Tony and Christine Brown’s
1966 Ford Mustang
I can remember, like it was yesterday, the first time I saw a Ford Mustang on the road. I was a car crazy 16-year-old living next door to East Hills golf club in Sydney’s west, the car was a silver coupe with GT options that belonged to one of the lady golfers. The shape and sound of that V8 Mustang had an immediate effect on me, I was hooked and I made a promise to myself that one day I would own a Mustang.
Fast forward forty years and I was able to fulfil my promise. Happily, my wife Christine, also liked the shape of the Mustang, so we started looking ‘on-line’ for a car. I wanted a R/H drive vehicle if I could find a good one. It just makes easier driving in Australia if the car is R/H drive.
Finally, after a few months of searching we found a R/H drive coupe advertised on the Car Sales website and rang the seller to organise an inspection. Michael, the seller, had imported the 1966 Mustang and had carried out the engineer certified R/H drive conversion, plus a respray and re-trim.
We confirmed via the vehicle’s identification number (VIN) that the car was manufactured at Ford’s San Jose California assembly plant on the 13 September 1965. It was built as a ‘T’ code six-cylinder (200 cubic inch) model fitted with a C4 three speed automatic gearbox and drum brakes all round. The car had spent its entire US life in California and was therefore dry and pretty well rust free.
The car, as inspected, was still fitted with its 200 cubic inch six-cylinder engine and drum brakes. We were looking for a V8 powered car with front disc brakes, but we liked this car for its Turquoise blue colour, straight rust free body and R/H drive conversion. So, we made a deal with Michael, we would purchase the car if he could fit it with a 289 cubic inch V8 and front disc brakes, which he did.
After getting the Mustang home, and getting to know the car a little more, we found that some of Michael’s engineering was not as good as it could have been, so we set about re-doing some of his work.
Luckily, the restorers of Mustangs today are blessed with an abundant supply of ex-Ford and re-manufactured spare parts, so the task of rebuilding and restoring a Mustang is relatively easy and affordable.
Firstly, the gearbox was overhauled; then the front and rear suspension was rebuilt. A new Holly 350 carburettor was fitted and finally a new 8-inch Ford differential and style steel wheels were added.
The vehicle is now reliable and great fun to drive. Every time I take it out I get that V8 rumble that I remember from my youth and I cannot get the smile off my face.
Marshall McCarron’s “Green” Ferguson FE35
This isn’t a story about a con-course tractor with gleaming duco and everything meticulously re-stored to factory finish but that idea does play in my mind occasionally – to do it up as a tribute to the memory of Ian McLeish who many of us knew well, and his collection of immaculate Fergies.
It’s a story of my workhorse tractor that was originally bought in 1968 (more than 49 years ago!) at Rockdale Farm Machinery in Brisbane to use to slash scrub and bush under power lines as part of a contract my company at that time had with the government. Probably a 1958. It used to be red body and grey petrol engine which would have been identical or similar to the Vanguard motors of the same era.
To my dismay one day we found that it had been caught in a bush fire overnight. The wheels and paint were all scorched and burned, one rear tyre was still smouldering and the electrics were ash. All wiring was gone! We hauled it back to the workshop on a truck and had a good look at it. Gave it some ‘new’ truck tyres on front and a replacement rear wheel, replaced all the electrics and decided to spray paint the body with one of those vacuum cleaner attachments that used to come with Electrolux in those days. What colour to use? Could have been yellow and black, my company’s colours but we found a can of green paint left over from somewhere so sprayed that all over the body – no prep, no cutting back, no undercoat just straight on with the vacuum cleaner spray gun. That’s why to this day it’s probably the only GREEN FE35 in existence.
The historic vehicle collection of Graham Bates