Tuesday, 22 November 2011

This XY GT has history...
Rarely do you get a chance to see an 'original' car.

This girl had never been washed or cleaned.

These wheels were a poor excuse for a mag as they are 2 piece aluminium & steel & hard to balance.
They were not suitable for the outback, hence the extra weights.

It still has the original badge, even though faded.

As you can see the boot mat is in good condition, but not the spare

Originally fitted with a square base aerial & has been replaced with the outback flexible type aerial.

A view of the chair rails out of shape

Still the original tail pipe hanging

Left tail pipe tip missing but note the chrome tow bar.

Still the original mufflers & resonators which were saved & repaired.

Note the colour inside the exhaust pipe - evidence of a well
tuned motor running on super leaded petrol.
The petrol in the tank was 18 years old!
A well used cockpit!
Obviously the glove box was not dust proof.

What all cars need when something is not working - a piece of wood.
This wood was supporting the seat adjustor from falling down as
two out of three bolts were broken in the frame.

Outback trimming - black electrical tape

The 'in' thing at the time - a purple dash mat.

Manual radio not usually fitted in a GT falcon
 unless it's outback
A well detailed & cleaned engine bay!!!

Everything is original except for plugs, plug leads,
belts & hoses.

Typical of all welsh plugs but this one was above the starter.

The broken spring and saddle that the owner never knew about.
No wonder his wife had trouble steering.

These cars were made to go anywhere.
I do still drive it off road.

This is a special photo.
It was the first time was mobile in over 18 years.
Black shit and crap coming out of what was left of the original exhaust.
I have done the bare essential to put this GT on the road.
You can only have an original car once.

The Outback GT - a little of it's history, the rest you can imagine.

This is a car that still has its real history.

The XY GT is certainly in the history books as Australia’s most famous and recognised muscle car.

We usually see the mighty XY GT with gleaming paint, chrome bumpers, detailed engine bay, polished and perfect. No expense is spared to present the ‘perfect’ car. However, they were never perfect.

This XY GT has history …
Rarely do you get the chance to see an original car.
This engine has not been touched internally. The radiator has not been pulled apart or cleaned. It has the original clutch and rear brake linings.

GT’s were purchased new for many reasons. This one was ordered new on 12/70 by a shearer from the outback NSW.
His mates were all buying new cars (4X4) so he thought he would trade his XR GT on a new car too. He wasn’t into truck style vehicles as his mates were, so he went for the ultimate and traded on a new XY GT.

The specs of this car are:
  • bronze wine so it would not show the red dirt
  • black trim because that was what a GT ‘had to have’
  • manual transmission
  • radio - manual due to the lack of available stations in the area
  • big tank fitted because of the isolated area where it was mainly driven
  • factory air conditioner for the warm climate
  • sports option wheels to make it really stand out not common five slots
  • front spoiler was never fitted, as it would have been a waste of time in the outback
  • chrome option tow bar fitted to drag the cattle to sales in class. You can imagine what stock would have been thinking. This is what you call full on.

Once he took delivery of the car he was a very happy man. It went everywhere his mates would go with their 4X4’s but … faster!!!!!!!!

After many years as an outback hack it was put into a shed as his wife was having trouble steering and parking when going shopping. So he bought her a new car and parked the GT in the shed, and that’s where it sat for 18 years before I bought it in 2005.

Here was my challenge:-
  • Along with the standard factory extras this GT had a few unique extras. These included a million redback spiders, rats’ nests and bird skeletons jammed into the support panel and two buckets of red dust that I removed from the boot and in the panels.
  • The car had 4 flat perished tyres
  • It had chook shit and rat shit on and in the engine bay
  • The engine had a leaky welsh plug that resulted in water dripping onto the starter motor causing it to seize
  • The car even had leaded petrol in the tank
  • It didn’t run, I was told it had a seized motor

I didn’t care I just wanted to bring this Old Girl back to life.

Unbelievably, with a change of starter the Old Girl fired up.
After 18 years it was running again but it was a long way from being reliable.

The next step was to make it roadworthy without destroying the integrity of the car.
I had to replace
  • tyres
  • all welsh plugs
  •  tyre rod end
  • engine pipes, tail pipes & made new chrome tips to the exact size out of unpolished stainless steel
  • front pads
  • sway bar bushes
  • seat base frame (see story below)
  • left front coil as it was in 2 pieces - No wonder she had trouble steering!!

