True blue coupe fan
A million dollars would not buy the Falcon an owner has had for 40 years, writes DAVID FITZSIMONS.
ELIZABETH Jamieson has an unusual claim to motoring fame. She is the first owner of the last car – the XP Ford Falcon coupe, that is. Ms Jamieson bought her striking two-door coupe from her local Ford dealer in March 1967.
More than 40 years later, she still owns it. This is not just any one of the 70,998 XP Falcons built. Ms Jamieson believes it is the last two-door coupe sold.
“When I bought it, they told me it was the last one in New South Wales and probably in Australia,” she says.
To commemorate the sale, the Ford dealer had a rare flash painted down the side of the sunlit beige car.
“It makes it look longer and lower. It’s stunning,” Ms Jamieson says.
The XP Ford went on sale in 1965. By the time Ms Jamieson bought her car, the all-new replacement XR range, with its V8 GT range-topper, had been on sale for some time.
In some respects, the XR and the following XT, XW and XY models (think GTHOs and the like) are the cars most people think about when you mention classic, sporty Aussie Falcons.
The XP and its 1964 predecessor the XM, particularly the two-door coupe models, however, have a strong following and admiration from true Ford fans.
Certainly that is the case with Ms Jamieson, of who says she has never wanted to part with her 2.8-litre sixcylinder engined classic.
“When the Cobra came out (in 1978), I was tempted to swap but I couldn’t do it,” Ms Jamieson says.
The car’s swooping styling and two-door configuration, she says, are very attractive. “She’s just beautiful. I fell in love with her then and I still love it now,” she says. “It’s very sexy. Its the two-door look.”
Ms Jamieson says the 42-year-old, three-speed automatic car is going better than ever, thanks to plenty of TLC. “I’ve got a great mechanic,” she says. She bought the 170 Pursuit coupe for $3998 in 1967 but has no idea of its true value now.
“A million dollars wouldn’t buy my car. I’ve had plenty of people want to buy it but you’ve got to want to sell it and I don’t,” she says.
The XP has 164,000km on the clock and now only comes out for occasional club runs. Ms Jamieson 40 years ago celebrated her purchase by embarking on a 21,000km journey throughout Queensland and northern Australia. The car has been on several long runs since.
Ms Jamieson says the journey has not been trouble-free. “It used to overheat really badly in the early days when you were in traffic,” she says. After getting the problem seemingly fixed years ago, it still rears its head. A trip to Bendigo for a national club event in 2003 ended with the engine overheating and club members having to push the car.
The Ford is still on its original plates and is in very original condition. Ms Jamieson, a self-confessed car nut, says she treats the Ford with the same affection other people do their children.
“Normal people carry the kids’ photos,” she says. “I haven’t got any so I carry my car pics around. I say: ‘Have a look at my car’.”