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The production version of the Ford Fairlane concept is named the Flex, and the Blue Oval will pull the wraps off this key new vehicle at the New York Auto Show in two weeks. The Flex joins a Ford crossover lineup that includes the newly restyled and renamed Taurus X and, of course, the Edge. The Flex, however, is essentially Ford's minivan replacement. Unlike the Edge, it features three-row seating and opposite-opening side doors (basically big suicide doors, just like the ones seen on the Fairl

It's mostly a 1962 VW Bus. Except for the engine, which is now a 355 small-block. And the aluminum seats. And the 7-inch chop. Oh, and the trademark VW flower vase on the dash was carved from billet aluminum. All that and more makes it one of Hot Rod Magazine's Top 10 Hot Rods of 2006. The photo is linked to a full detailing of the sinister beast.

Despite what everyone thought was the plan, the production version of the upcoming Ford Fairlane family wagon will not debut at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in early January. Ford claims it was never scheduled to debut in Detroit, though Bob Thibodeau, a local Detroit Ford dealer and senior cochairman of NAIAS, told the Detroit Free Press he had it down on his official list.

Say goodbye to the Ford minivans.The Detroit News is reporting that the Fairlane concept has been green lighted and will debut in production form during next year's auto show circuit. With its minivan sales in steady decline since 2000, FoMoCo has apparently decided to face the problem head-on by attacking that market segment with the new vehicle.