FORD ZG FAIRLANE
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.