’56 Fairlane “Riff-Raff”

1956 Ford Fairlane, Club Sedan, Businessmans Edition – “Riff Raff”

We purchased the car from Family Classic Cars in San Juan Capistrano in 2004. The owner consigned the car and worked there. Mike Canipe, local hot rod builder and guitarist for John Fogerty’s live shows. He claimed to bring his daughter home from the hospital in the car. I told him I wasn’t interested in a show car but a go car, and he said let’s take it for a spin. The 390 under the hood felt comfortable reminding me of my ’67 Galaxie convertible I owned in the 80’s. We were cruisin’ north on the 5 when he said slap it down a gear and hit the gas! So I slapped the B&M Quicksilver shifter down a gear and the C6 was quite responsive as I mashed on the pedal. Billy got sent back a bit riding in the raised rear floor of the Businessman’s Edition. After a  year of looking for just the right car, I kept coming back to check on the ’56. Finally one day in early 2004 I gave him my price take it or leave it. We made the deal and I drove that baby home.
A year or so after driving the car putting on around 20K miles, the cam failed. A flattened lobe bent a push rod and messed it up a bit. We took it to Jerry’s Performance Engine just down the street in Garden Grove and he rebuilt the ’68 Ford 390 FE all the while cussing at the Ford engineers. We installed a Chet Herbert mild cam and adjusted the valve springs. New water pump, oil pump and we were rolling again.
As well as putting on tons of miles and several sets of rubber, we have been adding different things to the car. In this season of Project RIFF-RAFF, we are constantly changing it up. We just finished rewiring the entire car with a Ron Francis Express Kit, installed a new Flaming River 170 amp alternator, an ididit chrome/tilt steering column and topping it off with a jewel of a custom steering wheel from CON2R.


ENGINE: 390cid Ford with GT Heads, Chet Herbert Cam, Edelbrock Performer 390 Intake, Edelbrock Street Performer 1406 Series Carburetor, Edelbrock Finned Classic Valve Covers, Edelbrock Classic SeriesAir Cleaner, MSD Pro-Billet Distributor, MSD Blaster 2 Coil, MSD Digital 6AL Control Module, MSD 8.5mm Super Conductor Spark Plug Wires, E3 Spark Plugs, Heatshield Products Spark Plug Boots, Flowmaster 2.25″ Stainless Steel U-Fit-It Kit with Dual Super 40 Series mufflers, Doug’s Headers electronic cut-outs, Ron Francis Express Wiring Kit, Optima Battery

TRANSMISSION: C6 Automatic Transmission, B&M Quicksilver shifter, Ford 9″ with 4:11 gears, Eddie Motorsports Billet Shift Boot and Bezel.

BRAKES/SUSPENSION: Dual Diaphragm power brake, Mustang II front spindles with disc brakes, stock rear drums. Jamco Parts’ cut coil spring front suspension, blocked rear suspension with anti-sway bar, American Racing Torq Thrust II’s, Goodyear Rubber

INTERIOR: Black tweed and leather interior, black carpeting, Clayton Machine Works Door Handles and Window Cranks, ididit chrome Tilt Steering Column, Custom CON2R Steering Wheel, Custom Autosound 740 bluetooth capable radio.

PAINT AND BODY: Shaved vent windows, PPG Black with custom painted roof with PPG Ditzler Metalflake and candy blue with black lace panels and infinity lines. Painted by Hitoshi at Cambra SpeedShop.

Project Riff-Raff Articles


Project Riff-Raff Wrap-up

ididit Steering Column

Project Riff-Raff Part VI – Smoke W/O Fire

Charge It!

Project Riff-Raff Update Part V

Wiring Tips – Project Riff-Raff Part IV

Project Riff Raff Part 3

Riff Raff Rumbles

Sparks On All Eight

Edelbrock Goodies Installation

Birthday Autocross and MORE!


EdelbrockGT PerformanceMSD IgnitionE3 Spark PlugsHeatshield Products • Optima • Clayton Machine WorksididitFlowmaster • Doug’s HeadersEddie MotorsportsRon Francis WiringCON2R • Custom AutosoundPPG Automotive PaintCambra Speed Shop



Upgraded interior, pinstriping and graphics, trunk upholstery, Pro-touring suspension, power adders, mild body mods.



“Cool Cruiser” – Good-Guys Del Mar Nationals 2004

“Best ‘50s Street Rod” – All Ford Meet 2004

Best Paint – Historic Main Street Garden Grove Cruise 2004

Best Ford – 5th Annual Hot Rod and Harley Fund Raiser 2006

Drive-up Scene in the 4th Season of Chop Cut Rebuild with Dan Woods on SPEED 2006

Good Guys OC Get-Together 2, Street Challenge Autocross 7 runs starting with a 22.85 and finishing with a 20.75 second time. 2008

Best Ford – Buena Park Elks Lodge Gary’s Classic Car Fridays 2012

Best of Show – Angelos Car Show 2012

Street Machine and Musclecar Nationals Autocross March 23, 2014 – 5 Runs with a best time of 41.695 sec.
Burn-Out Contest, Honorable Mention Top ’50s Car.

Irwindale Dragstrip 1/8mile drags :10.26 at 72mph – April 14, 2017



Street Machine and Musclecar Nationals Autocross • Click here for VIDEO on Blacktop TV

GT Performance Steering Wheel Installation (Article) • Click here for VIDEO on BlacktopTV

Installing an Edelbrock Carburetor (Article) • Click here for VIDEO on BlacktopTV

Edelbrock Classic Series Engine Dress-up Kit (Article) • Click here for  VIDEO on BlacktopTV

Riff Raff Rumbles – Custom Exhaust Installation (Article) • Click here for VIDEO on BlacktopTV


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