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Freed from its barn… by air


Freed from its barn… by air
A lovely story from Australia about the rediscovery of a Ford Falcon XA GT that was hidden in a barn for decades. 

With just 1,868 XA GTs made this car is quite rare. This one, a former demonstrator, was bought in 1972 by a man named Pat Pugliese, a motor mechanic at College Auto service station in South Yarra (Victoria) at the time. Pat ordered it with the optional left hand racing mirror, Superfringe radio, front spoiler and adjustable rear decklid spoiler. And when it arrived he added an alloy inlet manifold, a larger Holley carburettor, magnesium-alloy wheels and a rear stabiliser bar plus a set of air horns that played ‘La Cucaracha’.

Pat sold the car in 1984, with only some 28,000 miles on the clock to his mate Mick, a house painter and race-freak who collected fines for speeding! So much that he was forced to sell in 1987 to another mate: Neil. He didn’t drive the car much and put it in storage after two years or so. That’s where the car got its nickname ‘Mothball’ as it took only until this month to come out!

And that didn’t go all to easily, too. Trees had grown across the narrow pathway. But also: some 25 years ago Neil had an in-ground swimming pool installed in his backyard blocking access to the shed. And so, to get the mothballed Falson out, a crane was needed to lift it over the house! But after having informed the ‘Falcon XA GT Discussion Forum’ it is exactly what he decided to do! Neil, his son and a friend then went on a quest to find the original owner Pat. They eventually succeeded and so, 46 years after taking delivery and 31 years after seeing it for the last time, Pat was reunited with the car. Neil and his mate Dave now plan to restore the car. “The general plan is to revive ‘Mothball’ to retain the Survivor status, and keep her well maintained”, they told Car Guide. Find the full story here, news item here.

(Words editor, picture barnfinds.com)

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

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Safety fast - from the Nuffield files

Few marques with such a loyal following as MG. MG Car Clubs are everywhere around the globe, just like the cars themselves. This is a great video for all of these fans, produced by the Nuffield Organization itself back in 1948.

Things starts in Palm Beach, Florida, where MG TCs can be seen raced in anger. Some other interesting cars, too. XK120s and even a Fiat 1100 Mille Miglia. And what’s that car wearing start number 15 on 0:26 and skidding slightly later on 0:30? Over to Goldie Gardner in his MG land speed car (note the square steering wheel that’s taken off). He is seen here on the international kilometre record – which he took. We think at the Jabbeke motorway, but we’re not sure.

Next is the heart of MG: the factory in Abingdon, where the then- new TD-model is being assembled. Note the Riley RM models in the background – a bit of a surprise to see these being manufactured at the same plant. Then there’s Ian Appleyard on a record breaking trip to the French Alps in a TD taken straight from the production line. He’s followed driving straight through central London of 1948, on to the Dover ferry and on the continent right through Paris, and on through to the snow of Val d’Isere. We guess it took him some extra time to get there in order to get things on film. The voice over mentions that he went his way back to the UK in one day though…

(Words editor, video British Pathe)

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

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Imperial: Chryslers forgotten division

1956 Crown Imperial Limousine by Derham
For 1955 and 1956-onward Imperial was a seperate division at Chrysler Corporation. The Model 70 Crown Imperial was the top of the line on the extended wheelbase frame. Chrysler built their own '70s' in house.  It wasn't until 1957 that Crown were contracted out to Ghia.  

In 1955 Derham Custom Coachbuilders, Rosemont, Pennsylvania, USA, created three cars for President and Mrs. Dwight Eisenhower.  Two were personally titled to them  The third, a parade use car was titled to the White House. For the 1956 model year Derham Custom was contracted to build two extra formal bodies with closed quarter in the roof and full wool coachcloth rear compartments and power division glass seperating the black leather chauffeur compartment.  

The is the only one of the two cars known to survive... The color photos are recent. The black and white photo is from The Antique Auto Club of America archives showing the car when brand new.

(Words and pictures Wayne Graefen)
     

Monday, 19 February 2018

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Tough to crack car puzzle #177

Tough to crack car puzzle #177
Proportion-wise there is absolutely nothing wrong with this car. If we may ventilate our humble opinion here we would even want to say: this is a thing of utter beauty. Over to you to fill in all of the missing informations. Some hints: this car was commissioned for a well-known figure in racing circles in the 1950s and there were some well-known names involved in building it, too. Who were they? When did they do it? Where? Why? What did they base it on? Were there any sister cars? What happened to it afterwards? We can only tell it survives to this day and still attracts the crowds wherever it goes. We saw it with our own eyes some years ago and found it spectacular, too!

There you go. You know what we like to hear from you. Tell us in your best possible 100-words answer all that you know or can find about this spectacular car. Oh, and don’t worry when you forgot all about Valentine’s Day earlier this week. You have another chance to pleasantly surprise somebody today!

Saturday, 17 February 2018

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