Life in the Fairlane

Justin
Justin Crann
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Vintage domestic car coming to Moose Jaw Show and Shine

A 1964 Ford Fairlane isn't the most glorious car and certainly isn't the kind of vehicle a person would expect to be driven with pride in 2014.

But just try to tell that to Richard Bouchard and his family, who have invested more than $40,000 into the vehicle and regularly take it to car shows where it regularly wins awards.

"It will never recover the money we've put into it," Bouchard told the Times-Herald with a hint of pride in his voice. "But to us, it's priceless. … It will never be for sale. It has too much sentimental value."

Some objects have immense personal value because of their aesthetic, reliability, or a personal connection. 

The Bouchard family Fairlane falls squarely into the latter category.

The vehicle has been in the family since it was first bought, brand new, 50 years ago.

It was purchased by John William "Willie" Mathews, a Moose Javian, at Sterling Motors.

Mathews was the grandfather of Richard's wife, Dana. When he died, it passed to his wife, Peg; she passed it on to her son, also named John.

When John died, the vehicle passed on to the Bouchards, who reside in Quesnel, B.C.

"The car has only been sold once in its entire lifetime," said Bouchard. "It's still in the hands of the original family (who purchased it)."

And the family is bringing the car home.

"It's definitely going to be a homecoming (for the vehicle). I have never been to the province of Saskatchewan, so I am looking forward to seeing Moose Jaw and learning about its history," said Bouchard.

"I think there will be people in the city who will remember the car — friends of the family who were alive at the time it was there," he added. "I have been in touch with some friends … they know we're coming in July, and they will be there."

The vehicle is coming to Moose Jaw to be shown in the Moose Jaw Show and Shine. While a family sedan may seem an unorthodox pick for that kind of venue, Bouchard said it has fared well in the past.

"I go to car shows every weekend in B.C. during the summer, and I drive (the Fairlane) to every one. … It's a 1960s vintage, domestic vehicle. When I take it to the shows, I'm competing with Mustangs and Camaros of the same era," said Bouchard. "It is tough to get interest when competing with sports cars."

However, he noted, the Fairlane is a car that often punches above its weight.

"I  have won some trophies for crowd favourite, and a few people's choice awards," said Bouchard. "I think it's (the stories) that put it over the top, but it's also a very attractive car. The colour scheme is eye-catching."

Moose Javians will be able to judge for themselves on July 19 in Happy Valley Park. For more information about the event specifically, contact mjshowshine@shaw.ca or call Shauna Easterby at (306) 693-1906.

You can follow Justin Crann on Twitter.

Organizations: Times-Herald, Richard's

Geographic location: B.C., Moose Jaw, Quesnel Saskatchewan Happy Valley Park

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