ON THE ROAD

ED:

James Baylis

Please keep up the good work! It’s great to see how many cars from pre-2000 that are still on the road, and the people who are trying to keep them there. To them I say it is worth the patience, blood, sweat, tears, late nights, lack of sleep and frayed relationships.

I won’t go into my whole life story, but a trip to hospital, along with nine weeks work for recovery, gives you time to on things past, things you should’ve and things you say you’ll get to but do. All I’ll say is thanks to its quality magazine helped me through some challenging times. It’s great to just open one read the articles on people’s cars and and understand why they bought them the love and appreciation they have for no matter the brand.

About two years ago I was able to acquire Holden Commodore VN Calais V6, almost identical to that of Glenn Torrens. Okay it is only a V6, but almost everything works. Bought it from the second owner with less than 200k in the clock

With me sitting around, not being able to do much, and my 1971 HQ (first car) being way off anywhere near completion, I decided to get the Calais out and find out what was needed to get her on the road. I’ve been able to get her running with some minor work done, such as intake gasket, brakes and fuel system.

My HQ has been sitting idle for over 15 years, but now I’m almost back to full strength and have a different outlook on life. It’s next on the list. I’m hoping to have her sorted within the next two years. After that, who knows?

James Baylis

Email

ED: The VN is looking pretty sharp, James. Good luck with the HQ – keep us posted as we’d love to do a follow-up story.

SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY

I enjoyed Glen Torrens sentimental journey story in the November issue, marking the first anniversary of the end of local Holden production, on what was happening in the last days of Holden plant at Elizabeth.

I did my own journey on 20 October, 2017, to Fishermans Bend to farewell Holden production. It’s now an office and research centre and there was a good display.

There were lots of characters and cars, from SS Commodores to HK Monaros and wagons and it was good to talk to other owners. Still, it was sad to walk away and think it local production was at an end.

Ashley Spencer

Cheltenham Vic

MYSTERY WAGON 1

I have some information regarding Gareth’s email about the six-door XY wagon. It makes sense that he saw it in Hobart as I believe more than one was built when the XYs were new. And for what purpose I hear you ask? For ferrying passengers to and from their aircraft at Hobart airport. I don’t remember which airline it was, however I vaguely recollect they weren’t built by Ford, but a Melbourne coach builder and had a 302 V8. Hopefully someone else has more information than me.

John Barker

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MYSTERY WAGON 2

In reference to the six-door Falcon, we built two at W D Hadley at Smithfield, NSW, in 1970-71. They were built to transport customers to the snow fields. Both were white with red trim. This car appears to be one of them.

Ron Dalton

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HOME BREW WAYFARER

Regarding the home-brewed V8 AP6 Chrysler Wayfarer special in the Uteopia issue (421): reading through it, I remembered that the front K frame (as Chrysler termed their front subframes) for the V8 was different to the front K frame for a six.

No idea if that info would have helped as Ron sourced his engine from a different model. The other thing is that Castlemaine Rod Shop sells engine mount adapters for the six cylinder K frame.

So a big ‘if’ here: if he had an AP6 V8 parts car, then he probably wouldn’t have had the same fitting niggles. I do realise though that such spares cars are getting harder and harder to come by as the cars of my youth become collectibles.

The 318, 340 and 360 LA block engines share the same block as the 273, so they could fit in there too.

Email

Alan Salt

“THERE WERE NO FEATURES ON FARM MACHINERY, 4WDS, BOATS OR AEROPLANES”

HAPPY – SORT OF

G’day from WA. I am very impressed & offer my congratulations on the latest Unique Cars. There were no discussions on what motor went into what 1960s Holden and there were no features on farm machinery, 4WDs, boats, army vehicles, go-karts, buses, trucks or aeroplanes... just unique cars!

I sincerely hope this trend continues.

Phil Bradshaw

Warnbro, WA

ED: Glad you liked it, Phil, but it’s probably best you duck Morley’s soapbox this issue.

LETTER FROM DYSTOPIA

Not that I want to encourage bad habits, in this PC dystopia we call Australia. But this is the country that used to measure distance by how much beer one could consume on the way. For those too young to remember the halcyon daze, a 100 mile trip equalled a Carton in a car, or a six-pack in a Cessna!

Some of the most skilled drivers I’ve ever known did so, while being three sheets to the wind.

The best I ever met, hands down, was a one-eyed Buffalo catcher in the NT, who could thrash his stripped-down Landcruiser between trees, with inches to spare, at well over 100km/h, despite his lack of depth perception. And he’d do this while swigging OP rum direct from the bottle. In fact the only time he couldn’t drive was first thing in the morning when it would take an entire flask of OP to quell his shakes.

Definitely not a lifestyle I’d recommend, or like to emulate and I’m sure he died long ago of liver failure. But boy that man could drive!

Gary G Smith

Ravenshoe

ED: Given the booze consumption, I’m a little surprised anyone remembers the halcyon days.