Friday, 30 November 2018

Caramello Koala: The chocolate ZJ Fairlane...

A full five metres of caramel-filled Australiana, on display at last weekend's South Coast Nationals in usually-sunny Moruya, NSW...

This fundraiser-Caramello dwarfing example seemingly standard apart from a set of Weld Draglites - I guess technically a sprinkle of home for this descendant of a classic Ford USA nameplate?

As by the time this particular brown Fairlane rolled off the line in Campbellfield, Victoria in ~1981, Ford Australia's long-term commandeering of the "Fairlane" name (as with the "Falcon" upon which it was based) had already well and truly been set in motion; the 1979-1982 'ZJ' model we've got here being the start of the third generation of Falcon-based Fairlanes to be produced by Ford Australia, the second generation of which to be predominantly Australian engineered/designed for at most a handful of Ford USA's RHD markets. Continued production and multiple more generations of each over the following decades only hammered the point home...

Drive-train choices were fitting for a model near the top of Ford Australia's lineup at the time: A 4.1litre (250ci) straight six - the larger of the basic Falcon's six cylinder mills - as well as 4.9litre (302ci) and 5.8litre (351ci) V8s, each mated to an automatic trans only..

"...near the top..." as although at $16,000+ the Fairlane was substantially costlier than the $9,000 needed to get into the most pedestrian Falcon sedan, Ford Australia's 'LTD' flagship (which shared the Fairlane's long-wheelbase body) cost well into the mid-20,000's... 

...and you didn't even get those ZJ-Fairlane-specific vertical bar tail-lamps?! Pah! 

Either way, there's legroom...

...and in this particular car? Eerily tidy leather. Either that's had bulletproof sheepskin seatcovers on it since day bloody one, or the current owner's starting a resto on the inside-out! It looks fantastic in here. 

Interestingly my brother had grabbed me this ZJ Fairlane owner's manual from an old book store not all that long ago; a lucky/relevant find when these Fairlanes aren't exactly all that thick on the ground these days..!

March 1981...

An introduction from Henry Ford's great grandson, who according to Wikipedia ran Sales and Marketing for Ford Australia at the tail-end of the 70s....

Advertising within the Owner's Manual and a surprising invitation to crack right on into the car yourself...

...Caramello Koala stains covered on page 39...

And off into the sunset it goes...

Done. Fun from when this country still made vehicles.


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