The Soutern Earlys FX-FJ Holden Car Club are featuring different member each month. We hope you enjoy hearing about them. This month is Colin Gore
This is my F.J. Story.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Colin Gore.
I was born on 16/7/1953, at Stirling Hospital in the Adelaide Hills.
Brought up on a 160 acre family Market Garden in the Piccadilly Valley there was plenty of mischief to get up to and you were never bored.
I attended Uraidla Primary School and later Heathfield High School, and I have an older sister and younger brother.
My interest in motor vehicles started at an early age, driving tractors and old chev trucks as a young teenager on the family property.
My father owned a Buick straight eight which I remember driving on the property, an old Studebaker and later a cream FX Holden that I used to drive as well, this was my first encounter with this classic Aussie car.
When I turned 16 years of age I got my licence in my father’s new EH Holden 179 Hydra – Matic. I felt pretty tough driving that car around and the old FX was left to languish in a shed on the property.
I completed four years of high school and started work on the 1st Jan 1970 in the family market garden, a lot of my mates were buying early holdens and doing them up, I decided I wanted to save up and buy a brand new car.
At that stage Holden had just released the LC Toranas, which I liked very much but hadn’t saved enough to buy one so I continued to ride my push bike for another year while my mates already had cars. However, in Feb 1972 Holden released the facelifted L. J. Torana and by that stage I had just enough money to buy one.
I was so proud to walk into City-State Motor City in Sturt St Adelaide with a bank cheque for $3,200 and drive out in a brand spanking new L. J. GTR Torana, my mates were so envious.
By 1978, circumstances changed and I left the family market garden to take up a position as a gardener in the Parks and Gardens section of Burnside Council where I worked for 8 years.
By that stage I had had the Torana for about ten years and getting married in 1982 the TORANTULA had to make way for something more practical. (REGRETFUL MOMENT) In fact I did get about the same amount of money as what I paid for it ten years earlier. The Torana’s replacement was a brand new blue 1982 VH Commodore 2850, 5 speed manual.
Having similar marital issues to Colin Morris, the marriage only lasted 2 years and due to the marriage breakup I lost all photos I had of the Torana, all I have left is the original TORANA “When You’re Hot – You’re Hot” brochure and price list from the 14/2/1972.
With having to make some financial sacrifices and pay the ex out, my new VH Commodore had to go and I acquired a 1972 Ford Cortina 2000. It was a good car and I had it for a number of years.
In 1986 I remarried and started a new job with the Adelaide City Council where I stayed for 30 years, during that time I purchased an old villa in Eastwood where I lived for 12 years with my wife Victoria bringing up our two children. The Cortina made way for a red VH SLX Commodore and then later a green 1990 VN commodore.
With the passing of my father in 1997, I was fortunate enough to be left 10 acres of the original market garden land in the Piccadilly Valley that has been in my family for over 170 years.
This is where I built my current house and have been there for over 20 years. It was in 1997 that I was reunited with the old cream FX Holden that had since been sitting out in the weather for the past 20 years so it was not in great shape.
Not having a keen interest at that stage in old rusty early holdens, I decided to give the car away to a mate’s brother who wanted it for spares, this I do regret. Even though it did break in half when they pulled up it up on the car trailer.
(All I have left from the old FX, is the original glove box Owner’s Manual and the ignition, door and boot lock keys.)
About 3 years ago I was reacquainted with this classic Aussie icon as my son’s mate Grant came up for a visit and brought with him his father’s red FJ Holden Special. I fell in love with it almost immediately, with shiny chrome wide 14” wheels it looked awesome.
I said to Grant, if your Dad ever wanted to sell it please let me know. He said it was his father’s pride and joy and he would never part with it, so I just let it be.
Some six months later Grant brought the FJ up again I was so excited to see it again.
However, sadly Grant informed me that his Dad had suddenly died of a massive heart attack weeks earlier.
Given the situation I decided not to hassle him about buying the car and let him take his time to grieve. Given the car had been left to him I thought he would hang on to it for sentimental reasons. However, some months later he contacted me and asked whether I was still interested in buying the car as it was just sitting around and not being used. We agreed on a price and the rest is history.
I did ask Grant about the history of the car and as I found out later his father had only owned it for approx a year before he died and he couldn’t tell me much apart from that his father bought it from a guy named Brownie who used to be a signwriter and was into F.J.’s in a big way.
As I was driving home after work one night, I suddenly had a thought about this person named Brownie. Surely it could not be the same Brownie that I knew at high school who was into F.J.’s then and who I knew had taken up signwriting as an occupation.
After some investigations and some stealthy work I found out it was an ex-Southern Early’s club car, owned previously by Brownie an old school mate from back in the sixties, or should I say his daughter Errin.
Did you think that blew my mind, I found out where Kevin Brown lived and managed to get his phone number.
I think he was more shocked than I was when he answered the phone and I told him the story.
As it turned out, I joined the Southern Early’s Car Club and low and behold I was also re united with Geoff and Kerry Hampton, all four of us were in the some class in High School.
Lastly I was also happy to meet Tony Hitchin again who worked for Adelaide City Council at the same time as myself.
I have been retired for the last 3 years and loving it.