The Carchive:- The 1967 Ford Lineup

20140624_140405 It’s high time we boarded the clunky old elevator once again, to creak us skyward up the lift-shaft of memories, aiming to find something of interest when we reach the viewing platform of wisdom. Or somesuch. The most recent visits to The Carchive have yielded brochures which have been far too seriously recent enough, by half, so it’s time to tumble back through time to a year in which we would See Emily Play for the first time, and the Boeing 737 took its first flight towards ubiquity. Today, for about an hour and a half, it’s 1967. 20140624_140417 “A Wave of better ideas puts you ahead in the ’67 cars from Ford” Let me begin with a quick disclaimer: This brochure was unleashed upon the world fourteen years before I was, and to an audience who lived about four thousand miles from me. So neither me, nor anybody I’ve ever known, really have any first hand experience of any of the cars herein. However; I’ve always loved them. Each and every one of them. Any opinions I air during the waffling below will be entirely as viewed through my unrealistically rose-tinted specs. Please bear with me. 20140624_140425 “Eighteen new Ford models bring you a finer kind of quality and quiet, smooth ride known around the world” When Ford said “Ford”, as in just Ford, they meant Full-Size Ford. It took me a very long time to comprehend this. Once upon a time I had a Matchbox rendition of a Ford LTD. What that really meant was Ford Ford LTD. So. The Ford Fords this year came, in order of poshness, in Custom, Custom 500, Galaxie 500, XL and flagship LTD flavours. You could choose to be able to open two or four doors, the latter being available as a sedan or pillarless “hardtop”. And of all of them, the shades-of-Torino-to-come two-door Fastback is the one that makes me feel the tingliest, especially with the 289 CHALLENGER or 428 V8s. My mouth is beginning to water. 20140624_140435 “Better idea in economy- Falcon ’67. If it didn’t cost so little, save so much and park so neatly, you might think it was a short limousine” The Falcon was Ford’s “Small” car. Every time I see one at a UK show, which is infrequently, I am reminded of its relatively diminutive stature when parked next to more senior American Fords of the same era. That said, it’s still the size of the biggest European Ford, the Granada. Indeed, the sedan was very similar in profile to the British Ford Zephyr / Zodiac, which can’t possibly have been a total coincidence. And I’m not sure how fanciful the airbrush renderings in this brochure are but they certainly depict it as a well proportioned machine. No slouch, either. You could have up to 225 publicized horsepower from a 289 V8 that year. 20140624_140444 “Join the Fairlaners….people who have more fun in the car that has more to offer” The bigger Fairlane was a particularly distinctive machine, with those stacked dual headlamps and eight-piece grille. This was the midsize Ford for ’67, coming in sedan, two-door pillarless hardtop, two-door club coupe or full convertible configurations. Lowest rung of the ladder was the car bearing the label “Fairlane”, beyond which came 500, 500 XL and GT models. The GT is intriguing, with the 427 being available (described as a Pizzazz Performer) and wearing a dusting of “GT” stripes and plaques, but I couldn’t live with those whitewalls. 20140624_140455 “With all that’s new for ’67, we also kept all the standards that have made Mustang a classic and won a record number of owners (nearly a million-and-a-half in under three years).” This brochure makes no mention of any Shelby variants; if it did then I’d have something way too valuable to just sit in a dusty pile. I’d have sold it a long time ago and would now be far too busy sailing my Hallberg-Rassey to be sitting here writing this. 1967 represented the first real facelift for the ‘Stang, leaving the style basically the same (if it ain’t broke…) but bringing quite a few detail changes to lighting, proportion and size of grille leaving the whole thing looking a bit less lithe than the original. That said, the Fastback now looked more muscular and powerful than ever, and the 390 “Thunderbird Special” made a logical match. And, speaking of Thunderbirds: 20140624_140505 “Completely changed, still completely Thunderbird” Be still, my beating heart. We all have favourites. My favourite ice-cream is mint choc chip, my favourite British comedy series is Blackadder, my favourite single piece of music, of all time, is Brothers In Arms by Dire Straits. Some of these are terrible choices, no doubt, but they remain established and have been a constant for decades. The 1967 Thunderbird is, has always been, my favourite Thunderbird. If I could own a T-Bird, it would be one of these. It might even be a suicide-door equipped four-dour Landau, an offering that remains unique to that generation of ‘Bird. Compared to earlier models, the ’67 displayed precious little of the sportiness of the ’57 or the grace of the ’62. Instead came baroque extravagance and showmanship. There are so many features of this car that I love. Sequential turn signals, for example, should have become mandatory for all cars for reasons of coolness. Comfort-Stream Ventilation was standard, Highway Pilot Control, Stereo-Sonic Tape (with four speakers), not to mention SelectAire, and SelectShift. Seriously, that dashboard would look amazing, and function well, in car built today. In my mind, living with one of these in ’67 would have been wheeled Nirvana. I await a reality check in the comments section. 20140624_140513 “Here they are, the wagons with all the better ideas” We conclude with Longroofs. Full-size Fords, Fairlanes and Falcons were all available with an extension out back, and there was the forward-control Falcon Deluxe Club Wagon on hand if you needed it. Woodgrain vinyl trim was abundant and the bigger models could run to a 428, so it seems that all the basics were covered. (Disclaimer: All images are of original manufacturers publicity materials, photographed by me. Copyright remains property of Ford Motor Co. We want the Thunderbird back. And sequential taillamps. Please.)

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