1971 Ford Fairlane ZD – Daniel Wyatt

This vehicle was purchased by club member Daniel Wyatt sometime close to 2006, repaired and resprayed by a shop in Queanbeyan called Classic Colour and immediately became one of the many cars used as workhorses for the club, towing the BBQ trailer and attending many club events. The cost of the repairs and respray is a little sketchy but involved Daniel parting with a XP Falcon Ute to the owner operator of Classic Colour.

I became the owner of the ZD early in 2009 by swapping my 1971 XY Falcon and an amount of money to Daniel and since that time have been happily driving the ZD to many club events and rallies.

One of the first major outings for the car was the Ned Kelly/Boorigal rally planned and executed by Phil Donoghoe where we undertook a tour of towns that featured in the history of that bushranger and participated in the Boorigal rally organised by the car clubs of Albury/Wodonga. We had a great time and certainly whetted our appetite for other rally type events in this vehicle, comfort being one of its best points.

The Silver City tour in 2011 was organised by Alec Mckernan and was a very pleasant meander to Adelaide to link in with the Bay to Birdwood Rally. Both the Fairlane and John Senior’s 50’s Humber completed this rally without mishap.

After the Bay to Birdwood it was off to Broken Hill. Just outside the little SA town of Burra a truck threw a stone at just the right angle and velocity to punch a hole in the Fairlane’s radiator. After a worrying half hour or so a workshop hiding in a tyre service was located, about an hour after that the radiator had been removed, repaired and the old girl was back on the road again. Not bad at all for a very small country town on a Friday. Don’t think it would have occurred in Canberra.

After an overnight stop it was on to Broken Hill where during the afternoon of our arrival a storm marched in from the desert and drenched the town to the extent gutters were overflowing, roofs leaking and the locals and us looking in awe at the downpour in an area that is normally dry and dusty. In the Fairlane we were watching this storm from a lookout above the town unable to return back down, thankfully the old girl did not leak much. We returned to Canberra by following the Murray River where possible. All trouble free motoring.

In 2012 The Great Lakes Tour was organised by Graham Gittins. Again the Fairlane participated. It was a trouble free run along the Pacific highway to Sydney and on to Foster staying at a delightful village of cabins for a couple of days.

The next day we participated in a street display of cars and craft displays at Bulahdelah. By 10.30am the temperature had reached 38 degrees so back on the road to Port Macquarie. The day reached 39 degrees, very hot but had no car problems.

The next morning the old car started initially but refused to restart when asked. Thanks to the assistance of club members the problem was quickly located (points not opening) and the vehicle came to life again.

A pleasant couple of days was had in Port Macquarie then back on the road to Gosford. The Fairlane has also participated in many Morris Owner’s group outings and rallies and is regarded as an ‘honorary member’ of the group.

The Fairlane has also participated in several Bay to Bermagui and Ulladulla Classic events, all with trouble free motoring. Other events include the Centenary of Canberra Rally (plate 101) and numerous school Fetes and public events where Club participation has been sought.

Recently the Fairlane took part in the Motorclasica tour and covered several hundred kilometres all trouble free. Again we chose to forget about the fuel costs and take the Fairlane for its comfort factor.

Many times we have had offers to buy the Fairlane, so far have chosen to turn them down, all that to say it still manages to attract attention as a good example of a classic car.

The vehicle has had the C4 automatic transmission fully reconditioned and the power steering unit has also been reconditioned. Still to go is some rust remediation work and some attention is required to get the dashboard instruments up and functioning properly.

Specifications

    Motor-302 cu in (4.9 litre) V8 Windsor

    Transmission- C4 automatic 3 speed, Borg Warner differential.

    Suspension Coil front (wishbones) leaf rear.

    Bilstein progressive shock absorbers all round

    Fuel consumption-A lot (approx. 17-25 MPG).

    Top Speed – Depends on the courage of the driver.

It is a very pleasant club car as it requires little maintenance although it is a long way round it when it comes time for washing (polishing). We have enjoyed and intend to continue to enjoy the many events/rallies offered to the club.

David and Jan Wyatt

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