont was just a wrecker's yard Fox Mustang GT away from fabulous.

    If this was a wagon, I would be off to Virginia tonight.

    • great pseudonym – i'm a big Marcus fan – what car do you think he'd drive?

      Think not so much of what thou hast not as of what thou hast: but of the things which thou hast, select the best, and then reflect how eagerly they would have been sought, if thou hadst them not. At the same time, however, take care that thou dost not, through being so pleased with them, accustom thyself to overvalue them, so as to be disturbed if ever thou shouldst not have them.

      E39 then?

  • You guys are F'ing hilarious!

    "Saliva and plaque – the poor man's Armor All" Indeed.

    George Costanza would have quit the blog so he could finish on top. Glad this piece didn't close with; "We're outta here, its been real."

  • This post really brings back the memories. I learned how to drive in one of these myself. My Grandfather volunteered his car to teach us. Our victim was a sedan, maroon over maroon fabric. I can still smell the sun-bleached interior as it composted.

    To be totally honest, they weren't all that bad…far better than your average malaise freighter-sized Lincoln. As mentioned, they were surprisingly light, easy on brakes and tires. That Ford slant-6 was truly indestructible and returned excellent fuel economy.

  • My dad bought a brand new brown 4-door in 1978. Zero options – crank windows, AM radio, plastic flooring, aggressively beige plastic everywhere now that I remember it. He loved that car. Babied it, polished it, and he always seemed to sit a bit taller whenever he climbed in.

    At the time, the Dudley Do-right styling was moderately horrifying to me, but 40 years later it seems to have aged well with a sort of nerdly cool look about it.

    A few years later he bought a used 1979 silver 2-door, and they were a 2 Fairmont family for several years. The '79 had a few more options – carpet, AC – but he never bonded with that one in the same way. He liked to complain that the AC compressor ruined the handling.

    I don't think either of them made it much past 100k.

    – John

  • My 1st car was a 1982 2 door with the 200 6 cylinder and 3 speed auto. Not the fastest car made but I drove it for 5 years. Plus it was really easy to work on and could do donuts in the snow and ice during winter months with the 91 up. Car was slow but reliable.

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