Editorís letter

BET IíM NOT THE ONLY PERSON STRUGGLING WITH THIS DILEMMA RIGHT NOW. DO I BUY A NEW CAR OR NOT? SHOULD IT BE A FORD OR A HOLDENÖ FALCON OR COMMODOREÖ SEDAN, WAGON OR UTE? I CANíT EVEN DECIDE WHICH ENGINE: TURBO SIX OR V8?

GLENN BUTLER

Time is ticking. The End of Days for Aussie metal is coming. Buy quickly or regret at leisure, and foreverÖ But which one? Not an easy decision for a bloke whoís both Blue and Red.

When I really started thinking about this a couple of months back, I knew just one thing Ė it wonít be a Ford Territory. With vast apologies to Geoff Polites, Russell Christophers, Trevor Worthington and the hundreds of other hugely talented Ford people behind this brilliant vehicle, I donít want an SUV.

It wonít be an HSV GTS sedan, either, even though itís Australiaís speed king; Bauer doesnít pay me well enough. Nor any other HSV, though our Clubbie Sportwagon long-termer is tempting. So, Ford Falcon or Holden Commodore?

Do I go sports luxury with a Falcon G6E Turbo?

Itís one seriously quick and effortless cruiser thanks to that sledgehammer six-cylinder Ė a grandfatherís axe first cast in the late-1950s.

Refined, room for four adults, big boot and five seconds to 100km/h for $47K.

Its Calais V cross-town rival asks $7K more for the 6.2-litre V8, which delivers similar performance and a sportier drive. But then if Iím splurging that kind of cash on what is such a discretionary purchase, Iíd of cash on what is such a discretionary purchase, Iíd go sportier again and consider the SS V Redline.

That brings into consideration the supercharged XR8, which has more power and torque than its naturally aspirated rival. Such a shame it canít translate that advantage into real-world supremacy, not even with the XR8 Sprintís wider, stickier hoops (before Ford fans roast me, read our epic Road & Track battle starting on page 62).

I could fit aftermarket rubber to address part of the issue (the rear suspension simply isnít as competent), but that way leads to madness; first the tyres, then shocks and springs, then bigger brakes, maybe a little extra boostÖ Unfortunately for Ford, I donít like the driving position. The driverís seat sits too high, a cardinal sin in my book. I could investigate having it lowered, or replaced with a slimmer base, but then itís no longer authentic. And if I swing over to Holdenís camp I donít need to; the Lionís command centre is spot-on.

That little mental journey, captured in just 400 words, comes after two months of pondering.

Sure, I could have got there in an hour, but my mind doesnít work in black and white. With every negative comes the question: How much of an issue is it, really? Couldnít I live with it? The Fordís toohigh driverís seat is a good example.

I donít want a sedan or wagon. Itís a ute for me, Australiaís two-door sports car. Plus, it suits me Ė no kids, one dog, a love of the outdoors, and going fast. So it has to be a Ford, right? As we all know, the Blue Oval invented the ute in Australia back in the í30s. An XR6T with the most Australian performance engine ever. Less than $40K, tooÖ So how bad is that driving position, really? And will I regret not plumping for a V8 soundtrack?

If Iím honest, I may not buy anything. And that may be the biggest regret of all.

Iíve had two months of pondering, but my mind doesnít work in black and white

Your favourite child

Imagine youíre the person charged with deciding the historic last car to come off Fordís Broadmeadows or Holdenís Elizabeth production lines. Which model, bodystyle and spec do you choose?

Holdenís decision is easier, but not easy. Possibly the ute, with an Australian-made 3.6-litre V6, even though the SS V Redline sedan is the brandís fl agship.

Does Ford pay homage to the ute, or the Territory, or go with Ponchís pick for the sweetest Falcon ever, the XR6 sedan? Or its fl agship performance sedan? Glad I donít have to decideÖ