Buying 1965 Ford Fairlane that has been parked for 7 years

I live in AL, and am heading up to CT this weekend to look at a '65 Ford Fairlane. I found out this week that the car has not been driven much, if any, since 2005. The current owner bought the car from the son of the original owner last Fall, drove it home 30 miles, and it hasn’t been driven since. I’ve had a local body expert look at the car, and he gave me a good report on the condition of the exterior and interior of the car (said a 7.5 out of 10 – looks like the car has been garaged most of its life). The running works are now my concern. I’ve got a local mechanic lined up to look at the car with me, but 7+ years of idle time on a car can mean issues with the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, tires (still has bias ply on it), etc. What should I be thinking about and looking for when I look at the car? Now knowing that it’s been parked for 7 years has me a little iffy about buying it.

Cool - where in CT? I’m in CT and am also into old cars. I’ve seen a Fairlane for sale in Bridgeport a week or so back. This one looked straight but was primered.

No doubt the fuel system needs attention.
Maybe try to start it by putting the fuel line from the pump into a temporary tank to see how it runs. You won’t be able to drive it like that but will give you a good idea of what it sounds like and whether the muffler is still good.

Just beware: CT is a rust state. Very carefully check the wheel well area, the floor and trunk area. Don’t be shy and poke at those areas with an awl.

The car is in Norwich. I believe the owner when he says the car runs and drives - don’t think he’d have me up this weekend if it didn’t. I just concerned that with the fluids (oil, tranny, breaks, etc.) not having been tended to for a number of years that running the car for any duration at all could be an issue – seals are probably dry, gum in carb, etc.

You’ll want to check and make sure it drives now, not ‘RWP’ (ran when parked). You’ll be trailering it back (not towing) I assume?

And mid-60s Fords are rust bucket, you’ll need to check everywhere - the spring mounts are espcially important, but floorboards, wheel wells, doors, cowl area below the wipers, just about everwhere.

Yeap - appreciate those thoughts. I am planning on having it hauled back home. The body shop said the exterior of the car (undercarriage too) looked good - looked like the car has been garaged. So, not aa concerned about body now as what might be going on with the running works.

If it starts and runs, that answers a lot. I’d have a compression test done, if the engine’s worn out that’ll be some $$. Also the transmission needs to be checked out, more $$$. But I’d assume I’d be replacing brakes, lines, etc.

A 46 year old car is a toy. Tinker on it all winter and enjoy it on a few weekends in the spring and summer. If the unibody is sound the rest can be repaired or replaced somewhat easily.

More good info texases - I’ve got the engine specs for the car and had already planned to ask the mechanic to test each cylinder. If the trans shifts smoothly at a minimum I need to have the filer and fluid services. What else should the mechanic be looking for there? I’m already assuming the brakes, need to be replaced. I have been told that it has a new radiator and gas tank, so there has been some level of maintenance doe over the last 18-24 months.

The owner says the unibody is in as good a shape as when the car was new.

Here’s an alternative - check out a classic car owners club in the area’s web site, ask around for a good mechanic to inspect it, he should know everything that needs to be examind.

Post some pictures here, should you buy it.

The fuel system is usually the first suspect. Seeing as how this is a northern car I hope the body guy that inspected it was thorough on checking for rust.
You can work your way around mechanical faults without too much difficulty but rust is a whole new ball game.

Do NOT take anyone’s word for the condition. I just tore a used engine down a few days ago for someone who bought it with the claim it was “low miles and runs snappy”. After looking it over I started getting suspicious and started going into it. It’s junk.
Oil sludge, timing chain gone, cylinder head valves leaking, compression from 40 to 120 with only 1 cylinder even hitting 150, and piston to cylinder bore clearances ranging from .007 to .010. This is a quarter million+ hard miles, worn out motor no matter what the thieving seller said.

I don’t think I’d want to drive it anywhere, not even for a test drive. The brake cylinders and lines are 47 years old and a single failure means no brakes whatever. Remember: this car has a single master cylinder.

If you do buy the car you’ll want to replace the master cylinder, wheel cylinders and every hydraulic line in the car before you drive it.

You’ll need premium gasoline but I guess you can get that anywhere. You may have to change the accelerator pump diaphragm but that’s so external and easy. If you smell fuel after shutdown, that’s where it leaks from usually. Those cars came with no windshield washer and only one speed wipers. Maybe they were optional. It’s easy to maintain and steering seemed good. It will be fun to drive. It should get 14 to 16 MPG, maybe more on the highway. There were no back up lights on mine.