I was enjoying a Double Double, sitting at an outside table, when I saw this parked across the way at a gas station. Jumping over two rows of hedges and a Dodge Durango, I jogged up to the owner to hear the story of his hot rod Fairmont.
The owner’s name was Brandon. He and his brother, Blake, owned and operated their own speed shop, until Blake passed away in 2016. They had both been into Fairmonts and this 1980 coupe was built in memory of him, as seen on the sticker above.
Brandon was very nice and humored my torrent of questions as he and his race crew stood around the front of the gas station, clearly waiting for someone else to show up. He explained that the car was owned by an old man and that it originally had the 2.3 Lima engine, but that had been taken out and replaced with the engine from a junkyard Explorer. A family member owns that yard, and apparently let him raid it for whatever he needed. This included the five speed manual from an SN-95 Mustang, and 8.8 rear end from the same car. The turbo kit was bought off Ebay, and the whole car was built on a strict budget, like he and his brother used to do when they started the business.
I hope they had a good race that day, and that Blake is proud of the work his brother has done, and of the car that bares his name.