Me & My Car: Cornflower power
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What are you driving?
I am the proud owner of a 1956 Ford Pickup truck. Originally from America, so left-hand drive, it was imported into the country years ago by a car enthusiast, well-known by many, Dave Loose. My husband knew Dave well; they were both foundation members of the American Muscle car club.
Why this vehicle?
I had seen Dave’s truck a few times at Meremere dragway. Each time I would rave to him how much I loved his truck. When he needed to sell it, he approached us and the deal was done. Dave was a panelbeater and had used the truck as a shop vehicle.
For at least 10 years of my owning it, people would still say “Is that Dave’s truck?”. Finally, after ownership for 20 years, it’s no longer mentioned. Originally it was a very pale yellow and we decided to restore it. I had always wanted a red Pickup but we found a beautiful cornflower yellow.
Tony Gordon in Whangarei did the paint job and for many years it was the only yellow around. It required too much panel work for Bill (my husband) so he had Bryce Hilton and Graham at Creative Autobody do some work. Bernie Beckett did the upholstery. Our dear friend Terry Randell, with some help from Bill, made a lid for the tray.
Auto or manual?
The truck is an auto but does not have an original Ford motor. It is called a hybrid as the motor is a 94 Camaro, with HK Holden front. It’s a V8 and I love the noise when I start her up. I used it as a daily driver for years but find now with parking spaces made for small Japanese cars, it’s harder to fit into some parks.
Do people comment on it?
When my daughter went to Coatesville School, I always drove her in it. I often did parent help and was amazed to find pictures of my truck in many classrooms. Teachers told me the boys would love to draw pictures of it. Often when out shopping, older people stop me to chat about my truck. Bill gave me Her56 plates. If he drives it, I am amused when people ask if it’s HIS truck.
What do you always have in your Pickup?
My golf clubs in the back, along with shopping bags and a petrol can as the petrol gauge is dodgy.
A Standard 10. Solid as a rock. My first home had a metal driveway and I used the car as a steam roller, by driving up and down many times to pack down the new metal.
Who piqued your interest in cars?
Bill introduced me to the car world 30 years ago. I had previously identified cars only by colour. Our 17-year-old Daisy is now besotted with cars also, and Bill has built her a 67 Camaro. When I first met Bill, I was fascinated that someone could own more than one car.
Who taught you to drive?
My darling, patient, tolerant Dad when I was 15. Every girl needs a dad like I had to teach them to drive. The young ones now are intolerant of others on the road. They need be alert, considerate and stop showing off. But, as my husband is still a hoon on the road, I have to grin and bear it.
Most memorable road trip?
My husband had just landed in NZ a 67 Corvette Tri-Power that we had waited three years to find. Goodwood green. We decided to attend the national Corvette convention at Greymouth. As the car had side pipes, the noise inside the car was excessive. We gave up conversing by the time we got to the Penrose turnoff from the North Shore. But the acceleration and cornering were outstanding. The scenery out the window was also exquisite.
Favourite racing driver?
Scott Dixon. We went to the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500. Scott had such a good season we wanted to be proud Kiwis at such a mammoth event. It met all expectations, apart from him coming third.
How do you feel about technology and cars?
I could not imagine myself in an E car. I love the roar of a V8 so will be in the minority in the future. The thought of driverless cars fills me with horror. I am an old dinosaur, so hate technology with a passion.