Life as a Ford Fal­con GT hoarder

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - MO­TOR­ING

Roger Whyte con­fesses. He is a hoarder.

But the South­land man doesn’t hoard rub­bish, knick knacks, or tea­spoons. He has a col­lec­tion of Ford Fal­con GTs.

From 1967 to 2015, he owns at least one of ev­ery model ever made, in fact.

Along with wife Diane, Roger col­lect­ing GTs for about 10 or 15 years.

The dairy farmer’s Aus­tralian mus­cle car col­lec­tion is to be en­vied.

‘‘I did my time as a Ford me­chanic, that’s where I got the bug I guess.’’

He has so many, he can’t re­ally re­mem­ber which one he bought first, but, with some prod­ding from Diane agrees it was prob­a­bly the 1967, which the cou­ple have af­fec­tion­ately nick­named Elsie.

There are only seven 1967 GTs in New Zealand, and Elsie is one of two in the deep south.

As young man, all he ever wanted was a V8. Now, he has more than he’s will­ing to count. ‘‘I just love cars full stop.’’ Even more im­pres­sive is the fact that all of them are com­plete cars, and should run - pro­vided he keeps the bat­ter­ies up-to-date.

‘‘I know how to fix the older ones. It’s the ones with the com­put­ers in that get me stumped.’’

But it isn’t just GT Fal­cons that Roger owns, he also has Ford Corti­nas and Es­corts, a panel van, a Chevro­let, and a 1926 Page, to name a few.

Not to men­tion what­ever else he might have stashed away in his sheds.

But the GTs will soon be mov­ing to a new home on Roger’s prop­erty - he and Diane are near­ing com­ple­tion of a cus­tom-built stor­age and dis­play shed.

What was once the yards of his farm have been filled in, un­der-floor heat­ing for hu­mid­ity con­trol and spe­cial air fil­tra­tion in­stalled to keep the cars as mint as pos­si­ble.

Keep­ing clas­sic cars is cer­tainly a labour of love for this cou­ple.

But be­fore she’ll get a chance to move into her new home, Elsie, along with sev­eral more of Roger’s GTs, will be on dis­play as part of the South Is­land GT Club con­fer­ence and show and shine, on in In­ver­cargill. has been

Diane and Roger Whyte with their 1967 Ford Fal­con GT, nick­named Elsie.

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