After much effort the car was re-registered on 21/4/2006.

The Exterior
Everything is complete and original under the bonnet, except for leads and plugs, hoses and belts.

The engine bay has never been washed or cleaned with anything. So you can imagine given it’s history, it has a red oily dirty protection covering over everything, which is so deep you can’t see the valley vaults.

The body surprisingly has only surface rust from hard use.  However if you look underneath the car, the damage has been severe. It has the biggest dint in the sump you could ever see!
One must remember this car came from the outback. It also has a lot of dints across the top of the windscreen as the roof was used as a grandstand at footy matches and rodeos.

It has original paint except for the boot lid and top left guard and half of bonnet. This was damaged and repaired by the dealer before being sold new.

The grill inserts are smashed to bits but were saved and thrown into the boot for safe keeping, along with driving light lenses, interior courtesy lenses and many other things.

The Interior
When I loaded it onto the trailer to bring it home I needed to move the seat forward. It collapsed with the change of position after all these years. The seat was broken completely in the base frame and was supported underneath the adjustor with a broken branch. What else would you use in the outback?

I had a seat base and frame and put the original trim onto the new frame. The trimmer thought I was mad but respected my request as he destroyed a perfect base to do it.

The rear seat has the normal sun damage of a car used, naturally repaired in the bush with black electrical tape to match the trim.

The crash pad had one of those mohair type covers on it, but no velcrose in those days just drawing pins. This cover must have been bought later, as the crash pad looks like it has been in a war zone.

The dash speaker, what was left of it, was filled level with red dust and still working in a fashion.

The ashtray was chockers  - you could not fit another match head in.

The boot mat is mint although it has red dirt discolouration engrained into it. It has never been lifted to get to the spare.

I have the books, original air conditioner tag which was hung on the controls for advertising.
I also have the original keys and spare keys, which were unused in perfect condition.
In the boot is a bald grand rally orange wall spare tyre. It also had the complete jack bag and all the necessary V belts including the air conditioner with purchase dates 1985 written on them.

The car even had leaded petrol in the tank.
After a short time of running the motor, the evidence was there that the motor was running perfectly tuned. The exhaust was grey.

This car has been well used in the outback where most people had 4X4’s.
The owner was a petrol head and went everywhere his mates went but faster.
It was never serviced or cleaned regularly. It had only 2 services in its service book history and nothing was replaced unless it broke down.
It was just driven hard

What would you do on a Saturday night after a good day in the outback ?
Go for a burn in a GT. The nearest town from home was 50 miles (80kms) each way and it was done in one hour or less, on a mostly dirt road with your mates and travellers in the back.

I have done the bare essentials to put this GT on the road and that’s how it is staying, as you can only have an original car once. You can restore them plenty of times.

This car is still made by Ford and tuned by Ford in 1971.

It will not be restored and is not for sale.
And I drive it weekly as a daily user & never get asked 'Is it a real GT?'.

Guest Appearances
 Sandown 2011
She always attracts a crowd & took off a trophy for the most original car on display.

Bairnsdale 2012
Sharing the day with another GT...

the well travelled XR
the Gallaher Van

Also check out another blog




  1. Great story,
    Good to see the Outback GT is still around and in good hands. I saw this car at the Ararat GT event a couple of years back - looks like it hasn't changed a bit.
    Would you be interested in giving the car a mention of justcars.com.au? Have a look at the site and add the info you've blogged about here. I'm sure it'd be appreciated by JUST CARS viewers.
    Same goes for the Gallaher wagon!

  2. I only can say, what the first commenter said: absolutely great story! Really enjoyed reading it and I would like to know more about the car. I work for Europe's best selling classic car magazine and we'd really like to feature this Falcon in one of our future issues. Would be great to hear from you.

    Matti Bohm


  3. Bloody Excellent! Doesn't get more Aussie than that.
    I don't know if I could stop myself if I owned it but, I would start cleaning and before I knew it, it would be stripped!

  4. Excellent Story a True outback Legend If She was mine I'd love Her back to New Cheers ....

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