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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
G'day all,
Working here in Peru, and I've bought a 1967 Fairlane for shed therapy and general sanity.
I'm pretty certain that the car is a S.American-produced unit, but after a fair bit of hunting around online I just can't sleuth out the chassis number.
So I'm wondering if anyone on here has some clues about where this car may have been made?
Plant Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exterior Font

So here's the chassis number that I found on the cross member in front of the radiator, the usual location according to the workshop manual.
At either end we have an 'X' with a dash stamped across the middle, to form an asterisk.
Then in-between them we have: 7-AT42GE20420
I'm pretty sure that the '7' means 1967, and that the AT is the manufacturing plant code.
Only problem is, this doesn't match any USA plant code that I can find.
So, what do you guys think? Where might this thing have been built? All pointers welcome.
I cannot find any identification tag on the inside of the driver's door, seems to have gone AWOL.
The car itself is a 289 base model: no power steering, no aircon, no brake vacuum assist, drum brakes all round, four door, 3-speed column shift. As you can see it's pretty rough (seems to have been in Peru all its life), but that's the whole idea: I need shed therapy! Done quite a few things to it already, and it's almost at the point where I think it will be safe to drive.
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Hood

Cheers,
Mike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Where is the serial number on your vehicle?

Action
Hi Action,
Thanks for all the information there.
The only number I've been able to find so far is the chassis number. I will go scratching around for the engine number later. Any aluminium plates on the firewall are long gone, I'm afraid.
The first letter of the chassis number is definitely a 7, and not a Z... although I can see how you might think that from the photo. Here's a higher-res. picture:
Plant Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exterior Font

As you can see there, the central part of the "7" is curving down the centreline of the character space, so it cannot be a "Z", and there is no hint of the lower horizontal bar of a Z.
I'm starting to come around to the view that definitive identification of this vehicle may never be possible.
I am certain it is a 1967, but that puts it too early to be made in Argentina (as you say, production there began in 1969).
The improvised asterisks at either end of the number suggest to me that it's not USA-produced, as any chassis numbers I have seen on USA vehicles used proper asterisk stamps, and not these sorts made up, it seems, of an "X" and a dash stamped across the centre.
The location of this chassis number is in front of the radiator, and just above the left-hand horn unit (you can see the bracket in the bottom of the photo). According to my manual, this is the correct location for the chassis number:
Font Line Parallel Slope Motor vehicle

There are no other numbers or plaques that I can find anywhere on the firewall.
I should also add that the speedometer is in kilometers-per-hour.
Thanks,
Mike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Is there a warranty tag riveted to the driver's door or door posts?
What engine and transmission are in the Fairlane?

I found Canadian listings. However, the data I have is only from model year 1964 and earlier.
Some of the 62 to 65 Fairlanes were assembled in Canada. (Oakville)
None of 66 & 67 Fairlanes built in North America were assembled in Canada. They were built in 4 plants in the US.
Metuchen, NJ
Lorain Ohio
Milpitas CA
Atlanta Georgia

Action
Alas, no warranty tag anywhere that I can see. This car has suffered quietly most of its life here in Peru, I would say... the more I poke around, the more bits I find are missing. Small bits of trim, the badge on the LHS of the trunk lid is missing, the badge in the centre of the front grille is gone, the heater died long ago and was tossed (or else it never had one in the first place). There are innumerable little 'fixes' done on the cheap; so, if your indicator stalk breaks off, install a switch on the dashboard. Ditto for wiper controls, horn, etc. Slowly I am rectifying things piece by piece, but it is hard finding parts here in Peru, and Customs want to tax the hell out of me on anything I try to import. Then they refused to release the new water pump I'd ordered from the USA... grrrr. Thankfully managed to find a genius Peruvian mechanic who rebuilt the old one and reconstructed the impeller!
But for all that, the engine starts easily and runs very well, blows no smoke. It's a 289ci with an Autolite double-barrel carburetor. The transmission is a three-speed column-shift manual.
Idea: Is it possible that the "AT" in the chassis number on my car refers to the Atlanta, Georgia manufacturing plant??
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm starting to wonder if this chassis number is the number that was originally on the car because...
... I'd say it's been in a major smash in the past. The driver's side front quarter has many signs of cutting and welding, and the hood frame has been cut apart and re-welded too, presumably so they could straighten out the metalwork.
So it could be that the front upper radiator support, which carries the chassis number, was replaced from another vehicle? Anything is possible in Peru <cue eye-roll>
I'm pretty sure the original 289 is in the car, there was an old 289 badge on the fender which I'd say is original too, as this car was clearly into losing bits but not gaining them over its lifetime. No one would have just put a 289 badge on this thing; it has to have come with it originally.
Action, I very much appreciate your help with this. Looks like, though, this chassis number doesn't make sense according to current information.
I've spent a fair bit of time trawling various chassis number decoder sites and pages online, and the best I can come up with is:
7 = 1967 ............................................ This accords with the overall form of the car; it definitely looks like a '67.
AT = manufacturing plant code .......... but I can't find what plant this would correspond to!
42 = body code .................................. but as you say, doesn't make sense if my car is '67 because it's got 4 doors!
GE = engine code .............................. but this isn't a code for a 289ci 2V V8 like mine.
20420 = consecutive unit number
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mate I'm glad stuff like this fascinates you (y) ... and I do like your thinking there re. the "gap" of 66-67.
Question: were Fords ever made in Mexico?
Curiously there is a second '67 Fairlane that I have seen punting around the streets of Arequipa here. It's in much better condition than mine (which isn't hard to imagine). If I get the chance I will collar the owner and see what he knows about the origins of his vehicle.
Yes, Peru is nuts indeed... the bureaucracy here can really do your head in. Thankfully all the paperwork for this car is correct and up to date, but it's not very revealing as to the origins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ford of Mexico is a yes since 1925. And there are political issues there as well. Most of these were resolved in the 90s.

For many years parts were made in the US and shipped to Mexico and then the car was assembled. By hand! Mostly because the technology for an assembly line was not feasible in Mexico. Plus most of the people could not afford to by a vehicle. Only the rich! Excluding the war, from the 30s to the 50s, most rich people were not going to by a Ford.

And the Mexican government taxed parts coming across the border, which made cars far more expensive than US cars drivern individually across the border. Sales were generally under 5000 units annually until the 1960s
Somewhere in this time frame teh Mexican government mandated that more trucks than cars had to be sold, because it was work that needed to be done not driving around in a car. So the tariffs on cars was increased.

From 62/64 time frame and most most of the 1960s, the parts to build a car came from Germany or Britian not the US. These cars would have been British and German Ford models. Not a US model cars.
Fairlane in name or body style similar to yours was never produced in Mexico.

Action
That scenario just sounds so typically S.American... taxes and tariffs that nobble a country's progress, while those with power and influence get fat on running things like some sort of cartel 😡
 
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