Thanks for this mag as I have been reading and loving it for many years. I can’t help but get involved in the conversation about what came out of the factory in the days of the XW/XY Fords.
I started work as an apprentice mechanic in 1970 (the golden years of the Falcon) in a small country town. Everybody knew what new cars were coming to town as they got delivered on an open transporter and were unloaded just out on the main street. My job was to take them into the back alley and wash the protective deliver y
wax off with power-kero. I did everything from Escort panel vans to a Phase 3 GTHO. Those were the days.
The most unusual one I saw is one that would today be assumed a mock-up because of the spec. But you need to remember that in the 70s, deals were quite often done in the local bar at the hotel that could sometimes lead to the incorrect boxes getting ticked. In this case a customer ordered a ZC Fairlane 500 with a 351. When we unloaded it, we discovered that it had a four-barrel 351 Windsor and nine-inch diff. But the big surprise was the Top Loader four-speed. The customer refused to take it as he wanted an auto, so it sat in the showroom until well after the XY was released as nobody wanted a manual Fairlane.
I think the interesting thing here is the willingness of Ford to build what people or dealers ordered and the drivetrains that were available at the time. So, these days, when I see a three-onthe-tree 351 V8 XB ute for sale, I say never say no such thing, it just might be. Brian (Dicko) Dickson, Email
“IT’S INTERESTING THE WILLINGNESS OF FORD TO BUILD WHAT PEOPLE OR DEALERS ORDERED”