Some of our Historic Vehicles website visitors were curious to know what vehicles Jim Gibson and Allan Whiting have owned as daily drives over the past 60-odd years, so here they are.
The Jim Gibson car-ownership history
‘Gibbo’, as he is known, has had nearly 50 cars since 1960.
Here’s the list:
Austin A40, 1949; Ford Prefect l00E, 1957; MG TD, 1953; Ford Customline, 1956; Ford Zephyr Ute, 1960; Ford Customline, 1954; Ford Customline, 1957; Holden FJ Ute, 1954; Jaguar MKII, 1964; Ford Falcon XP, 1964; Ford Falcon XR, 1967; Ford Falcon XW GT-HO, 1970; Ford Falcon XL Station Wagon, 1962 (Gill’s car); Ford Capri, 1970 (Gill’s car); Ford Fairmont XB, 1975; Ford Mustang, 1967; Morris Minor ‘low light’ race car with TR4A engine and gearbox; Ford Capri V6 GT, 1971; Ford Falcon XB Ute, 1975; Morris Mini Moke, 1970; Suzuki Sierra; Alfa GTV, 1979; Puma GTE, 1973; Rover 3500SE, 1985; Mazda B2200 Ute; Rover 827 Sport; Suzuki Swift GT, 1988; Falcon XD Ute, 1980; Volkswagen Scirocco, 1986; Ford Fl00, 1970; Holden VP Station Wagon, 1992; Jeep Cherokee, 1995; Mitsubishi Magna Sports, 2000; Ford Falcon AU, 2003; Subaru Outback, 2001; Jaguar XJS, 1986; Jaguar S Type, 1965; Jaguar XJ6, 1981; MG TD, 1951; Jaguar MKII 2.4L, 1966; Karmann Ghia ,1960; Ford Mustang, 1965;Formula Vee Mako; Formula Vee Kestrel; Nissan 300ZX, 1990; Suzuki Grand Vitara and Mini Cooper S, 2007. Phew!
Of that lot, here are Gibbo’s favourite cars:
“The 1949 Austin A40 was my first car when I was a 16-year-old apprentice motor mechanic,” Jim Gibson recalled.
“Working in our family backyard and garage, I put in a three-quarter-race Waggot camshaft and a pair of one-and-a-quarter SU carbies
“I fitted front telescopic shock absorbers; a set of Pirelli Cinturatos and a MK1 Sprite muffler, with highly polished copper two-inch tailpipe.
“Of course, I shortened the gear stick for slicker shifting.”
“I had three Ford Customlines over the years – a ’54 side valve, ’56 OHV and a ’57 that was my absolute favourite,” said Gibbo.
“I bought it from Leo Geoghegan, with a factory-fitted tacho.
“It also had dual Jack Meyers headers and Len Lukey mufflers.
“The velvet tone from the dual chrome tipped exhaust pipes would make an angel cry,” Jim Gibson reckoned.
This Ford Capri was a great little package, with dual exhaust system and flexible three-litre V6 engine.
“My 1970 Ford Falcon GT-HO was a cracker – what more can I say?” Jim Gibson recalled fondly.
“With my future wife in the passenger’s seat we cracked 140mph on the Hay Plains – thus emulating the photo that Wheels Magazine had taken in a ’71 Phase-III (to the government of the day’s disgust).”
“My 1967 blue Ford Mustang was another gem, with its 289cid V8,” Gibbo recalled.
“And here it is, at the dam carpark off Picton Road (south-west of Sydney), in response to an advertisement placed in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1982.
“The advert invited Mustang owners, who might be interested in starting a Mustang Club, meet up the following Sunday at 10am on the following Sunday.
“Eight cars turned up and that was the beginning of quite a movement.”
Gibbo’s ultra-rare, VW-based Puma is the the subject of a lengthy story. Check out the history and background of this Brazilian gem.
“I bought this 1985 VW Scirocco from a VW mechanic, who had chipped the computer,” said Jim Gibson.
“It performed and handled like a sports car and certainly looked the part, with a wheel-arch flare kit added and beautiful wide ATS wheels.”
“My Jaguar MKII was a 3.8-litre model with manual overdrive box – a true driver’s car, whose looks turned heads wherever it went.”
“Ah yes, the Jaguar XJS, with a smooth V12 up front that let it cruise effortlessly was without a doubt the most beautiful car I have ever driven,” said Gibbo.
“Jaguar’s motto was ‘Grace, Pace and Space’ and this car certainly had the first two, in spades, but definitely not the third!”
“Our MG TD was a 1951-year model,” said Gibbo.
“I reconditioned the engine and changed the crown-wheel and pinon, to lower engine revs at 100 km/h cruising speed.
“We both loved open top motoring.”
“The most recent purchase was this Mini CooperS,” said Jim Gibson.
“It’s a turbocharged pocket-rocket from BMW and is a great little car to drive.
“It came with all the bells and whistles, including a slick six-speed transmission.”
Historic Vehicles isn’t sure what the next Gibbo purchase will be, but he and Gill seemed to be missing ‘open-top’ motoring, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Whiting’s lesser stable
Allan Whiting couldn’t match Jim Gibson’s car-ownership list, but did point out that, from the mid-1980s until now, he’s been lucky enough to test virtually every 4WD new model to enter Australia. That meant he nearly always had an additional vehicle in the garage. Also he was into motorbikes, so there was always one of them in the stable.
Here’s a list of the cars he’s actually owned:
MG TC, 1949; Renault R8, 1962; Ford Cortina GT 500, 1965; Prince Skyline GT, 1968; VW Beetle, 1963; Alfa Romeo Berlina 1750, 1970; BMW 318i, 1975; Toyota HiLux 4WD SR5, 1980; Nissan Patrol, 1985; Subaru Outback, 1995; Toyota HiLux Extra Cab, 1998; Land Rover Discovery 3, 2006 and Toyota LandCruiser 75 Series stretched tray back, 1993.
Of that lot, here are Whiting’s favourites (if not the actual vehicle photos):
Same colour scheme as Whiting’s TC
“The MG TC didn’t go, handle or stop, but it was simple and easy to work on,” Allan Whiting remembered.
“I actually had two of them and started to build a hillclimb special on the spare one, with a full-house MGA race engine and braced chassis, but gave up on the project when girls and sailing skiffs entered my life.”
A GT500 at the 2023 Berri NSW event
“The Cortina GT500 was Ford’s answer to the Mini dominance at Bathurst,” Allan Whiting said.
“Harry Firth – the ‘Grey Fox’ – designed the thing around the two-door GT, but with an extra fuel tank, brake cooling scoops and a taller diff ratio.
“It worked and I imagined Become Australian Rally Champ just by owning one, but that didn’t work,” Whiting said, ruefully.
Allan’s Berlina looked just like this one
“Everyone should own at least one Alfa,” Allan Whiting said.
“My Berlina was beautiful when it was running well and the sound of those two DCOE Webers sucking in air was something else.
“However, it did teach me something about wet-liner engines.
“The Beemer was also a delight to drive, but its mechanical fuel injection was an absolute pain.”
“The now 30-year-old LandCruiser 75 Series may seem like a backward step, but, in pursuit of stories for the outbacktravelaustralia.com.au website, we get into really remote places at times and it’s reassuring to know there are no engine and chassis electronics to go wrong, “ said Allan Whiting.