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NA Fairlane 1988-1991
The NA Fairlane was introduced in June 1988 it initially featured a body coloured grille. However buyers were not keen on this feature, so Ford responded by fitting a chrome grille. The overall style is bold in the Fairlane tradition and you had to look twice to see the Falcon heritage. All Fairlane’s were fitted with the more powerful six cylinder engine, the multi-point injected 3.9-litre. This was coupled to the three-speed automatic transmission. With the release of the NA Series II in October 1990 the automatic was updated to the improved four-speed.
With its steeply raked windscreen the NA Fairlane offered a far more streamlined appearance than the previous ZL model. Inside, the NA Fairlane offered a colour coordinated interior with velour upholstery and a 60/40 split-fold rear seat which extended the already larger than average boot space for long or awkward loads. Standard equipment included a computer-controlled automatic climate air conditioning system, central locking and cruise control operated by buttons on the steering wheel hub. The Fairlane driver’s seat was adjustable for fore and aft location, back-rest angle, cushion height, lumbar support and headrest height. To provide an optimum driving position, the steering column had both rake and reach adjustment.
Built on the extended floor pan of the EA Falcon station wagon, the NA Fairlane was powered by a SOHC, electronic fuel injected six of 3.9 litres. The engine developed 139kW which made it more powerful than some previous Fairlane V8 engines. A minor upgrade in May 1989 found the NA Fairlane with a chromed grille, a body coloured one had been used on the car since its June 1988 introduction. Ford gave a five year warranty against corrosion perforation with the Falcon, Fairlane and LTD ranges. The entire body was phosphate electro coated before painting, then dipped in primer. Painting was done robotically to provide a consistent top coat coverage. Rustproofing wax was added to areas of the body requiring most protection.
An all-new, Australian-designed, four speed automatic transmission was used in the NA Fairlane Series II. The transmission enabled Ford to extract lower fuel consumption from the alloy-head six and gave the car a livelier feel overall in the lower ratios as well as relaxed cruising in the overdrive fourth gear.
The Fairlane Sportsman had two-tone paintwork using grey on the lower surfaces with the upper portions in either stark white or platinum. The interior was colour coordinated with grey velour upholstery. The imported alloy multi-spoke wheels of the Sportsman were fitted with Michelin 205/65 tyres.
Peter Brock in the period following his break-up with Holden switched to Fords for a while. The Brock Fairlane was a fairly subtle car with lowered, firmer suspension. It wasn’t sanctioned by the Ford Motor Company and wasn’t considered a sales success.