PRIDE AND JOY: Rob White, of Regency Downs, with his 1975 Ford XB Falcon John Goss Special.
PRIDE AND JOY: Rob White, of Regency Downs, with his 1975 Ford XB Falcon John Goss Special. Lachlan McIvor

Rob would rather sell a kidney than his Falcon

ROB White would rather sell a kidney than move on his beloved 1975 Ford XB Falcon John Goss Special.

From the amount of time and intensive work he put into his car to transform it from a "wreck" to "better than brand new" over the course of 20 months, it's hard to blame him.

When he was a teenager, Mr White had bought a two-door Falcon but upon moving further north from Rosewood to work in the mines in Mt Isa a few years later, he sold it and picked up a four-wheel drive.

It was the biggest mistake he ever made.

"I always wanted one back," Mr White said.

Many years later, the plumber was on a job in the Lockyer Valley and his apprentice pointed out a Falcon sitting in the back paddock of a neighbouring property.

It wasn't a pretty sight - the owner had stripped it down to rebuild another car and Mr White resisted the urge to take it with him.

But nine months later the pair returned to the same job and there it was, still unloved and looking worse for wear.

"The guy that owned it had stripped it to rebuild another one, he was a bit of a car nut and that's what he was doing with it," he said.

"It was too good for that so I took it home."

He didn't realise it was a John Goss Special - the limited edition car was released by Ford in 1975 to commemorate Goss' win in the Bathurst 1000 the previous year - until some further research.

From there he began the exhaustive work to get it back to its former glory, of which he committed all of his spare time.

"I would come home from work and spend hours on the car every day and it got really addictive... (I was) obsessive, very obsessive," he said.

Mr White tried to enlist the help of anywhere between 20 and 30 panel beaters in Brisbane but struggled to find anyone to take on the job.

"None of them were even interested in even looking at it when they saw the photo (of the car)," he said.

"I had three people all up come and look at it, one guy just shook his head and walked away, he didn't even talk to me."

 

So, he went about doing it all himself.

"I can weld and I can do metal fabrication so I started cutting all the rust out of it and started welding it all up. I thought when it gets time to get sandblasted and painted I will send it away then," he said.

"They still weren't interested, it was still too big a job for them.

"So I got a sandblaster, I had panelled it all straight, got everything right, replaced all the guards that were bad. Then I spray painted it. I ended up doing the whole thing myself. I got the upholstery done and I put that in. Lockyer Engine Reconditioners did the engine for me and they did a bang up job."

Although there is always something to be fixed or tweaked, the Falcon has been back on the road for six years now and has been kept busy since then.

"It's done a few weddings, quite a few formals for friends and whatnot - it's been the wedding car for both of my brothers," he said.

It won't ever change hands on his watch.

"Look I've got a kidney I'll sell before I sell that thing," he said.

"I don't plan on ever, ever getting rid of it. (My family) all joke and reckon they'll bury me in it.

"Some people think we have the love for an old car, it's not so much that, there is a love there for the old car but the passion for the cars (comes from) the amount of work and scarred knuckles that I've got out of it.

"I built that, it was a wreck at the start of things and I restored that and it looks like a brand new car, in fact it looks better than brand new.

"There's a lot of me (in the car)."

The Falcon has been dubbed Rosie, with the name first given to it after Mr White brought the car home for the first time.

"A friend of my wife's was there and she looked out the back door and she said 'what the hell do you have that for, it's a rust-bucket, it's a Rosie rust-bucket,'" he said.

"It was just after AC/DC had their Black Ice tour and I'd been to the concert and they played a Whole Lotta Rosie which is my favourite song, so that became the car's name.

"Then I took her daughter to her formal in that car after that, all fixed up and running and she came to me and she said it wasn't Rosie rust-bucket, it had to be just Rosie."


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