Gettin’ aboard a V8 Ford
Vicki W is a blue-blood Ford groupie. As a young girl she loved going to the Castlereagh Drag Races in western Sydney. That led to a lifetime of Ford V8 ownership.
The smell of high-octane fuel and the roar of highly-tuned V8 engines was her weekend religion. She had a serious bent for the machines powered by Henry’s blue oval.
Her father Bill drove trucks, with Internationals and Commers his favourites. When it came time to trade his old Plymouth, with some persuasion from Vicki, he purchased a brand-new 1972 ZD Ford (of course) Fairlane.
It was Valentines’ Day 1972 when he slipped into the white Fairlane’s driver’s seat at the Wright Ford dealership and pointed it towards their home in Caringbah.
For daughter Vicki this was to be the start of a life-long love affair with the 351cid V8 Fairlane.
Both Vicki and Bill were keen to give the new car, which he had Christened Emily-Jane, a good run. Bill decided a good test trip would be a run to his mother’s place in Rockhampton in Qeensland.
Later, when Vicki got married, you can guess what the wedding car was – Emily-Jane of course!
Vicki and her husband settled down in a house, in Sydney’s Kurnell suburb and were blessed with twins.
Sometime latter, her father Bill was taken ill and unable to drive. Vicki visited him at home, starting Emily-Jane each time at Bill’s request. However, he eventually insisted that she took the Fairlane to Kurnell in order to house it safely in her garage. He wanted her to drive it rather than just start it.
After Bill unfortunately passed away, her mother told her that Bill had written a letter which was in an envelope with his will. In that letter he’d given strict instructions that the Fairlane was to go to Vicki.
Vicki’s first husband later passed away and then, some years on, she met and married Kevin W; himself a Ford tragic.
“Wanting to make a new start and leave the big smoke behind we flew the coop,” Vicki said.
“I was piloting Emily-Jane and Kev was in his beloved earlier-model Fairlane.
“We headed south to a house we’d bought in Milton, on the NSW South Coast.
“My Fairlane had been well cared for by a couple of mechanics in the Sutherland Shire.
“At one time the rear leaf springs had to be reset, but that was the only major problem it had over the years.
“The clock said 36,000 miles, but I reckon that’s the second time around.”
Once garaged in Milton, Emily-Jane started to overheat, so the quest was on to find someone to look after her mechanicals down there.
“I was lucky enough to find a mechanic, Ian, in Ulladulla, who was interested in working on the old girl,” said Vicki.
“He replaced the thermostat and fitted a coolant recovery system.”
Vicki later became involved with the Hot Rod & Custom Auto Expo at Rosehill Gardens, held in May each year, showing that she’s still the blue-blood Ford groupie she was as a young girl and just can’t get the smell of high-octane fuel and the roar of highly-tuned V8 engines out of her system.