I bought a 1979 Ford Fairmont brand new, it had a small 4 cylinder (probably the same one that was in the Pinto) automatic transmission. It couldn't get out of it's own way. Terrible acceleration, changed front brakes about every 18,000 miles. Dumped it after 39,000 miles was getting to expensive to drive and bought a Chevy Chevette.
I have a ford fairmont 2 door futura baby bird. My parents brought it new and gave it to my brother who let it sit 3 years. I am restoring it and I cannot wait till its done. Tell ya 1 thing its hard to find parts for.
These were great little cars. My grandmother had a 79 wagon, base model. It was great little wagon, but it was terribly slow. And the horn was on the turn signal stalk! I have great memories of it. Its body rusted away before the engine ever gave out.
Are you folks suffering from "The Fairmont's all I have to drive so therefore it's awesome" syndrome? Quite possibly one of the worst cars of all time.
Ford made a ton of these cars (the US versions). I still see a few on the road occasionally, which amazes me, considering how junky mine was. I think that there would be many more negative comments on here about the Ford Fairmont, had the vast majority of them not died and rotted away in the junkyard so long ago, long before most people had access to the internet.
I suspect that most of the previous Fairmont owners don't even recollect having owned the car. It was so nondescript. Certainly not the best car. Maybe not the worst car. It was very '78 Fordish. I vaguely recall walking a lot when it wouldn't start, losing my brakes, shifter linkage breaking, stalling in curves at highway speeds, and watching my paint fly off going down the road.
You know I had a 79' 2-door with a 200 cubic inch 6 that ran like every Ford I ever owned, which is why I drive Fords. I am extremely hard on vehicles, (cars and trucks), and this car was no exception. The car managed a 10' burn out on stock tires, decent gas mileage, and always started in any weather, and also I got out of canyon that a 2-wheel drive c/20 and Toyota p/u couldn't get out of; they had to call for a tow... never underestimate a light car and short wheelbase. Oh, and a trunk full of beer!!!
I wrote the comment on 4th Mar 2010, 08:51. After reading the comment on 4th Apr 2011, 21:52, specifically the part about getting out of the canyon, I was reminded of a few things that have me looking at my Ford Fairmont experience in a different light.
This was the first car I drove when I got my license. I gave it more abuse than any car built today would have been able to absorb. I "4 wheeled" with it through a flood plane that was vegetated with small pine trees. Most of the trees were small enough to safely drive over. A few of the larger ones did some damage underneath the vehicle that probably caused the shifter linkage to eventually break. I also raced the car like it was a street rod. I'm sure this didn't do the brakes any favors. The stalling and not starting was still due to a design flaw in the carburetor. And the paint still sucked, but it was gray/silver and I don't thing any of the US auto manufacturers were having luck with that color in the late 70s.
All in all, I'd have to say the Fairmont was a pretty tough contender to do as well as it did. The abuse I dished out would have totaled any Hondas of that time period.