1965 Ford XP Fairmont Wagon - Reader Ride

By: Cameron Jordan

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Cameron Jordan and his classic Aussie wagon

 

Cameron Jordan's 1965 Ford Fairmont Wagon

In some ways it’s a surprise that Newcastle NSW local, Cameron Jordan reckons fish ‘n chips on the drop-down tailgate of an Aussie family wagon – a birthright for many older car enthusiasts – is cool. Ford and Holden lost their old-school tailgates in 1979 (with the XD Falcon and VB Commodore respectively) and with Cameron being 22, he was born in the decade after, the decade after two-piece tailgates were killed-off…

Cameron, who works in retail menswear (and modelling/acting when he can get the work in that hugely competitive industry) is right into cars. His first car – that he still owns – is a tight and tidy 1962 VW Beetle that, with his dad Gary, he rebuilt to a Herbie replica (from the movie Herbie The Love Bug) while at high school.

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"I was 16 when I bought that one," Cameron says. "I was looking around for an old car: Beetles, Kombis, Minis, old Falcons and Holdens… I was looking at an XM Falcon and almost bought it but then I saw a Beetle and knew that’s what I actually wanted.

"It was my daily driver for a few years."

Then Cameron bought a more recent-model Subaru. "But it was crap." he says with a laugh. "It was reliable and all that – it wasn’t a bad car – but I just found myself driving the Beetle more often because it was more fun."

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With a little more cash in the bank, Cameron decided a couple of years ago that he’d buy a second cool cruiser and re-visited his idea of a 1960s Falcon.

"I was onto one in Queensland," he says. "I’d agreed to buy it and bought the plane ticket to go up there and drive it home. But then the seller rang and said he’d sold it to someone else."

Damn!

"Yeah, I had the shits," Cameron says. But he knew there were others out there. "I was looking on the net for something else and I found this 1965 XP Fairmont wagon in Sydney."

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Bought from a clothes-shop owner living in Sydney’s inner west, Cameron’s 1965 Ford Fairmont wagon has the 200-cube Super Pursuit six-cylinder engine and three-speed auto rather than the superseded XP Ford Futura’s 170-cuber and two-slot slush-box. When Cameron collected it, it was suffering from rust in the lower windscreen corners and a little in the sills. Cameron and his dad again worked together to fix all the blemishes in the first week of Cameron’s ownership of the XP.

It’s been a great regular driver and cruiser. Bigger than the VW, Cam can cart around a few more mates when he wants to. There have been a couple of mechanical let-downs – such as a broken tail-shaft uni joint – due mostly to the Ford’s age and mileage, but he reckons the car’s reliability issues have all been sorted so he’s now confident of the car: Just two days before our photo shoot Cameron returned home from a 1000km trip to country NSW.

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However, Cameron is aware of the fact that his cool classic cars were designed in another era of motoring, when only main roads had centre-lines painted on them and – often – suburban streets had no kerbs and gutters. It’s astonishing to think that there were no freeways anywhere in Australia when this ’65 Fairmont was built. It’s designed for – and happiest when – poking along below 100km/h, slowing down for corners every hundred metres or so. That’s how Australian motoring was well into the 1980s.

So in short, the regular freeway treks to Sydney became a bit of a chore in both the Bug and the Fairmont. So Cam has recently bought another Ford, a ’95 EF, as a daily driver/freeway flier. Even though it’s 30 years younger than his XP (and his Bug) his new ride is a bit special, too: it’s a Futura V8 sedan that is far more capable and comfortable – and after breakdowns with both the Fairmont and the Bug, more reliable – on the open road.

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"It’s a bit of fun because it’s a five-litre V8 but really, it’s just so I can park in the shopping centre while I’m at work," he says. "People are always running trolleys into them and opening doors against them…"

"Plus, the air-conditioning is going to be good in summer!"

VALUE GUIDE: For a nice driver around $20,000 seems likely.

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