Sunday 17 April 2011

The Narooma Blues

Narooma is a sleepy seaside town in southern NSW. They have an oyster festival, a historic village and a very picturesque national park. The deep, cold water there lent its name to a Ford paint colour, Narooma Blue. Daniel and I met when I tried to sell him an old Suzuki roadbike, painted that very colour. He wanted it to match his XR8. I painted it to match my truck. When we say we've got the blues - we're not joking. 

We've photographed and written plenty about other people's cars. Here's something about what drives us.
As my mates have been telling me for years, there's something seriously wrong with my taste in cars. While other people drool over Aston Martins or Falcon GTs, I've been lusting after unloved models of Fairlane, 4 door HQ's and pickup trucks. My true love for nearly 10 years was a 1977 ZH Fairlane, Sherwood Green with a cream vinyl top. I poured money in to this thing and drove the wheels off it.

All of a sudden one night, bathed in the glow of the RACQ truck's flashing yellow light, I realised that love had died. A beautiful but dangerous and unreliable sedan was no longer the answer to all of life's automotive questions.

So I swapped it for a big, blue F100. It's not beautiful and the only danger now comes from my driving, not the car's overwhelming need to swap ends and catch fire all at the same time. It's done hundreds of thousands of hard k's now, everywhere from paddocks to highways to drag strips. It's not true love, but it's home every night in time for dinner. Which is the next best thing.


So give or take twenty five years after Nick's truck first saw the light of day, here is my Falcon XR8. This is my first V8 and my first semi quick car. After owning various six cylinder mid nineties Falcons, with the odd Escort thrown in here and there, I figured it was time to enter the mystical world of V8 ownership. My interest in the good old bent eight began with my Dad's sky blue 253 Kingswood wagon. With it's wind down tailgate window and thong slapping exhaust note, I was hooked. 

Whilst I'm sure six cylinder cars with loud exhaust's have their merits in some cultures, with me, nothing beats the sound a a lazy V8. They usually sound best with the drivers window wound down whilst going for a good long drive on one of the many back roads in and around south east Queensland, not to mention anywhere else you care to venture.

This particular Falcon is fitted with a full exhaust system, which means it sounds much faster than it really is, but I'm okay with that. A few choice suspension and gearbox modifications here and there have transformed it into a great cruiser that is more than happy to eat up as many kilometers as I care to throw at it. Whilst it only ever sees a few thousand clicks a year, the times it does see the blacktop are some of the hardest driven miles a car would see this side of Targa Tasmania.


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