1971 Ford XY Fairmont - Reader Ride

By: Jim Wilson with Guy Allen, Photography by: Alastair Brook

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Jim Wilson is one of those very rare people who have owned a Ford XY from new

 

Jim Wilson's 1971 Ford XY Fairmont

It’s a long time ago – 1971 – but I very nearly didn’t end up owning this car. I’d walked into a car yard in Wollongong and they put me into a second-hand 1963 Mercedes-Benz. It had the red leather seats and the big steering wheel – it was pretty cool. I took it for a drive and it was really good. They said it was a $3000 car against a new Ford for similar money. They said take it home for the weekend, but I said no as I knew I wouldn’t take it back. Later on I found out that parts and repairs could be really expensive.

So I walked into a Ford dealership, looking for a new Falcon. The salesman said I needed a GS pack with the stripe and a lot of other upgrades. I said piss off, thinking $500 seemed like an awful lot when you’ve just spent $2600 on a new car. In hindsight I should have done it. But it was a lot of money when your wages are a couple of hundred bucks a week.

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I really wanted to get a V8 and a T-bar auto, but by that stage they’d sold out, so I settled for the Fairmont 250 six with a column-shift auto in Teal Glow Blue. It took a long time to address that. Nearly 18 years later I bought another Falcon, with a 302 and the T-bar set up, for all of $800! I set about transferring across the bits I needed, so decades later I was getting closer to the car I originally wanted.

Just two years ago I managed to track down a 351 I was happy with and installed that, so I finally got to assemble the package I really wanted more than 40 years earlier when I first bought the car.

The Falcon has worked for its keep over the years. It would get loaded up with all sorts of things like springs, concrete, river rocks for landscaping – it got used as a box trailer for years!

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I reckon it’s been on vacation for the last 25 years, because it got to the stage where it wasn’t the daily driver any more and I could treat it more as a classic. It seems to have been an ongoing project – there’s always something to do on them. Just the other day I saw some paint in the boot I wasn’t happy with, so I masked it up and resprayed it.

It’s been to lots of events over the decades. I went to Summernats for 21 years and entered it in the real street category and did pretty well. It’s also won a few awards and been a finalist at several other car shows.
These days it probably only does 1000 miles a year, and you’d have to say I’ve got my money’s worth out of the original $2600 investment.

 

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