Aidan Flett is loves his eye-catching Ford Fairmont XA – there’s a lot of blood, sweat and swearing gone into it, and it seems it’s a bit of a rarity.

Why this particular make & model? I just love the shape. I owned a 1974 XA back when I was 18, and I’ve always wanted another. It’s a true classic.

Was that your first car? No, my first car was a purple 1973 Mk I Ford Escort.

Tell us the history of the vehicle? I’m only the second owner. I bought it from a guy in Christchurch about 11 years ago. It had been sitting in a shed with fertiliser on it for 10 – 15 years!

So, it was a project. What was involved? It took me two-and-a-half years, and it’s had a complete rebuild from the ground up, right down to the nuts and bolts, and finished off with new upholstery.

What’s under the bonnet? An original 302.

How many horsepower? It’s been tickled LOL.

Any interesting stories along the way? Oh yeah, but none that I can really share (grins). There might have been a few burnouts (bigger grin).

What makes this vehicle so special? To me, you just don’t see too many XA’s around.

How often do you drive it? Not often enough. My girlfriend doesn’t like it (too loud).

Do you enter shows/competitions? I did enter one, when I first got it on the road.

Would you do it all again? I’d possibly do another rebuild, but not to the same extreme.

Would you sell it? NO.

What else is in the garage? A few things!



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Judy McAuliffe is a writer, and publisher Essence Mid Canterbury. Her experience in media is extensive and includes approximately 15 years as Creative Director for The Radio Network, writing, and managing the writing of radio advertising, mainly in Invercargill and Greymouth. In the late 1990’s she transferred to Christchurch, moving into an Account Management role with 91ZM. In 2007 she and a business partner set up Essence Mid Canterbury, very quickly adapting her radio-writing skills to print media. Judy became sole owner of Essence Mid Canterbury in June 2014. Judy is a ‘people person’ and has found her niche writing feature stories about the community she lives in and the people who live there. She is also available for freelance writing assignments.