If you grew up a fan of the Andy Griffith Show, you'll recognize this one—a 1960 Ford Fairlane 500 Sheriff's Car, complete with Mayberry decal. Less than 40,700 miles, 233 HP, 6 cyl, 3-speed manual transmission, original Holley carburetor. Starts and runs great. My mechanic took it for a joyride and came back grinning. It drives straight as an arrow. Based on a 45 minute test ride, my mechanic said it performed as it should with no obvious issues. VIN P42V172325
This is a great car for a collector or even perhaps a museum. It will be a hit at car shows and parades.
The iconic 1960 Ford Fairlane 500 marked a real transformation in the series. Redesigned from the ground up for 1960, the Ford Fairlane was six inches longer, almost five inches wider, and almost 200 pounds heavier(3,605 lbs). Smooth styling with a sloped hood, simple grille, straight A-pillars, clean chrome-edged fender lines, and modest horizontal tail-fin offered a more clean and simple look. It sold for $2,311.
The 1960 full-size Fords abandoned the ostentatious ornamentation of the 1950s for a futuristic, sleek look. Round taillights were replaced by half-moon shaped taillights for 1960 only. There were tailfins still, but smaller ones – the focus of Ford's stylists abandoning, as did the rest of the industry, the aviation influences of the previous decade and instead capturing the new obsession – the Space Race. Windshield wipers were extended to cover more of the windshield.
Performance: top speed 95 mph; accelerations 0- 60 mph 16.9; 1/4 mile drag time 20.6. Fuel consumption and mileage: 16.3 mpg/13.5 mpg (U.S.) Estimated combined driving range of this car is 271 miles.
OK, now to the backstory on this car. My wife, the real motorhead in the family, bought sweet baby this at an auction from a custom combiner who took it in trade for harvesting a farmer's crops. The farmer had two of them. Was it a car actually used in the TV series? There is no evidence to suggest that it was. Sure is cool, though. We checked with our local police department to make sure it was legal to drive. No problem, however we notice no one ever passes us. Yes, the bubble works, but should only be used in parades or during the apocalypse. There is a second horn under the hood which may be an aftermarket siren. If there is a switch, it is well hidden.
Now, on to condition. Remember, we're talking about a 52-year old car, so all things are relative. The paint is in great condition and appears to be of a more recent vintage. There are some minor chips and in the right light it appears a couple of hailstones left a shallow mark or two on the trunk. The trim is intact and quite nice. The grill is in beautiful condition. It's a real looker and an absolute kick to drive. Three on the tree shifts nice and easy. Clutch is perfect. Acceleration is smooth. The motor is strong. As to be expected, it marks its territory with a spot of oil when parked for a number of days. I would bet these are original gaskets, so no surprise here, and of course, these cars are quite simple to work on. The 12 volt generator appears to charge properly—my mechanic checked it with a voltage meter—but the battery shows little signs of life.
The dash is in wonderful condition. The carpet looks good and will look great after a shampoo. The headliner is very nice but needs to be cleaned. The dome light is missing the lens. The rear deck shows some age but is intact. The rear window may have leaked at some time. It did not leak when we washed it. The windshield is cracked in a line. No spiderweb. A windshield repairman may be able to keep it from spreading. The kick panels under the dash on both passenger and drivers side are deteriorating but would be an easy fix. The passenger side outside mirror is missing the actual mirror. A glass shop should be handle it if a replacement is hard to come by. The gas and brake pedals have lots of tread. No sign of excessive braking. The accelerator pedal needs to be refastened to the floor. The cloth and vinyl composite seats have seen their best days. The cloth is crumbling on the drivers side rear seat. The front seat is covered—certainly there is a reason for that. All things considered though, this car is not far from having a really sharp interior. The tires are nothing to brag about but have some life and tread left. The dials and gauges seem to function properly as do the lights, blinkers, etc. I can't get a pulse out of the AM radio, however.
Serious buyers are welcome to have the vehicle vetted by an independent mechanic or, even better, inspect the vehicle yourself. I have made what I believe to be full disclosure of any faults, but as with any vehicle of this age, there may be hidden surprises.