Fac­tory fun­nies

Unique Cars - - GARAGE GURUS -

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


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