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Ford Fairlane ZL- 1984-1988
The ZL Fairlane was little more than a facelift of the previous ZK Fairlane. It was released with only one engine option, the 4.1-litre six cylinder engine. With the introduction of unleaded petrol in Australia in 1986, electronic fuel injection became standard on the Fairlane, but buyers had the choice of ordering their Fairlane with twin Weber carburettors.
The ZL Fairlane saw the introduction of new high-tech instrumentation, with digital LED displays for car speed, engine rpm, temperature and oil pressure. Feather touch push-button switches operated cruise control, air conditioning, heater, lights and power antenna. Ford concentrated on placing major controls in such a way that the driver could operate them with just the slightest hand movement. Naturally there were plenty of warning lights, including one to let the driver know if the tail·lights were working, headlights left on or radiator or washer water getting low.
Ford had huge sales success with the big Fairlane. At a time when the overall luxury car market was shrinking Ford actually managed to increase sales. The company managed to keep the Fairlane’s manufactured cost down by using a lot of local components. That meant it avoided luxury car tax and really hit its imported opposition hard.
Ford reintroduced the Fairlane Sportsman. All Sportsman’s were painted in two-tone colour scheme, with grey below the body side protection moulding and with either red, white or platinum white above. Front and rear bumper, valances and body side mouldings were colour coordinated with the lower body colour. Inside, the Sportsman featured check cloth inserts in the seats and grey side bolsters with matching cloth door panel inserts. Standard equipment included a trip computer, which provided information such as fuel consumption, average speed, duration of journey, time and date. Only 700 of this special edition were built. The Fairlane Sportsman sold for $29,639 excluding on-road costs.