Junkyard Find: 1982 Ford Fairmont Futura Two-Door Sedan

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1982 ford fairmont futura two door sedan

I see so many Fox Mustangs in wrecking yards that I don’t pay attention to them unless they’re especially egregious Malaise Era abominations, but what about the other Foxes? Well, I’ll shoot a Fox Capri or Fox Thunderbird if I see one, and of course the Fairmont and its Mercury Zephyr sibling are sort of interesting. We’ve seen this snazzy-looking beige-over-gold ’82 Zephyr coupe and equallly snazzy-looking ’80 Fairmont Futura coupe in this series, and I spotted this red ’82 Fairmont Futura two-door at a Northern California yard a few months ago.

The two-door sedan version of the Fairmont Futura didn’t sell so well, because if you were willing to put up with the inconvenience of two doors, why not get the groovy coupe with the cool-looking rear glass?

I probably shouldn’t have attempted any online research on Foxtaur Racing, because it led right to some super-creepy Furry-related stuff. However, I ran into this page showing what may be the same car; the junkyard one doesn’t have a vinyl top, but the Foxtaur Racing stickers are in the same locations. I’m sure that Crab Spirits will explore this theme further.

When you can’t find the correct-colored interior parts for your car, you make do with what you can find.

Yes, that’s a Pinto 2300 under the hood.

This was made when Detroit didn’t worry too much about extremely phony-looking “wood” interior trim.

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  • Skor Skor on Jan 28, 2015

    I remember when Ford offered this car in a 'sports sedan' version (not the Futura body style). The car came with a 302. I recall reading a review in one of the car rags where the reviewer stopped just shy of saying he actually liked it. He said it made for an interesting sleeper. If I had the time and money, I would consider one of these for a sleeper street build. Totally stock looking and quiet. I bet it would be fun to see the looks on the faces of BMW drivers after they get passed by grandpa's car.

  • Ponchoman49 Ponchoman49 on Feb 05, 2015

    Dad bought a 1979 blue Fairmont sedan with 200 six, automatic and little else in the way of options. It was the biggest turd imaginable! For starters the 1BBL carb always hesitated and stalled unless you warmed it up for at least 3-4 minutes. Then what you got was a stuttering hesitating slug that could barely get out of it's own way. Gas mileage was pathetic for a 3.3 liter engine. That damned car refused to go more than 200 miles on a tank of gas, even on the open road meaning frequent annoying stops for fuel. 21-22 MPG was the best it got and city driving brought that figure into the teens! The factory paint was wafter thin on the hood, deckled and rear quarters and surface rust appeared with but 4 Winters. The super light weight meant that this car was like an ice skate in the Winter months and Winter tires and sand bags in the trunk were mandatory. The cloth solid bench seat with only fore and aft adjustment and no center armrest was torture on long drives and literally everybody complained when subjected to anything over 20 minutes of driving. Sound insulation must have been non existent in this car because road noise and wind noise made for an exhausting drive when the weather was anything but perfect. The door glass was the thinnest I have seen to date, which surely contributed to the noise on the highway, and when the windows were partially rolled down they rattled incessantly on all 4 doors. I remember stuffing rubber pieces of trim on the edges to keep them from rattling on a warm day. The dash had an annoying tendency of vibrating going 55 MPH which Ford supposedly fixed in later years by putting in a support beam in the dash to quell the resonant frequency. The trunk was so shallow it crushed your upright grocery bags. The horn button was on the turn signal nearly causing dad and mom to get into several accidents trying desperately to push where the horn should have been all along. When this car turned 6 years old dad passed it down to me with 66K miles on the clock. By that point the valve cover was leaking oil all over the driveway, the rear end was making a clunk when put into gear or taking off from a traffic light and the alternator bearings were shot causing a grinding sound at idle. Worse the famous noisy leaky Ford power steering pump was also starting it's distinctive sound. I swapped out both for some much needed piece and quiet. When leaving college I went to back out the tired old Ford and snap! The engine revved up and nothing happened. Fearing that I dropped the tranny me and a friend put the car in neutral and pushed it back in the parking spot and called a tow truck. The rear end went south. Luckily there was a Ford guy in the neighborhood that dad knew and he put in a used 2.73 factory stock rear end out of a junked 1980 Fairmont coupe in my car and all was okay again. For a short time that is. Several months later with Winter weather and lots of cold the inside plastic door opener snapped and broke the actuator meaning I couldn't open the passenger door from inside the car! Worse the very same passenger door glass window fell right down into the door because the regulator gave way. That was sure a nightmarishly cold drive home from work so a piece of garbage bag went over that window until Spring. By this point the tin worm was having it's way with the rear quarters and holes were forming. After the window was dealt with the exhaust dropped on to the street from the muffler forward, the front driver's side ball joint had loads of play which made for scary turns and electrical problems were rearing there ugly head in the form of inoperative brake lights which turned out to be a rusted ground. With that all said the 200 six never went bad and I'm sure would have outlived the car if given the chance and when the ball joint was replaced the rack and pinion steering was pretty sharp. I sold the car with 80 K miles to a co-worker who crashed it a month later totaling it out. It was probably for the best as that car sure knew how to nickel and dime it's owner to death and annoy to boot!