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When Brenton Hill took his 1964 XM Falcon coupe to a car show in 2004, little did he know he would meet his future wife, Katrina, owner of a 1965 XP Falcon coupe.
"They were very similar vehicles, just different colours," the 31-year-old electrician says. "I just got to talking to her and asked her about her car. It was lower than mine and I wanted to know how she managed to do that. A week later we were seeing each other and we were married in 2006."
They now have a happy family of seven cars including 2006 Ford F250 and 1984 Ford F100 pick-ups which are their daily drivers and three-year-old daughter Prudence's vintage toy car. There are also a couple of future projects in the garage.
"We've got a 1950 Pontiac Silver Streak sedan which is a long way off getting on the road and a 1970 Mk I Escort drag car which my father-in-law last raced at Surfers Paradise in 1976," he says. "I bought it off my brother-in-law as he couldn't afford to keep it and I couldn't stand to see it leave the family."
He plans to restore it to its original racing livery and enter it in nostalgia drag competitions "if Katrina will allow me". "It's a pretty dangerous motorsport," he says. "But first I'd have to spend quite a bit of money upgrading it to modern competition safety standards."
Katrina is not surprised Brenton wants to go drag racing. "That's the household I was brought up in, so I spent my whole life in that so it doesn't surprise me at all," she says. "He's a sparkie so everything he does is dangerous, anyway."
They also have a restored 1957 Cadillac of which they are very proud.
"My wife's had her XP for 21 years. It was her first car, but she was getting bored with it and I wouldn't let her sell it. It's a cool car," Brenton says.
"She always liked Caddys and big American cars so we hunted one down for $20,000 from Victoria a couple of years ago. We called it a 30-footer as it looks good from 30 feet away, but when you get close it has some imperfections. However, we haven't spent a lot on it. We drive it. It's not really a show car. We just lowered it, cleaned it up a little bit, a bit of TLC for the engine and that's pretty much it. If it ever wins an award I'll be shocked."
Brenton bought his XM about eight years ago for $6000 and spent another $6000 rebuilding the engine, replacing the differential, fixing the front end and steering, lowering the suspension, fitting a new exhaust, adding some custom features and replacing the trim.
"The trim is not cheap nor easy to find," he says. "Ford only ever produced about 3500 and they only made about 5500 XPs, so finding parts is difficult."
Katrina's car required a more comprehensive rebuild.
"That thing's been pulled apart and restored from scratch," she says. "It had a four-speed gearbox and 1985 XF Falcon 4.1 crossflow motor in it, so we pulled that out and put in the original 170 cubic inch six cylinder and three on the tree. It was also repainted, lowered and had pretty much everything done."
Katrina bought it for $3000 from a Redcliffe surfer who carried his surfboards on the car. "It was a terrible pile of rubbish.There was plenty of rust through it," she says. "It's disappointing what some people do to cars. They don't respect what they've got."
The couple will show their Caddy and XM at the annual GreazeFest Kustom Kulture Festival at the Rocklea Showground on August 1. Visit: www.greazefest.com.