The car: 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 two-door hardtop
The owners: Bill and Cindee Amis of Merced
QUESTION: What are the key features of your vehicle?
ANSWER: Black exterior with black and white interior, 312 cubic-inch Police Interceptor engine with automatic transmission, white sidewall tires with flipper wheel covers and vintage air.
Q: What did it take to get it to its present state?
A: New interior, including headliner, carpet, package tray, door panels and seats, new brakes including master cylinders and lines, new radiator, tires, exhaust system plus numerous other smaller but costly parts.
Q: What else do you want to do?
A: Perhaps more modern wheels, although I love the 1950s-era look.
Q: How did you acquire the car?
A: It was purchased in Oregon where it sat in an airplane hangar for several years. The previous owner had planned to restore it but his wife passed away and he lost interest. He had it painted several years ago before we purchased it, thank goodness.
Q: Why did you pick this vehicle and what do you find appealing about it?
A: When I returned from overseas in April 1958 I bought a new 1957 Ford that was left over. I thought this was the best looking car ever, and still do.
Q: What started your love affair with cars?
A: I got into cars at age 15 when I got my first driver's license and bought a 1937 Plymouth with a split manifold and dual glasspack mufflers. We loved to drag Main (17th Street) as we all did back in the 1950s. I guess the old cars were just part of our lives back when; we loved them and we still do!
Q: What advice would you give others about starting such a project?
A: Buy one already built. Take your time, find what you want and the price you want to pay. Your car is out there somewhere.
Q: Do you have any other collector vehicles or project cars?
A: Two 1964 Ford Fairlane 500 two-door hardtops, black and red; and a gold-colored 1964 Fairlane four-door. All have been restored.
Q: What's your favorite memory about this ride?
A: This ride was restored the same as the first one in 1958, and that was the only one my wife fell for 53 years ago. I always said it was the car she fell for. She probably would have never noticed me had it not been for that 1957 Ford Fairlane 500.
Got a car you love? Tell us about it
People love cars and trucks. And now we're featuring some these vintage vehicles as well as newer models in 'My Favorite Ride.'
Old car owners and fans of tricked-out newer ones can fill out a nine-question survey and get their vehicle photographed so they can be featured as a 'My Favorite Ride' in the Sun-Star and on www.mercedsunstar.com. Give us your name, address, telephone numbers and email address, and we'll send you the survey questions.