This article on Adam's ZC Fairlane was originally published in the February 2019 issue of Street Machine
CRUISING in style is a favourite pastime for many petrolheads, and Adam Corry did just that for many years in his 1969 Ford Fairlane. But after years of daily-driving duties, Adam decided his ZC was in need of some love, sparking an intensive build to create the ultimate weekender.
Adam had always wanted an Aussie Ford of this era since seeing a black-on-black one pull into a servo as a kid in New Zealand. Now a Sydney resident, Adam bought this car from the original owner roughly 15 years ago in Byron Bay and made it his daily driver, using it as a shopping trolley, for trips to the beach and even taking his heavily pregnant wife new-car shopping in the middle of summer with no air con – something she frequently reminds him of. It was a reliable old bus and presented well for a car that was then over 30 years old, but with his first-born on the way and a new family hauler in the garage, Adam decided to pull the old Ford off the road for a complete overhaul.
Being a sheet-metal fabricator by trade, Adam is pretty handy on the tools, and took on the task of mini-tubbing the rear end and shaving the engine bay. But as with most project cars, the build started to snowball and before Adam knew it the ZC was on its way to Exclusive Customs in Heathcote, NSW, for a full bare-metal restoration. Despite living life at the beach prior to Adam taking the helm, the car was in relatively good shape and didn’t need any major panelwork or replacement during the rust surgery. “It was just a really straight old car when we got it,” Adam says. “The owners had obviously garaged it its whole life.”
Being a sheet-metal fabricator by trade, Adam made his own fuel cell from scratch for the Fairlane and also handcrafted the mini-tubs for the rear end
When the car was finally ready for the spray gun, Adam and the guys from Exclusive Customs decided that the original gold needed to be given a freshen-up in the form of PPG’s luminescent Madysen Gold, while the original white top stayed. Exclusive Customs then put the car back together for him, and the end result is the perfect combo of street cruiser and show car. The quality of the finish is not lost on Adam: “I can’t thank the guys from Exclusive Customs enough for their work,” he says. “It’s not just what they did with the car; their after-sales service was incredible. I really take my hats off to those guys.”
Proving old-school is still cool, Adam used a Holley 650 double-pumper to feed his 347ci Windsor. He also filled all the unnecessary holes in the engine bay before the guys at Exclusive Customs finished it off. All the wiring has been tucked out of view as well, to maximise the show-quality finish
The driveline was also spruced up, with the factory-fitted 302 Windsor massaged out to 347ci by Advanced Performance Machining. The menu included forged SRP pistons, Edelbrock E-Street heads, Eagle cast crank and I-beam rods, and a Camtech cam to give the new package a bit of pep. Topping it all is a Holley 650 double-pumper carby. Aided by an MSD ignition system, the whole lot is good for 430hp on 98 pump fuel – not too shabby at all for a Sunday cruiser.
Backing up all this Windsor goodness is a C4 ’box hiding a streetable 3500rpm stall, along with a fabbed Ford nine-inch with a 31-spline Truetrac. Combined with 4.11:1 diff gears, it’s more than capable of getting the old girl up and boogying with a nice squeeze of the right boot. “It’s not too lairy, but it’ll fry the tyres in first, second and third gear,” Adam says.
Brakes are the standard rebuilt kit and the suspension is lowered Pedders springs and shocks, making for a nice smooth ride. “It cruises and drives really well and sounds cool too,” Adam reckons.
A Mercedes catalogue was raided for the leather trim, the idea being to keep the old-school look with a modern-day feel. Auto Meter’s finest give Adam all the intel he needs to make sure his big Ford is running A1
The interior keeps the original theme but improves upon it. Adam had all the old vinyl redone in leather cherry-picked from a Mercedes catalogue to ensure maximum luxury. He wanted bucket seats, while his wife Iona wanted a bench; you can see who won that one! The carpet is reproduction original. The only noticeable modifications inside are the Auto Meter gauges and B&M shifter. “The idea was to keep it original while still having a 2018 feel,” Adam says.
Adam’s family have always been supportive of the build, particularly Iona, who exercised extreme patience and understanding. The car is affectionately named ‘Alf’ after the original owner, and Adam’s son is always pestering him to take the car out for a drive and has already placed dibs on it, while his daughter also loves the car like a family member. “I haven’t been getting it out much yet, because at first I was afraid of ruining the paint, but I plan on taking it out more with the family and doing trips with it,” Adam says.
The car has only made it to one show since it was finished and it came home a winner, taking second prize in its category at the Sydney Hot Rod & Custom Auto Expo in Rosehill. “It was pretty cool; I’ve never had a trophy in my life!” Adam says.
As for future plans, Adam he hasn’t got anything in the works just yet, but Iona wouldn’t mind an XM-XP Falcon coupe to play with (wouldn’t we all?), so that may turn into a family project someday. For now though, cruising in the Fairlane should be more than enough to satisfy Adam and the family.
Although the Aussie badge of Fairlane was originally borrowed from its US cousin, the true origins of the name go a bit deeper than that. The Fairlane originally debuted in 1955 on the first-generation US build, the name taken from the great Henry Ford’s estate, Fair Lane, near Dearborn in Michigan
1969 FORD ZC FAIRLANE
Paint: PPG Madysen Gold
Brand: Ford 347ci
Carburettor: Holley 650 DP
Heads: Edelbrock E-Street
Conrods: Eagle I-beam
Pistons: Forged SRP
Oil pump: Melling
Fuel system: Holley Blue
Cooling: Alloy radiator
Exhaust: Pacemaker extractors, dual 2.5in exhaust
Converter: 3500rpm stall
Diff: 9in, Truetrac, 4.11:1 gears, 31-spline axles
SUSPENSION & BRAKES
Front: Pedders lowered 2.5in
Rear: 4in lowered leaf springs
Brakes: Stock Ford discs (f), stock Ford drums (r)
Master cylinder: Standard
WHEELS & TYRES
Rims: Weld; 15x6 (f), 15x10 (r)
Rubber: M/T Sportsman; 26x6 (f), 28x12 (r)
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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.
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