Ford Car & Truck Collector Brian Tomkins: Classic Restos - Series 44
Fletch is still in Cowra courtesy of Lachlan Engineering and catches up with Ford enthusiast Brian Tomkins. He has quite an impressive collection of Concours condition vehicles including a 1978 Lincoln Towncar, 1963 Ford Thunderbird, 1961 Ford Fairlane, and 1964 Ford F600 Truck. Brian now retired from his earthmoving company and living in Central NSW for the last 20 years has a passion for cars and trucks, especially if they're Fords. The '78 Lincoln Towncar (LHD) was considered a top of the range Ford at the time, a car that Brian had always wanted and eventually found in Brisbane and drove home to Cowra (NSW) with no problems. The car had very low mileage and fully optioned with extras that are quite amazing for a 1978 model. Like automatic dipping headlights, cornering lights, and nice styling elements like the small opera windows in the rear quarter panels.
Next is his 1963 Ford Thunderbird that has quite a story, purchased for Just $1,500 out of a club magazine. The catch was that it was all in boxes of parts; the previous owner had pulled it down but never got around to putting it back together. Brian didn't know if it was all there and thought it could have been $1,500 of trouble. But it turned out to be there, and the result is what you see here today, this ended up being Brian's first complete restoration. A great tip from Brian when doing your restoration is to do something every day, no matter how small, because if you don't, a day becomes a week, a week becomes two weeks, two weeks becomes a month and month becomes a year before you know it. Active members of the Thunderbird Owners Club of Australia, the T- Bird has 6 outright wins to his credit. A great $1,500 investment.
Then there is the tank Fairlane, a late 1961 Ford Fairline one of the last made, and as Brian put it 'In Australia, once you had one of these in the day, it was a sign you had made it'. Brian admits that he didn't have to do too much to this one. It came fully restored with RHD and all of the American options, even a 60s' phone built into the console, quite a step up from what the local model offered. Best of all, it still drives beautifully and starts first time, every time.
There's an impressive truck in his collection too, a 1964 F600 with a 292 V8 with 8-tonne load capacity. Formally a hay cartage truck, now restored to Concours condition like all of Brians collection, with a fully optioned American Custom Cab, not like the poverty packs that these trucks came with in Australia.
Another classic is a 1963 Ford Falcon Squire which he found in Toowoomba, the owner had the vehicle in storage for many years and said that the only trips it had done were from Toowoomba to Brisbane and back, what a find. In absolute original condition right down to the plastic seat coverings, Polywood sides, roof rack, Venetian blinds and padded dash. A great collection right there in Cowra.