True blue coupe fan

A mil­lion dol­lars would not buy the Fal­con an owner has had for 40 years, writes DAVID FITZSI­MONS.

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

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’.”

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