My FJ Special is called Showgirl because she was bought at the Royal Adelaide Show in September 1954. When I had the good fortune to acquire this lovely car in 2012, it had been in the same family since new, and it had only 61,000 miles on the odometer.
The car is what I call a repainted original. Apart from a new coat of 2-tone green paint, it is in standard form, with its original engine and tan leather interior. It has some desirable NASCO accessories – external sun visor, anti-glare cover for the interior rear vision mirror and petrol locking cap. Accessory house features include an exterior rear vision mirror on each front door, unusual flat-bottomed spats, a reproduction venetian blind and an uncommon interior roll-up canvas blind on each door.
When the previous owner had the car repainted, the Trentham Green of the roof was fairly accurately replicated, but the Satin Green body colour chosen was much too pretty – but I don’t care. I like it!
I had always been told that external sun visors seriously affect fuel economy. Really? For the entire 2012 Bathurst Nationals trip covering 1,800 miles, mostly with uneconomical speeds of 55 to 60 mph, one passenger and a heavy load of luggage, the car averaged a surprising 32 miles per gallon! An additional bonus was that the sun visor cut down the glare to such an extent that I didn’t wear my sun glasses very often. We had all the little canvas blinds down, and they kept the sun off our arms and shoulders, and also off our luggage on the back seat.
I can recommend the reproduction front floor mat from Obsolete Rubber Mats. It fits better than the original one! The reproduction venetian blind from O’Brien Auto Shades keeps the sun off the fragile parcel shelf covering, and it does not rattle.
What I can’t recommend is getting E10 petrol into the tank.
It’s an absolute disaster!
I accidentally filled up with E10 in Bathurst from a poorly labelled pump and only realised it when I was replacing the nozzle onto the pump. I should have there and then called the NRMA and got them to drain the tank, but didn’t realise how devastating the results would be on our homeward tip. A third breakdown on the Hay Plains in 40 degree heat, with a scrub fire approaching us was not at all entertaining! Back home, the remedial work was an absolute pain.
I’m happy to say that the car performed faultlessly on the 1,700 mile trip to the Mansfield Nationals. Needless to say, I looked six times at each petrol pump before refuelling!
Story Credit : Don Loffler, 48 FJ Holden Club of SA