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TIDY ITALIAN IS A FAMILY PROJECT
They are one of the worldís most beautiful cars. I wanted one when I was about 18 or 19, so I bought one about 10 years ago and we restored it. I thought it would be a good thing for the young bloke to earn his chops on and learn a little about car restoration.
He had his input and said he wanted certain things. It was done in stages. Iím only the third owner of the car and the body was done by the one before us.
We have the original delivery dockets from when it came to Australia. It was brought in in 1974 and sold out of Brisbane
My son and I did suspension, brakes, bushes, bearings - all the running gear - and then we rebuilt the diff.
We rebuilt the motor and kept it largely standard, though we did go for an upgrade with the cams. We also went for the 124BC twin 40mm Weber carb set-up, to give it a bit more zip while still keeping it close to factory.
Itís running a five-speed transmission and disc brakes - so fairly advanced for 1974.
Driving it is good. Itís tight and European in its feel, though it can be a little temperamental. Believe it or not, it often gets more looks than a friend of mine does with his Ferrari when we go out together.
A lot of people can relate to these because back in the 70s they wanted to buy one and they were relatively affordable.
(We caught up with Michael at the Shannons Sydney Classic. See our galleries at tradeuniquecars.com.au)
WORKHORSE FORD WAS A BIG RESTO JOB
WORDS & PHOTOS JIMMY HODGES WITH GUY ALLEN
They made just 432 of these and thatís one of 16 that colour and one of 25 with the factory winch. Itís also running the rare PTO, connected off the back of the gearbox. Itís running a 250ci six, which is one of the few familiar Ford mechanical components in the driveline.
I never actually targeted this one, but came across it when went to buy another car. This was sitting in the long grass outside the house, and the guy that owned it said itís going. I bought it for $1250 and left it under a tree at home until I could figure out what to do with it.
This was a really big job to fix up, which I finished in 2010, but it took a long time to complete.
Whatís it like to drive? Terrible! Theyíre not really designed as a road car. Anything like a tight roundabout you have to line it up and swing in wide to tackle it. Itís running a three-speed manual and has a top speed of 100km/h, but theyíre not happy at that speed. Theyíre really a work machine.