Ford Fairlane: The great Australian road limousine
‘Fairlane’ is among the most celebrated sub-brands in the history of the Ford Motor Company, more famous in Australia than anywhere else. The Australian-designed ZA Fairlane, released in 1967, represents one of the most – if not the most – imaginative pieces of automotive product planning seen in a country highly regarded internationally for its ingenuity.
But more than four decades before it appeared on a car, ‘Fair Lane’ – two words – was the name of the mansion Henry and Clara Ford commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build for them in the woods of Dearborn, Michigan, on the banks of the River Rouge. But it was not Wright who did the design and the house failed to reflect its elegant name. According to Ford historian Robert Lacey: