William gets his groovy machine back

William Hall with his V8-powered 1970 XW Ford Falcon.

EVERYONE makes mistakes that they regret, and for Tumut’s William Hall, it was swapping his V8 XW GT-style Ford Falcon for his Dad’s six-cylinder XE Falcon.

Fortunately, he has reversed this mistake by buying an almost identical XW. William had been wanting another XW for many years, and found one on the internet in Melbourne. He took a gamble and bought it, and had it trucked up to Gundagai where he picked it up.

It was tragedy that spurred him on to regain his dream car.

“I got ill during our Christmas holiday at Murramarang (on the NSW South Coast) last year, and in May, I was diagnosed with stage four terminal lung cancer,” he said.

“I knew there was no use putting it off.” He gained an early appreciation for muscle cars growing up in Batlow.

“My Dad owned 1965 and 1967 Chevs, and I always wanted a Falcon when I was at school,” he said.

When William and wife Vanessa started going out together, he drove and XA Falcon.

“I hated it; the look and the sound of it,” she said. “I liked it,” William said. William’s first GT-style XW, a white number with black GT stripes and a 289 Windsor V8 engine, served as their wedding car. When William picked up his current silver XW, it was just as he had hoped – almost.

“They said it had a Cleveland engine, but it has a Windsor engine,” he said.

Nevertheless, the Windsor engine, a 289 cubic-inch V8 from a 1966 Ford Mustang, propels the car along nicely, if not smoothly. “It’s got a racing camshaft, so it is good if you are doing 60 or 70 miles an hour but it is hard to cruise, so I am going to change it.”

The car is a popular machine, and family friends request to be taken for drives in it.

“People book themselves in and I go and pick them up,” William said. “They get a thrill out of it and I do too.”

The car has a few oil leaks, and William has replaced the red-wall tyres he bought it with, but other than that, it is sound.

“The steering is light and easy,” William said. The three-on-the-floor automatic gearbox poses few challenges and the brakes and suspension are good.

William’s 16-year-old son Bryce is working on a muscle car dream of his own.

“He’s doing up a 1970 HG Holden he got off his grandfather in the shed,” he said.