MORLEY’S SOAPBOX

A couple of issues back, I had a letter from Ian Hendry lending weight to the theory that car-making was a less precise art-form than it is these days. Seems Ian had scored himself a Ford GT many years ago and then started to chase its history. Turns out what should have been a Starlight Blue car – according to the ID plate – was really a Diamond White GT. And after scratching around underneath and consulting a few experts, Ian discovered that despite what the ID plate said, that car had always been white.

Which made me wonder if the car had ever been rebodied or if he thought the discrepancy was an admin stuff-up at Broadmeadows back in the day. So I asked that very question. My second question was equally obvious: What colour did he decide on when the car was restored and repainted? Here’s Ian’s answer to that lot.

“I had the car in question painted (Starlight) blue. For the same reasons you raised, people claimed the car had been rebodied or stolen and repainted. But I’ve had the car verified by various GT Falcon experts (including specialist panel-beaters) and all the numbers on the radiator support panel, body numbers and engine numbers all matched. We even checked the numbers stamped on the bolts holding on the front guards. Apparently, these bolts on each series of GT have a unique number.

The car’s identity is further confirmed by things like the bonnet with the factorystamped hole for the bonnet scoop but no holes for the deleted bonnet pins (as per the build sheet). Try to find one of those.

“I would have loved to have kept the car white as something unique, but took the coward’s way out.”

Ah, Ian, I don’t think you took the coward’s way out of this. But I hear what you’re saying: Should a car that has always been white be repainted white in the interests of originality, or should it be painted the colour on the ID plate to remove any doubt of its provenance? I would have tormented myself for months over the same decision. And I reckon you’re right about the bonnet: Who would have bothered to chase a bonnet-pindelete GT bonnet to build a GT clone that matched the factory ID and then paint the whole car the `wrong’ colour?