First published in the February 1983 issue of Wheels magazine, Australia's best car mag since 1953.
FORD’S two door Falcon lives on.
No, it doesn't come from Broadmeadows but for 26 Big Ones you can be driving a most exclusive Ford Falcon.
This new two-door Fairmont may be motoring's answer to Claytons … y'know, the Ford you have when you're not having a Ford. Have a Spanmor Fairmont or Ghia coupe instead.
If the Spanmor looks remarkably like a Ford, that's because it's supposed to. There are no wings or spoilers or flares, no overt attempt to disguise the Ford Fairmont 's identity. Rather it's a basically simple, finely executed conversion which fits right into the why-didn't-someone-think-of-it-before category.
The company that thought of it now, and put the idea into metal, is Spanmor Limousines of Brunswick, Victoria.
Though not one of the motor industry's big names, Spanmor is well established as a specialist body builder. Apart from hearses and diverse medical vehicles, Spanmor is best known for its compact nine-seater limo and the super luxury LTD limousine with extended wheelbase and a full complement of luxuries including cocktail bar, two moon roofs and a video cassette player to name just some.
Judging from a first glance at early photographs of the Spanmor Ford, we'd have bet money that its wheelbase had been shortened. But it's only optical. The floorpan is untouched, and the entire front-end to the windscreen, all the mechanicals and the tail are just as they left the Ford factory.
To make the two-door, Spanmor takes a new Fairmont Ghia or ESP then discards the original doors and B-pillars. The handmade replacement doors are 30 cm longer than those replaced. The rear-quarter panels are shortened accordingly. New B-pillars are fitted, along with C-pillar revisions. Another supplier makes the door windows and fixed rear quarter panes. Spanmor crafts new door/side trim panels and headlining made to match the stock Ford interior.
Because the conversion doesn't involve modifications which conflict with ADRs, the Spanmor Ford two-door carries what's known as a Second Manufacturer's Compliance Plate, assuring no-hassle registration anywhere in Oz.
The projected 100 or so coupes to be made this year will be marketed through a national network of selected Ford dealers, with prices ranging from about $26,000 to $30,000 depending on the equipment level which begins with virtually everything and extends into the you-name-it realm. So you could be first in your neighbourhood to own a Spanmor Fairmont Ghia/ESP coupe, safe in the knowledge that the odds for exclusivity are on your side. After all, Spanmor has made something of the car Ford forgot.