Found the Uteopia segment (issue 421), as always, very entertaining and interesting, particularly the segment by Rob Blackbourn with respect to the Mk 2 Zephyr Ute.
It revived memories of another life, when our family owned and lived on a farm, and our Zephyr ute performed service for several years, serving as safe reliable family transport, with parents, sister and myself, all comfortably accommodated in the roomy cabin on the bench seat. It also transported supplies needed to support the family farm business, bales of wool to the rail, fencing materials, stockfeed, groceries ecetera.
A true dual purpose vehicle.
The arrival of a brand new family member coincided with the acquisition of a new XK Falcon sedan, the model with the front suspension upgrade
Several years later, an XW ute joined the fleet, 188ci engine, three-speed column shift. It continued the tradition of the Zephyr. Safe, reliable and economical, transport to suit the rural environment for which it was purchased.
An XC one tonne, with 250ci engine, three-speed column shift, with the outback pack option continued as an evolution of the Zephyr, plenty of power and much better ride. However the XC was fitted with an aftermarket under-dash air-conditioner, located directly under the glovebox. Anyone seated on the passenger side, especially ladies wearing short skirts, would always comment on the efficiency of that unit.
I would have to agree with Editor Allen, the XA – XC utes had the roomiest and most comfortable cabin of all the Falcon utes, and also the most visually appealing. Images of an XB with bonnet scoops, fat wheels and tyres, blacked out grille and bonnet spring to mind.
Lifestyle changes away from the rural environment resulted in the purchase of an XE S pack, 4.1 engine, four-speed floor shift and factory air-conditioning. (no more frozen passenger knees). It had plenty of power, great handling, and was much improved in the comfort stakes.
Not a lot in common with the Zephyr, but still continues the original concept of comfortable, sedan quality driver/ passenger accommodation with the ability to carry a substantial load in the tray area.
My current ute, purchased in 1997, is an XG S-pack, 4.0 litre engine, factory auto, factory air-conditioning, power steering, and has become somewhat of a family heirloom.
Not a chrome bumper classic, however, perhaps a more modern version of a future classic?
The ability of this ute to consume miles at a rapid rate in Fairmont-like comfort never ceases to amaze.
It’s a continuation of the original Zephyr concept, however much more refined in every aspect.
Even she who must be obeyed likes this ute for it’s large “boot” which is more than capable of carrying all of her “treasures”.
Cheers and thanks for a great magazine.
Mac Carter Townsville
ED: Glad you enjoy the mag and the Uteopia feature Mac. Thanks for sharing your ute history with us.
Just came across your article regarding the XY six-door wagon.
My father was a Ford man until he bought a base model XA wagon to replace his XY wagon (big mistake). Anyway at that time he dealt with Southern Motors in Hobart.
I was only eight or nine at the time. Their used car lot, or the one across the road, had a six-door wagon for sale.
It was definitely white in colour however memory suggests it had a red interior and was an XW not XY.
Have never seen one since. Thought you might like the challenge to confirm its existence.
Gareth Peters Email
ED: Righto – can any of our sharp-eyed readers shed light on this?
Dear Guido, what’s a yellow Veedub doing in a garden? Well, a bit of a story here but worth persevering with.
My wife and I recently found ourselves in the South Korean coastal city of Suncheon Bay. Suncheon, like so many cities in South Korea, being predominantly highrise apartment towers, was expanding rapidly but was also a place with extensive coastal wetlands where wading birds rested while migrating between Siberia and Australia.
To protect the wetlands it was decided to create a garden buffer zone which has since become one of Korea’s big tourist attractions. Still with me?
One of the features of the 1200 hectare gardens is a series of smaller gardens representing about 13 different countries. One of these is a German garden and the German who designed it, and moved to Suncheon to oversee its development, imported two VWs, presumably as a link to home.
Well a few years ago he died and his widow offered his two bugs to be placed there as a memorial to him, an offer which was obviously accepted because they are mounted on garage stands and, to be honest, look a bit whimsical.
They look very well caredfor though it’s hard to tell what the interiors are like because of the tinted windows. The yellow is a 1300.
That’s me standing by the red one. Interestingly the South Koreans appear to have an aversion to coloured cars – they are rare as hen’s teeth. And, while I saw heaps of modern Minis among the grey, black and white Hyundai’s, Kias and Mercs, I only saw one of the recent Veedubs.
Richard Creswick, Virginia, NT
ED: So, Richard, which one did you souvenir?
I see in your Mustang review that you mention that one was used in the 60s Australian TV series Hunter, which you describe as a spy spoof. Well I’m sorry to inform you that although it looks like a spoof to modern eyes, at the time it was a deadly serious attempt to cash in on the global obsession with spy stories, started by Ian Fleming’s James Bond, which also looks very spoofy these days.
The only notable legacy from Hunter was it introduced us to Gerard Kennedy, who played the evil Krag. I kid you not!
Gary G Smith Ravenshoe, Qld
Rob Blackbourn’s article What the Diff, issue 421 reminded me of the time in the late 60s, early 70s when I owned an EH wagon, slightly modified. Several mates and I headed to the Gold Coast for the weekend.
Spread between two cars, we were driving around the beaches of Southport/Surfers Paradise when a change of direction was called for. So I did a U-turn getting the passenger side wheels onto the grassy footpath. As I was getting the large rear tyre off the edge of the gutter I gave it a bit of wellie and as the tyre contacted the bitumen there was this loud bang and then, no drive.
As this wasn’t the first time I had this happen, I quickly diagnosed a broken diff centre. For some reason we had enough tools between us to change the diff centre on the footpath. My mate in the second car went to the wreckers and bought a replacement. It took about an hour and a half to get the job done and we were on our way again.
No-one from any of the houses asked what was happening.
By the way, the street where we changed the diff on was Hedges Avenue, now some of the most expensive real estate on the Gold Coast.
Neil Englund Karalee Qld