FORD ZG FAIRLANE

Unique Cars - - LUXO LAND YACHTS -

Ever heard of the myth­i­cal idea l used car, t hat was only ever driven to church on a Sun­day by a litt le old lady? Well, you can a ll rela x now, we’ve found it. Ac­tua lly it was a litt le old man, who lived in Syd­ney. True stor y. That’s ac­cord­ing to ‘new’ owner Adrian Poole who bought this gem not so long ago, with a mere 47,000km on the odo.

“His name was Frank,” says Adrian, “And he only took it to church if it wasn’t ra in­ing.” There was a lso $47 in change in t he ash­tray, which I don’t dare ta ke out of it.” Plus t here’s an open-ended span­ner sit­ting on top of the ra­di­a­tor mounts to make it easy to dis­con­nect t he bat­ter y. That’s all been left as-is.

Built late 1975, t his is one of a cou­ple of hun­dred 50t h an­niver­sar y cars t hat lef t t he fac­tor y and is prob­a­bly as good an ex­am­ple as ever you’d f ind.

The ZG ran 1973-76 and rep­re­sen­tated a ma­jor up­grade for t he Fairlane se­ries, de­spite which it was cop­ping crit­i­cism for be­ing too sim­i­lar to t he X A-XB Fal­cons. Ford even­tua lly re­sponded by lay ing on more stan­dard fea­tures such as ad­di­tiona l car­pet, chrome and bumper over-rid­ers, plus of course a vinyl roof.

How­ever it was un­der the trim where the sig­nif icant changes were made. Al­ter­ations were made to the chas­sis, in­clud­ing a sus­pen­sion up­grade t hat claimed a litt le more ride height and stif fer damp­ing. Those lat­ter changes were in­tended to tidy up its be­hav iour while prov id­ing a litt le more com­fort.

Ford of fered t hree en­gines: t he 250 si x, plus t he 302 and 351 V8s. Re­ally it was t he eights that you wanted, though a lot of 351s over time found them­selves hauled out of Fair­lanes and into eit her race cars or project Fal­cons.

In t he Fairlane, t hose en­gines were gen­era lly matched up to a three-speed auto and with the ‘limo’ dif f rat her t han t he nine-inch.

So what makes a 50th an­niver­sar y edi­tion? Leather seats, power win­dows and some spe­cia l badg­ing. Plus you got the LTD-st yle wheels and hubs. There was a lso a dis­tinc­tive ma­te­ria l used for t he v inyl roof. This car has t he 302 en­gine, which Adrian says is just f ine for cruis­ing down the high­way.

It’s any­body’s guess how many are left. Ap­par­ently Frank’s brot her owned a sim­i­lar car, but it got writ­ten of f one day as he backed out of t he drive­way. So t hat’s one less...

Spe­cia l edi­tions aside, t here are still a good num­ber of ZGs out there and con­di­tion should be t he big de­cider if you’re in t he mar­ket. All vinyl roofs are rust-mag­nets, while loca l cars of t his era are prone to dam­age in a ll t he usual ar­eas.

Be­cause of t heir star qual­ity and the on go­ing-de­mand, you will pay a pre­mium for a 351, so a 302 could con­ceiv­ably of fer bet­ter va lue.

TOP Though it was crit­i­cised at the time for look­ing too much like a Fal­con, we reckon the shape has aged well. ABOVE RIGHT Owner Adrian Poole.

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