Some have asked me how I managed to find the source material for all those Maniac stories. Old magazines usually, and I’ve since discovered that I’m not the only one out there looking for these. My favourite story? That would be the one about the King Hussein Falcon.
The ruler of oil-rich Jordan was on an official visit to Australia when Ford asked him if he’d like to visit the Ford testing facility at You Yangs. The King, a noted car nut, said ‘yes please’.
Don Dunoon, test facility manager, arranged for a green 351-powered XB Falcon four-door to be on site when the King arrived at the high-speed banked oval. After driving the King around the track Dunoon asked him if he wanted a go. He did and much to the consternation of his nervous bodyguards – who had suspicious-looking bulges under their suit jackets – the King was soon happily flying around the bowl at warp speed.
He told Dunoon it was the most fun he’d ever had on an official visit.
The green Falcon was later bought by a Ford employee and is currently being restored in Victoria. Such stories are worth their weight in gold, or barrels of premium petrol in this case.