Tim Manes' 1965 Ford Fairlane 500
(from Volume 19, Issue 215)

Tim Manes has loved cars his whole life. As a very young kid he had every Hot Wheels car in every color you could find in 1968 when they first came out. Every time there was the sound of a muscle car or a loud car when he was very young, Tim was focused on the car or would run to see it. He began helping out at car shows around the age of 10. He has built model cars since he was old enough to earn an allowance and go to the local hobby shop to buy them, and has subscribed to Hot Rod Magazine since 1971, when he asked for it as a Christmas present.

Tim saw his first 1965 Fairlane that made him stop and look at around age 12, while at a car show sometime in 1976. He was amazed with the car, which was red with a white painted top, was jacked up in the rear (like we did with cars in the 70’s), with Cragar SS wheels and raised letter tires. He loved it! As a model car builder he thought, “I’ve got to see if they make a model of that car”, and the hunt began. He found a partially built kit in the original box at a swap meet sometime within a year of seeing that red car, and purchased the model for $3. Ideas began swirling in his head as to whether he should build the model like the car he had seen, or create his own. Since Pro Street was just beginning to get big, he began building the model as a Pro Street ‘65 Fairlane in 1976 or 1977.

Fast forward to 2001, and Tim had owned many real cars buy then. They included Mercury Cyclones, a Grabber Maverick, five ‘65 Fairlanes, Mustangs, VW Beetles, a hopped up Toyota Celica, F100 pickups, a Mercury Monteray....the list is pretty long. By this time Tim had been working in the performance automotive industry for quite some time, and decided it was time to build his dream car. The hunt began, and he found a basked case, one owner, 6-cylinder 1965 Fairlane Sports Coupe that was on its way to the salvage yard. The owner had loved it, almost to its demise. He had developed Alzheimer’s didn’t remember his family, and couldn’t speak, but daily he would stand in the kitchen window with a cup of coffee and stare at the car in the back yard. It was the only thing that triggered any kind of memory in him at all. When he was too sick to remain at home and was put in assisted living, the car began its journey to the salvage yard. Thru a couple of friends who had heard about the car, Tim struck up a deal and purchased it before the crusher did.

That was October 25, 2000. The next day deconstruction began. 9 years later, and a LOT of blood, sweat, tears, and the with help of a lot of great people, Tim put the last door panel in the car to attend the Daytona Beach Dream Cruise. That was October 24, 2009. There have been some subtle changes since, and a couple of “oops” that needed fixing, but the car is pretty much as Tim had planned. The model car helped him greatly to determine the color, which chrome to keep or take off, the wheel combination, and so forth. Oh, and the model car isn’t done yet either. About 15 color changes and 30 plus year of changes and tweaking here and there, it’s close....but the “big model kit” is done and driving.

Speaking of models, collecting model cars over the last 40 years really helped Tim to finish his dream car, in more ways than one. He was running out of money in a hurry to finish the Fairlane, so Tim began selling model cars on eBay to help finance the completion of the project. Selling about 500 models in 4 months raised over $25,000 to finish the car. That made a small divot in his collection, which before the sale consisted of a little over 5,000 built cars, un-built cars, and promotional models.

Back to the Fairlane. During its construction all of Tim’s friends would ask, “When’s that big bad Fairlane gonna be done?”. So in the end he did a Big Bad Wolf theme. The color is Black Opal Mica from 01-04 Mercedes Benz, which is kind of grayish - sort of like the color of a wolf’s fur. There is also a mural on the back depicting a muscular Elvis-type wolf, and the saying “I’ll huff, and I’ll puff...and I’ll blow your doors off!”. Kind of a play on the line from the story. The driver’s side mirror has “Who’s Afraid?” etched in the glass, and Tim typically displays a Three Little Pigs book on the dash at car shows.

Now for the particulars. The chassis is a 2x3 rectangular tube Art Morrison unit, and has an all polished Art Morrison Mustang II front end, 4-link rear, and Aerospace Components brakes. The motor is a Ford 429 SCJ that now displaces 468 cubic inches, with a forged Eagle crankshaft, Eagle H-beam rods, Probe 8.1:1 pistons, Ford DOOE-R iron heads, a 680/732 solid roller cam, and 3-1/2 inch exhaust with DNA mufflers. On top of the motor resides a 1965 GMC big case 6-71 supercharger which is currently 13.8% under driven, sitting atop the original intake that BDS made for the 429/460 Ford engines to run a supercharger (yes, it was the prototype intake). The valve covers are custom Innovators West items, and have a Mercury logo....simply because Tim thought it would be cool to have it say something other than the typical Powered By Ford. The motor makes roughly 1,000 horsepower, and is matched to a fully manual Ford C-6 transmission with a reverse valve body, and a Hipster trans brake. The rear end is a narrowed 9-inch Ford (31 inches hub to hub) with a modular Strange third member and a full spool with 3.89:1 gears. Inside you’ll find a full roll cage, bucket seats, and tan colored carpet and upholstery. Autometer Cobalt gauges reside in a ‘36 Ford billet cluster, all in a modified dash. There is also a 1,000 watt stereo system, which has an in-dash touch screen DVD/CD player, Infinity speakers, Alpine sub woofers and Rockford Fosgate amps.

Tim wanted to be sure and give a big “Thank You” to everyone that has helped him over the years. Without their help, hard work, patience, persistence and friendship he could have never finished his Fairlane. Without all of them, the car would still only be a hunk of metal. Unfortunately the list of people is so long, there is no way it could be included here....but trust us, Tim remembers every last person along the way.

While the car was technically 9 years in the making, as you read at the beginning it was a much longer journey to making Tim’s dream car a reality than that. It is neat to think of a 12 year old kid being amazed with a car, and then finally realizing his dream many years later. That is the neat thing about this hobby of ours. Most cars have a story behind them, and more often than not they are truly fascinating! CN