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Could it be US embassy car in USSR from 50ies?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by altraditional, May 10, 2007.

  1. altraditional
    Joined: Dec 17, 2006
    Posts: 116

    from Estland

    I am trying to dig in to my cars history, so any info is appreciated. Right now, this '57 Fairlane Town Sedan is located in Estonia, which is former soviet republic (independent now), and an urban legend says it is 1 of 3 former US embassy cars in Moscow. All the signs say that it has been in ussr for a long time, it had its front sheet metal reworked from local cars parts, and had russian engine. As Iron curtain blocked all western worlds cars, there were very few American cars in ussr since WWII. So it is quite likely that the story might be correct.
    So, my straightforward questions are:
    Does anyone have or can find info, that there were '57 Fairlanes for that purpose?
    Does anyone know a person, who worked in American embassy in Moscow in late 50ies? Real nice would be to hear from someone who actually knows something about this/these car(s).
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  2. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    My father is a retired Foreign Service Officer, so I can give some peripheral info here!
    Ford was the car the US Government bought in quantity in 1957--the gov buys cars in huge numbers, and when it needs some puts out bid requests and buys lots of the winner.
    My understanding was that all were four-doors; most were 6 cylinder, but some were ordered with eights for mountainous areas or uses like policing that required more power.
    We were stationed in Medellin, Colombia about 1960, and the consulate car my father was driven around in was a V8 1957, I think one of the lower trim levels. V8 was a necessary choice at high altitude in the Andes...
    Fairlane would be a deluxe model--I do not know if the government bought those for high level officials or not. Ours was a much plainer model.
  3. 54BOMB
    Joined: Oct 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,101


    Sounds like a good story, do you have any pictures? I hope you find some details about it.
  4. altraditional
    Joined: Dec 17, 2006
    Posts: 116

    from Estland

    Car is total rustbucket, only time tells how it will end. If going to build it, then deffinatelly not original, too little have survived. No interior, no nose, totally rusted floors. Windshield is made from 3 pieces of glass from other cars.
    One funny thing about it: numbers to 220 on speedo?

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  5. Dave Downs
    Joined: Oct 25, 2005
    Posts: 864

    Dave Downs
    from S.E. Penna

    Kilometers per hour for European roads?

    Makes sense to me
  6. altraditional
    Joined: Dec 17, 2006
    Posts: 116

    from Estland

    Well, I figured it out myself too, but has anyone seen this before in a Fairlane? Besides, there were European fords that time, and I believe the US models were never sold in European countries.
    What about Canadian ones? Were km/h used there?
  7. epinut
    Joined: Jul 11, 2004
    Posts: 736


    I'm pretty sure that US Fords were sold in most European countries, at least they were in Sweden. And yes, they all had km/h speedos...
  8. Jethro
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,482


    Up until the mid 70's Canada was not metric....the good ol days,gas by the imperial gallon, standard nuts and bolts on cars,temperature in degrees F and speed in MPH.
  9. publicenemy1925
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,187

    from OKC, OK

    You have to start somewhere. Good luck with it.
  10. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,129


    Most of the parts you are after are available but the shipping is costly. If you are near a US military base you might try to hook up with someone willing to receive to a APO. You could also check with some of the guys shipping cars to Europe. There have been some posts on here before that talk about guys coming over to purchase cars and schedule for a batch shipment or at least a 40' container full.
  11. klazurfer
    Joined: Nov 21, 2001
    Posts: 1,596


    Could you post a clear pic of the id-plate ? ( Open the drivers door , then take a look at the door post between the door hinges ).The plate will tell most of what you need to know .Post a pic , and we can help you "Decode" the info you find.
    BTW :It would surprise me much if front end parts can`t be found in Scandinavia ( 57 Fords aint all that rare over here ). There is a firm in Finland that makes excellent windshield reproductions ...One of the guys from finland might ad more info on that 1.
    Good luck with your new ride :)
  12. altraditional
    Joined: Dec 17, 2006
    Posts: 116

    from Estland

    Well, the shipping and stuff can be arranged, I think. This far, I haven't found a place to get windshield and rear glass for it, anywhere in world. And my searching consisted about 50 different places to ask. In Finland, they can make any glass, as far as I have old one to give for example. I dont have. (Rear is made out of plexiglass and is not in correct shape.) So if anyone has glasses for sale, then let me know.
    About decodeing - there isn't any sticker or plate anywhere on this body left. And I haven't found frame or any other number eighter, searched from both framerails in front of firewall and from door openings.
    And thanks to everyone, for good wishes. Going to start with it in the end of June, I hope.
  13. Bugman
    Joined: Nov 17, 2001
    Posts: 3,484


    The 3 piece windshield is pretty neat, at least I think so. You mentioned it's got a Russian motor in it? What kind, and what's it originally out of?
  14. altraditional
    Joined: Dec 17, 2006
    Posts: 116

    from Estland

    Seals (at largest point about 2" of rubber) are eaven watertight. seems that the car has been in a hands of style-aware guy, who has kept it as cool as possible. But after the bodyworks I am not going to put this windshield-combo back there.
    Engine was from Gaz 24, 2.4L 4cyl.
    Ford came to me with only manual trans from it. And that is definatelly not staying.
  15. Von Scott
    Joined: Sep 24, 2004
    Posts: 336

    Von Scott
    from fresno,ca

    With the problem your having finding the glass, I'd keep the set up you have on it now. If you know what its from it would easier to find a replacement down the road. Tell everyone it's an early version of a '57 until they came out with the wrap around windshield.:)
  16. I think you can find most of what you want in scandinavia, shipping should be pretty cheap, and if it is big parts it doesnt cost much to take a car over to Sweden to pick things up!
    This place in Sweden has the windshield new for 3600 SEK:

    And this is a junkyard specializing in US cars that recently parted out a -58 Edsel, should be some parts that fit your car, they might have some ford -57 parts also:

    Just trying to give you some leads on parts, if there is anything specific you want to find just ask and ill try to help!
  17. altraditional
    Joined: Dec 17, 2006
    Posts: 116

    from Estland

    Hey, real nice. Looks like I might end up with a windshield. At least for something this topic is useful. Sid, if you ever happen to hear something about 57-58 Ford or merc being parted out in Sweden, could you let me know by PM or e-mail. Thanks.
  18. I´ll keep my eyes open!

    I just saw that these guys have parted out -57 and -58 mercs, and their selling out all non GM stuff, so there might be some deals on parts if they have any left, not much of a website, but you can try and mail them!

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