Ferrari Memories + Capri vs MX-5 + Ford Landau - Mailbag 414

By: Unique Cars magazine

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ferrari 365gt front ferrari 365gt front

Inside this month's Unique Cars mailbag


The Ferrari that got away

I thought I would share a Gotaways story with you, which was prompted by the appearance in UC issue 413 of the Ferrari 365GT 2+2, or as you say, the infamous "Queen Mary".

My father owned one of these from 1974 to 1978. It was an Australian delivered, obviously RHD version, sold originally of course by WH Lowe.

Back then I don’t think the term "daily driver" existed, but that is exactly what it was for the 4 years he owned it. Every week it was driven to Shepparton and Bendigo to visit his businesses there.

I recall it being a pretty exotic way to get dropped at the school gate sometimes!

Ferrari -365gt

The punchline to this story is, I guess, that he bought it for the grand sum of $15,000 and sold it for $10,000. Read that and weep. (They’re now worth $450-500k - Ed.)

I have attached a couple of photos of it. Hopefully it enjoys a genteel existence somewhere in Melbourne, but who knows after all these years?

It was, by the way, originally white in colour and carried the rego GJ 365. My father had it resprayed red at a panel shop in Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick, and later my Mum ordered the FE 365 plates for it as a birthday surprise for my Dad.

I remember vividly going to Vicroads in Oakleigh South with her to put the new plates on. Screwdrivers and spanners were not really her forte!

Very, very fond memories indeed.

Doug Johns
East Bentleigh, Vic

ED: Great story. Thanks, Mr J.

Capri vs MX-5

Mazda -mx 5-onroad

While I sort of understand, and fully support Trevor Hislop’s enthusiasm for his favourite ragtop, Ford’s Capri, I take exception at his comparison value to a similar vintage Mazda MX-5 (NA).

The latter is a purpose built rear-wheel-drive driver’s car. The former is a rebodied front-wheel-drive Mazda 323/Ford Laser, with the handling of a shopping trolley and are only good for top-down boulevarding. The definition of a hairdresser’s car!

In fact whenever I’m selling an MX-5 and some knob brings up the price disparity between the two cars, I advise them to go and buy a Capri as they obviously won’t appreciate the pure driving bliss an MX-5 delivers.

Gary Smith
Ravenshoe, Qld

ED: Ouch! There’s no doubt the MX-5 rates as one of the all-time greats as a light sports car and more often than not is seen as a true successor to the MGB. As for the Capri, yep, they are more of a boulevard cruiser – though we’ve seen some interesting performance versions – and I’d suggest they may yet have their day in the sun thanks to their local development and build history.

Landau lover


Fair dinkum, Guido, is this Higgo for real?! The poor old Landau – it’s only crimes are its height, wheels and diff ratio. (Higgo gave the Landau a bit of a harsh review in our Aussie luxo bomber feature - Ed.)

This is a serious Aussie-built vehicle, with 351, FMX trannie, a truck driveline and I might add the first production car with a nine-inch disc brake rear end.

The four electric windows and four bucket seats only make it stand out in the sometimes boring crowd. It certainly does not suggest a Spanish brothel! Well, not mine anyway.

Simple changes such as K-Mac coils and bar, a 336 ratio and some assistance from Cheviot in the wheel area radically change both its look and handling ability.

I assure you if the learned scribe came for a quick squirt on the sunny coast hinterland he would have to exchange his seasick bag for new underwear.

Next time you sit down for a sherbert and a sing-along, make sure Higgo has the same songsheet.

Carl A Wallent
Maryborough, Qld

ED: Each to their own, Carl. Some days, this lot can be a tough crowd. Not to worry, I’m with you on the Landau and would love a to have one in the shed.


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Unique Cars Mailbag
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