This week, Jay Leno straps in and tests out a car that would have made headlines 50 years ago if only it had been made.

The vehicle in question is a 1966 Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] Fairlane 500, but not all is as appears. It doesn't take long for Jay to get to the bottom of things with Stephen Stope of Pure Vision Designs. Once a stock, highly-pedestrian Fairlane, the car is now mechanically what Ford very well might have thrown together in a back room of a workshop during the muscle-crazed 1960s.

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With a heavily breathed-upon 427 V-8 under its hood, the Fairlane 500 has plenty of big business scoot under its hood.

Inspiration for Strope's customized Fairlane 500 came from Ford's stock car racing efforts. To that end, Strope looked to other 1960s Fords for a period-correct modified look. Go-fast parts from the Ford Mustang, Mercury Cougar and even the Shelby Cobra were sourced for the Fairlane build. Its wheels, however, which are a big part of its look, were custom made to resemble those from Italy's Campagnola.

Even the Fairline 500's paint scheme draws from racing's checkered past. If it looks like Mario Andretti's Daytona 500-winning 1967 race car, that's not by accident.


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