I have been doing car related posts all week and it was only this morning I realized I have never done a post about my car.
I don’t mean my everyday drive, the customary mum-wagon, full of school bags, pushbike helmets and forgotten notices from school. That is the car I need. Most people have had these at one time, it doesn’t fit the mental image you have of yourself but it fits the reality of life.
When I bought the wagon my reality was two kids under three, a gigantic pram, an ever-present tricycle, nappy changes on the go and a complete lack of organization. The wagon was more of a spare room on wheels than a cruiser. I didn’t love it but I totally appreciated it.
The story began when last year the Man of the House and I became the owners of two new cars. Well, not new. Far from it! We were lucky enough to get our hands on two dusty old cars that had been sitting in a shed for years, an XW wagon and an XW ute (yes I know the ute has a XY grille, already fixed).
If you are an Australian Ford lover your first reaction to that would have likely been an enviously muttered ‘you bastards’. If you aren’t, I will explain.
You know how each country has iconic cars that their native car lovers would love to get their hands on? Here in Australia we have a traditional, at times ferocious, Ford/Holden rivalry. If you are a Ford lover you likely have a soft spot for the early 1970’s Fords, the XW’s and XY’s.
We both love the XW’s so we were thrilled to get these cars, and since I preferred the ute and the Man of the House the wagon, there was no fighting about who got what. The ute was more complete so, once they had been washed, the ute was pushed into the shed and the restoration began.
It is going to take some time, the Man of the House is being meticulous so there is no patching up and painting over. He is taking the body back to metal and making it as perfect as possible, a slow and at times painful process.
On the left you can see some of the before and after efforts in the tray and around the back of the cab. The wheel arch was in a sorry state too, with many dents. That was fixed with a lot of banging from underneath and a final smoothing with body filler.
The Man of the House has spent time out in the man cave nearly every weekend, sanding his fingers to nubs and inhaling near fatal amounts of rust-treatment and body-filler fumes.
He had also soaked the engine in oil and turned it over by hand regularly. A few weeks ago he called me out to the shed, handed me the key and told me it was ready to start. We were a little scared, it had been bought with the understanding it had parked itself in the shed we got it from, but had not been started for so long we weren’t sure what would happen when we turned the key. We both crossed our fingers and I turned the key…. it started, and ran beautifully. YAY!!!
After that the Man of the House was given a new lease on life and has continued with his efforts. After all, now it ran it was ‘fixing up a car’ not decorating a ‘shitty lawn ornament’ as cruelly suggested by one of our Holden loving friends.
I say that flippantly, but just one of them costs around a hundred dollars and this car needs more than just tail lights… The day I first drive this car will be more dependant on budget than effort!
Early 70’s cars in suburban Australia were all about power and size. Have a look at this 1969 ad for the new XW Ford XW Ford Falcon ad – YouTube.
No telling us how economical it is, or how good for the environment, it is all about speed and looking cool.