bloody sweet a day it was. This is the story
of how dad and i got our very own piece of Australian
muscle car history. A 1969 Ford Falcon XT GT
in Candy Apple Red.
all started on Wednesday the 24th when i got
a call from Garrett, "hey Sundeep i think
I’ve got a GT for ya mate". i pulled
out some paper and a pen and started scribbling
down some details. I had no idea at that stage
that this would be the GT that will be eventually
mine. The plans to get a 351 XY GS Fairmont
had been shot down (due to constant naggin
and subliminal messages from a few of the
FGTOCNSW fellahs) and then the hunt for a
XR-XT GT was on. Plans were then made to go
check out a XT GT down in the nations capital
not to far from where our XW GS Fairmont was
originally sold from. After a bit of a game
of 20 questions with the owner over the blower
two days later Garrett, me ol man and myself
loaded the GS up and rumbled down to the sweet
tune of the 302W.
Up went the roller
doors and pow! there she was.. our Candy..
within in seconds we were crawling in, around
and under the ol girl doing the usual drill
checking for this and that. She looked like
a go'er but the banks had closed but after
a bit of um'ing and ah'ing the ol man couldn’t
make a decision with Candy sitting right there
within eye shot so we had to go grab a feed
and talk about it somewhere where we couldn’t
see her or hear her whispering "come
on Greg (dad). Come on Sundeep ya know ya
want me!". Finally the thumbs up was
given and we headed back. Laid down the deposit
and said see ya in a week. Word was spread
to a couple of mates.
the 1st. After a pretty evil April fools day
stunt from a fellow XT GT owner (who ended
up getting paid back WELL thanks to Garrett)
my day at uni seemed to be crawling ever so
slowly. Couldn’t wait till Friday. I
was humming Easybeats - Friday On My Mind
most the day. Eventually got home and one
of my very good high school mates slept over
the night so we could leave at the crack of
dawn the following morning. Only got 3 hours
sleep that night. Couldn’t sleep, the
day I’ve been waiting for all my life
was upon me!
Friday the second
of April two thousand and four - the day we
bought home the GT. After leaving home dam
early we left to pick Garrett up. He said
he heard the 302W coming and knew it was us.
Saved us calling ahead didnt it? All in and
off we were on the way down south. The GS
didn’t miss a beat on the way down to
find her a stable mate. After a bit of piss
farting around with the RTA we finally made
it to the sellers place. Up went the garage
again and pow! again. There she was even more
beautiful than i remembered. Popped the bonnet
and rolled around under the car for a few
last minute checks. The engine was still a
tad bit warm, the owner had taken her out
for one last run in the morning.
to the bank handed over my life savings to
dad. Bank cheque made and back we went to
pick up our GT (still feels weird saying that!
not used to it!). Pen was put to paper and
she was officially ours..
a few quick checks of the fluid levels in
the GS we handed the keys over to Garrett.
Dad and Garrett in the GT... my mate and myself
jumped in the GS (the whole time snapping
away with the digital camera). The now-previous
owner stood in his driveway watching his ol
girl warm up one last time.and he actually
said something along the lines of - "hurry
up and leave before i start to get all emotional".
You could see it in his eyes, but his sadness
was overshadowed by my state of “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
thus the journey home began! Topped up both
the tanks, tyre pressure check and off again.
Dad hasn’t driven a manual in ages and
actually managed to stall it when we pulled
over. He must have thought he was still driving
the GS. After that lill incident we had to
remind him (at his own request) that there
was a toploader between the passenger and
him that wasn’t going to change gears
an hour or so into the journey we started
smelling oil in the GT. All the gauges were
fine (was watching them like a hawk, or should
i say like a Falcon?). Pulled over successfully
this time and had a snoop around. Engine fine,
box fine, diff dam leak! We soldiered on in
search of a servo or mechanic. It wasn’t
that bad but enough to be of some concern.
