AUTO & MOTO ARTISANS - AUSTRALIA
Dead Cool - XD Hearse
Hearses are a matter of personal taste...but what's not to like about a stylish two-door wagon with a V8?
This guy was picked up on the way back from an abortive trip to buy an old Ford F100. Felicitous event, or warning to all?
Either way, it's a handsome vehicle. Ford Australia's square-edged XD wasn't the most lovely Falcon ever made, but the defined lines had a certain gravitas in the top-of-the-range FC LTD iteration.
Born in September 1981 as a plain white XD Wagon, Spanmore Limousines in Queensland lopped off the 'extra' doors, stretched the wheelbase with a boxed chassis, added those gorgeous side windows, threw on an LTD front clip, then finished it all off with umbrella holders under swingaway lower panels, appropriate cargo bay rollers, curtains and trim, glossy black paint, a vinyl roof, and a skinny chrome flower rack.
Ideal transport for 'the loved one' in its day...and doubtless more to some of its occupants' tastes after a subsequent owner swapped the original straight six for a 302 Windsor V8 and added fat rubber on lowered springs.
Unregistered, sort of running, and definitely requiring work, the purchase justification was that it'd make a cool tow vehicle (long wheelbase, solid chassis and a V8 certainly fit the bill). But, as things turned out, the lovely longroof went to a new owner before that plan could be realised.
Was the 'impulse buy' a good thing or not? Well, old cars are a bit like real estate – they're not making any more, so values should (theoretically) keep climbing. The lesson here is that the more 'unique' the vehicle, the smaller the pool of potential buyers.
Fortunately the hearse found an appreciative and enthusiastic new owner....so there's no need to mourn the departed.
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