The Police Package - 1978 to 1983 Ford Fairmont

Image Gallery

1978-1983 Ford Faimont

1978 to 1983 Ford Fairmont
The new FOX platform saw it's debut with the 1978 Ford Faimont. The compact, 105.5 inch wheelbase Faimont was a replacement for the Ford Maverick, that also had a very limited run (250 police cars) as a police package for it's last production year 1977. (1)  The all new Faimont was a best seller in the retail market, but was not a great seller in the police market. Available engines were an 80 hp 200 ci inline 6, or 139 hp 302 ci V8. The Fairmont's twin, the Mercury Zephyr was also available with a police package. The Faimont competed with compact police vehicles such as the Chevrolet Nova, Plymouth Volare, and Dodge Aspen. The police package on the Fairmont and Zephyr included auxiliary cooler for transmission and power steering, a 90 amp alternator, heavy duty suspension, heavier springs, heavier shocks and front and rear sway bars. (1)  . The 1979 Faimont 55A police package, with the 302 ci engine, was used in a California Highway Patrol vehicle study. 3 Fairmonts were test in various locations statewide with other small vehicles from other manufacturers. 1979 was the first year that big block engines were no longer available in the mid sized and full sized police cars, drastically reducing performance on the new large police cars. The CHP used the 122 in wheel based, full sized Dodge St Regis as it's patrol vehicle in 1979, and it was the vehicle the test cars were compared against. With a wheelbase of 105.5 inches, the Faimont was much smaller, but also lighter. The Faimont performed well against the Dodge St Regis. For 1980, the 200 ci in line 6 continues, but he V8 was now a new 255 ci engine. For 1981a 140 ci inline 4 cyl engine with 88 hp became the base engine for the police pakage Fairmont, with the inline 6 and V8 still being optional.(1) The 1982 Faimont had a change to it;s front end, now with 4 headlights on all models. For 1983, the final year for the Faimont in both the retail market and police market, the V-8 engine was no longer available. In the retail market the Faimont was replace by the new Ford Tempo, and for the police market it was replaced with the Ford LTD, based on the same FOX platform.

(1) Sanow, Edwin J (1997) Ford Police Cars, Motorbooks International