Falcon Ready for Flight!

A Falcon Ready for Flight

I stopped by Travellers Auto Barn to look at a car they have for us to use for the rest of our stay in Australia. They offer rental cars as well as used cars for sale to travelers who want to see the country by car or camper. I figured this was would be the best way to see the southern and eastern parts of Australia. After buying a car from them with a limited warranty, they will also buy back the car at a fixed percentage. After our 5-6 month journey, they promise to buy back this car for 40% of what I paid. I can choose to sell the car myself, but the option of turning in the keys and walking away is pretty nice when we’ll need to leave the country.

The car they reserved for me was a Ford Falcon Station wagon. I considered a camper van, but feel that with a baby, we would end up doing a lot of motels, with the occasional tent camping, but driving such a big vehicle and paying for the extra fuel would not be worth it. Australians pay a little less than $1.00 USD for a liter of fuel, so over the long distances, fuel costs can add up. I figured with a wagon, we could haul all our stuff, and still camp if the baby can deal with it.
falcon wagon

The Ford Falcon and the Holden Commodore (General Motors product) are in equal competition here with the import market beginning to take hold. Depending on who you talk to, there are fans of Fords and fans of Holdens. I’ll roll the dice on this Falcon and see what happens. It’s a ’95 model with just under 100,000 miles on the odometer, and all I’ll need is for her to last about 5-7 thousand more and I’ll be fine.
wagon rear

The rear seats fold down 60-40 so we’ll be able to put the child seat in and yet still be able to fold one side of the seat down to store our tent, sleeping bags, cooler, and other essentials for a great road trip.
back seat

The rear seats look plenty roomy and should be good for the baby.
front seats

Yup, right hand drive. I’m a bit rusty driving on the left hand side of the road, but should be O.K. after a few hours. When my wife and I drove in the U.K., her job was to occasionally yell out, “left side, LEFT SIDE!” after I made a turn to get me back on the correct side of the road. Hopefully we won’t have too many of those mistakes here!
falcon engine

The car has a fuel injected straight 6 engine, so there should be plenty of power to pull our family around. It was being checked out by the autobarn mechanics, and they were replacing a leaky exhaust manifold gasket. I took a look at the exhaust manifold while it was on the floor, and it looked pretty clean, and not cracked. There was no excess soot in the exhaust ports, and the engine itself looked pretty clean. Our only concern is whether the air conditioning worked. We’ve had 90+ degree F. days here in Sydney without any signs of rain so working air conditioning would be a nice relief.

The tires looked good, and they were going to make sure all the brake pads had plenty of meat left for our trip. It should be a turn-key operation for me to pick up this car next week. The only modification I plan to make is to get the windows tinted in the back to offer some kind of sun protection while traveling in this sun burnt land!