1967 Ford XR Fairmont: Reader ride

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Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont
Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont
Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont
Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont
Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont

Vince Mortale's 1967 Ford XR Fairmont...

1967 Ford XR Fairmont: Reader ride
1967 Ford XR Fairmont

 

1967 Ford XR Fairmont

I like all sorts of cars as long as they’re decent but I must admit I’m a bit of a Ford man. My grandfather drove Fords but my father broke the mould with a mint 1971 Valiant when I was a kid. I bought my first car when I was 18; a 1972 Ford LTD Landau with the pop-up headlights. It had the big 351, FMX gearbox and a nine-inch – you wouldn’t buy a car like that now for your first car! Since then I’ve had quite a few Fords: a TC Cortina, XYs, and ZC Fairlanes and I’ve still got an XP and an XE.

I’ve had my XR for eight years and it’s a genuine matching-number Fairmont. I was looking for a car from the ‘50s or ‘60s and the XR was built in 1967, the year I was born. It was about 80 per cent restored when I got it but needed a lot of TLC to get it to where it is now. The paint and interior were already done and I finished off the chrome and fixed the dash, which was painted silver, and put a lot of new-old-stock parts on it, like the mirrors and stickers.

It had a set of mags that I wasn’t keen on, so I replaced them with XR GT hubcaps and got rid of the non-standard tinted windows too. I originally fitted a lot of chrome parts on the engine, but I took all that off too. The only thing left to do is replace the radio and redo the bumpers.

It runs a 289 V8 with a three-speed auto and a nine-inch, which isn’t original, and four-wheel disc brakes, so it pulls up well. The engine’s got a mild camshaft, a 600cfm Holley and the 351 GT radiator, but it’s only a 289; it’s not a power machine, it’s a cruiser. It’s also got a Gilmour gear drive so I know that the fan is turning; the last thing I want is to overheat the car. It’s been lowered all round with springs up front and lowering blocks in the rear.

I drive it as often as possible and it has won a few awards including Best XR-XT at the 2011 All Ford Day in Geelong, Best Classic and Top 10 at the Show Cars Melbourne 2013 and it placed first Ford Restored Original at this year’s Hot Rod Show in Melbourne.

 

 

 

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