We pulled over again a lill while later and
a bloke in a van pulled over with us. While
we were rolling around under the GT he jumped
out of the van and started complimenting the
cars. "Do you know of any of these for
sale?". "Well actually we just bought
this today!" "Replica?" "Nope
real deal mate. The real deal" (Goddam
it feels awesome saying that!). The looks,
the questions and all the thumbs up's ya get
give you a real buzz, now i can finally start
to comprehend what the rest of you’s
found a mechanic around 3pm in some small
town and up the GT went on the hoist. She
looked so "helpless" up there. Like
it was stranded on a desert island or something.
Was a good chance to have a good geez underneath.
We were impressed! Diff oil topped up and
down she came. Dad threw the keys over to
me mate who is used to driving a black Nissan
Skyline R34 GT-T which is quite different
to a 35 year ol real steel classic, and as
he left the mechanics the tyre rotation speed
exceeded that of the GT. Ahhh yes good ol
wheel spin. Mate said afterwards he didn’t
want to stall coming out of the driveway.
Whether or not that was case only he knows.
stomachs were starting to rumble so the hunt
for a mechanic had changed into a hunt for
a feed. We ventured into a lill town and parked
out front of an antique store. Took a few
more snaps. This old fellah walked past and
commented on the cars and told us about some
ol Falcon he had way back. A bit more chit
chat then we were off again. Off towards the
eastern suburbs we headed. Taking the scenic
route we ended up at a point where you could
see northwards towards some of Sydneys beaches.
A few more snaps, then off again. Dropped
Garrett off home around 5pm. Then there was
turned on the radio for the first time and
first station that popped up was playing Eagles
- Hotel California which happens to be one
of Dave Shaw’s favourite songs. What
a good chance to ring Dave up. "Hey Dave!
How ya going!. Have a listen to this."
"What was that?" "Hotel California".
"Ahhh thought so!" "Oi guess
what im in now?" The reply was “ummm.
Holden Calais replica?”
was nearing 6 and we were in heavy traffic
and just like that the GT stopped. By total
fluke chance my mates mechanic was down the
next off street literally 20 metres down the
road. We just rolled into the street had to
get out and push it up a slight hill for a
bit. Good lill workout. Ran in and got some
jumper leads nose to nose bonnets up, crank
and away we went. 30 minutes later in heavy
traffic at some lights she just died again.
This time no one was stopping to let us push
the GT around the corner. Finally a bloke
in a Red BA held up the traffic and let us
in. (ahh wonder why!). We pushed and we pushed
but couldn’t push start it. Bit of a
uphill again, argh! again we were lucky and
there was a bloke with some jumper cables
for us. Cranked the GT over again, a few minor
tweaks of the carby, up'd the idle a bit and
we were off.
was awaiting the arrival of the GT.
now we decided to go home first and change
the battery. Parked the GS and mate jumped
in his R34 Skyline and we were off. We topped
up the tank again and the Skyline went ahead
(which is a rare occurrence). 7:30pm finally
made it to Dave’s workshop.
in and within seconds the bonnet was up and
the assessment had begun. We couldn’t
park in either one of Dave’s garages
both were chockablock with Fords so outside
in the dark only armed with a torch Dave went
through the car. Naturally sh!t stirring us
left right and centre throughout.
conclusion: "yeah she’s good. Wrong
colour though. Should be blue with sunroof."
throw Dave the keys dad in the passenger seat,
me behind him, and me mate next to me. Pull
out of the driveway and off we go on a lap
of Dave's industrial area race circuit.
was basically the first time i stopped and
thought about what was happening. Dave was
driving our GT. Me ol man in front of me.
Best mate in the back and i was in heaven.
Pure bliss, all of us laughing and carrying
on. The feel of vinyl under you arm out the
window, thumping 302 up front, cool night
breeze in a Falcon GT. Just one of them moments
you wish would last forever.
conclusion after the drive "yeah she’s
good. Wrong colour though. Should be blue
mate left soon after and Dave, Dad and myself
stood (sat) around talking away for quite
a while afterwards. Laughing away and carrying
on. Time just rockets past at Dave’s
workshop. After a couple of handshakes and
pats on the back we were on the way home in
our Falcon GT.
the driveway we came. Parked her outside and
jumped out and just stood there and starred.
I put my arm around me ol man and we both
knew what each other was thinking.
life long dream had been achieved.
as Dave would say