Ford Fairmont Police Package

Ford Fairmont
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Ford Fairmont

Ford's first compact police car was the Ford Fairmont. In the retail market the 1978 Fairmont was the replacement for the aging Ford Maverick, which was taken out of production out in 1977. The Fairmont was based on the so called Ford "FOX" platform, that would later yield such cars as the Ford Mustang (1979-1993), Ford LTD (1983-1986), Ford Thunderbird (1980-1988) and several other Ford products. At a wheelbase of 105.5 inch, the Fairmont was classified at the time as a compact car. Ford also offered a police package on the identical Mercury Zephyr. Both were full police package cars. Very few Mercury police cars were made. Two engine choices for police package Fairmonts in 1978. The first was a 200 cu inch inline 6, that offered only 85 hp. Second choice was a 302 cu inch V8 at 138 hp. The Fairmont was the smallest of the compact police cars. The Chevy Nova was at a 108 in wheelbase, and the Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare twins at 112.7 in wheelbase. The Fairmont was the least popular of the compact police cars, due to its small size and weak engines, as compares to the competition. However, the Fairmont was one of the best selling cars for Ford at the retail level. Ford 1979, the Fairmont police car returned with the same 200 cu inch inline 6 as the year before, and a new 255 cu inch V8.  These engine choices were carried over for the 1980 model year also. For 1981 a new base engine was added for the Fairmont police car, a 140 cu inch inline 4 . For 1982 the Fairmont got a front end restyled with a new grill and headlights. The engine choices were the same as the year before. 1983 was the last year for the Fairmont. It was replaced in the retail market by the new front drive Ford Tempo, and in the police market by the Ford LTD, that was based on the same platform as the Fairmont. For its last year, the police Fairmont was only available wit the 4 and 6 cylinder engines. No V-8 was offered in the police version for 1983. The Fairmont was never a great selling police car, it was never able to match it competition like the Chevy Nova, Chevy Malibu, Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volare.
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