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My 1961 EK Holden and 1966 XP Falcon


So far, in fact, that the traditional Holden versus Ford tribal war doesn't mean much to Irish butcher Paul Lawless, born in Tiperrary, even though he has lived in Australia for more than 30 years.

"I don't have a preference for Holden or Ford," says the 2002 Australian sausage champion who runs a butchery in Annerley, south Brisbane, and now owns two pristine examples of '60s Australian automobilia. His 1961 EK Holden and 1966 XP Falcon ute look like they have just rolled off the factory floor.

"I've been interested in Australian cars since the 1960s when I first arrived in Sydney," he says in his strong Irish accent. "I used to go to the auctions and I bought and sold a lot of cars, mainly Holdens and Fords because I grew up with the culture.

"There's not really a lot of money to be made (buying and selling at auctions); we just wanted to have different cars all the time." He says he onced owned a 1968 Monaro he bought for $1350. "I only had it for 12 months and sold it for $1500. I wished I'd kept it. In the '60s I went more for Holdens and in the 1970s I veered off into Fords and then I followed Dick Johnson, so I was into Fords. "At Bathurst time my allegiance all depends on what car I have at the time."

So come that special Sunday in October this year and he will be in a real quandry as he now owns one of each, although the odds are in favour of Holden as his third car is a 1972 Kingswood he bought six years ago for $2500.

Lawless says that despite his past buying and selling habits, he would never sell his XP or EK. "I can't see the point," he says. "I just want to keep them and hand them on to my sons."

He bought the XP ute recently for $10,000. Lawless says it had a "clean body" with the rust cut out and had 43,000 miles (69,201km) on the odometer. The only modifications he has done is to reupholster the seats, install a new tonneau cover and replace the steering wheel with a "pearl" model. "That was fairly popular in the 1960s," he says. He has also had the original AM radio restored by John Carr of Yass.

"I bought hubcaps on the internet from America for $450. They are the only non-original part. Everything else is completely original," he says. It's his daily driver, while the EK only comes out for Sunday drives and car shows.

"I bought it about 12 months ago for $5000 from a woman who only used it to drive to the shops," he says. "No one has sat in the back since the 1960s. It's absolutely lovely. It is completely original. It was just always kept under cover. You will never get another car like that." He turns over the 170 cubic inch six-cylinder and it purrs into life. "Listen to that. You wouldn't even know it was running," he says.

An EK cost 2500 in 1962 and for an extra 180 you could get a Diamond Dot radio which this one has. "That's the only thing I've had to fix on this one," he says.

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