Words: Evan “Evo” Yates
Photography: Donato Dell’Api
The world of custom old-schools is clearly dominated by General Motors vehicles, and if anything else jumps in the ring, it usually isn’t garnering much respect. Yet there are those rare occurrences where someone has the balls to attempt a project on the blue-oval side of the fence. And when such a feat is executed to perfection, the result can ultimately gain more esteem than its GM rivals. Such is the case with this pristine 1970 Ford Fairlane from Dallas, Texas.
Owner Andrew Williams first feasted his eyes on the formidable Ford back in 2005 at a muffler shop he happened to be driving by. “I was really feelin’ it, and I knew I could do something with this car,” says Andrew. “I only paid $1,650, but it had a lot of problems.” As to why Andrew thought this particular vehicle would be a viable candidate to throw in the arena with all the bowties, his reasoning is actually pretty simple: “I’ve always been a Ford guy. My heart is Ford.”
The problem with customizing such an uncommon vehicle is that there’s hardly ever an aftermarket to support it, which makes locating replacement parts a tall task, to say the least. “If I would have done my research and realized how hard it is to find parts, I probably would have gone in another direction,” says Andrew, jokingly. “You can’t just order parts for it like you can other cars. Bumpers, grilles, door handles—the majority of it, you can’t find.” Either way, Andrew bit the bullet and gave customizing his Fairlane a valiant effort. On his first attempt, he upgraded the Ford considerably, but it still didn’t win the attention he felt it deserved. “The first time, I did it candy Brandywine,” says Andrew. “It was just simple and clean.”
Tragically, Andrew’s brother passed in June 2014, while Andrew was rebuilding the vehicle the second time. His brother, Billy, was a huge fan of Andrew’s Fairlane and was instrumental in its direction. “He loved that car as much as I did,” says Andrew. “He was telling people his brother had the best old-school.” Andrew decided to turn tragedy into triumph and dedicate the remainder of the build to his fallen kin. “I did it for him,” he proclaims.
During the second revision of his fine Ford, Andrew paid even closer attention to detail, making sure everything on the car was upgraded. Because parts are few and far between, Andrew reached out to Tiarra Luxury Grilles for a slew of one-off additions. “I hit up Tony, and he said he had never done my car before but ‘send some parts and we’ll do it,’” says Andrew. “I have a total of 15 Tiarra pieces on the car. They fit like they’re meant to be there—no flaws. It’s perfect.” For the rolling gear, Andrew switched it up and went full concave, which is certainly a new trend in the old-school game. “It’s like what you would see on a foreign car,” says Andrew, “something new and sexy.”
Since its completion in June 2015, Andrew has spent plenty of time at car shows all over the country and, most importantly, preparing for the biggest of them all—SEMA. “That’s like the top of all car shows,” says Andrew. “To have your car there means people really appreciate it.” Having built a trophy-winning, SEMA-bound Ford, Andrew’s brother would definitely be proud.
Spec the Technique
• Performance: 5.0-liter V8
• Exterior: House of Kolor Kandy Tangerine with silver base by Caddy’s Customs in DeSoto, Texas; Tiarra Luxury Grilles custom-made grille and accent pieces
• Interior: Custom peanut butter leather with orange stitching; custom center console with LED lighting throughout; built, wrapped and installed at JRA Kustomz in Dallas, Texas
• ICE: Pioneer DEH-80PRS head unit; two DB Drive platinum 12-inch subwoofers, four 6.5-inch component speakers; Quantum Audio 3500.1 amplifier, 125.4 amplifier; Kinetik battery 2,000-watt, 2,400-watt
• Wheels/Tires: Forgiato Ivetos-ECL wheels, 22×8.5-inch front, 24×10.5-inch rear; Nexen tires, 245/30ZR22 front, 275/25ZR24 rear