Paddock Pepper - the XB GT with a new lease on life
Q. When is a barn find not a barn find?
A. When it's a paddock find.
Much publicity has centred around the Survivor Car magazine XA GT which had been parked in a shed for many years before being eventually extricated and brought out to once again see sunlight. Well, there's a similar story about a Western Australian car that was unfortunate enough to be parked out in the elements for many years in a paddock on a farm in the state's south-west. Then in 2004 it was stripped of parts to save a Ford hardtop, so continued to sit for several more years, exposed to the elements.
A genuine March 1974 Red Pepper Falcon XB GT sedan, its luck finally turned when it was eventually rescued by someone who restores cars for a living. Taken from the elements and placed in a shed, the full extent of the damage caused by years of exposure soon became plain to see.
Stripping the car out, Lady Luck again shone through when the original factory build sheet was found, showing its specification as it was when it left Broadmeadows in 1974.
Stripped down and ready to start
Work began slowly as it had to fit in between paying jobs, but progress was made and rust repairs were tackled. This time was also used to source missing parts required for the build, such as a pair of rear brake callipers to suit a '74 nine inch rear end and a GT tail shaft to suit a top loader gearbox. The new owner was pleasantly surprised though when he rummaged around the workshop to find he already had many of the parts required, some N.O.S. ones among them, to pretty much complete the rebuild.
Metal repairs underway
The right front plenum and pillar turned out to be pretty ugly, requiring lots of work. Two old bonnets were required to make one good one, but hey, why do things the easy way, right?
A trip to the big smoke resulted in being able to find the car's original JG33 engine block and two of the factory fitted option 52 rims. Also getting the full ACCHS report on the car was the icing on the cake. It revealed that this GT left the factory with options 03 - seatbelts (mandatory); 06 - power steering; 11- laminated Tintband windscreen and; 52 - Sports road wheels 2 piece. It was sold new by Lynas Motors, Perth.
The original matching #s JG33 engine block to be reunited with the car
Two of the car’s original Option 52 rims
Cheap labour employed to get the job done
The new owner, already knowing some of the car’s history, was able to track down these old photos of the car back in the day.
So that’s where it’s at right now, still lots of work to do but continuing to be done as able. A slow road to being back on the road, but boy, it sure will be worth it. We’ll keep you updated on its progress as it happens.