Lifestyle

Meet the owner | Rachel Ferrari

By David Chapman

SHARING your name with an Italian (and global) motoring giant it would therefore be understandable to have a leaning towards that brand of car.

Not so for Rachel Ferrari. She has been a Ford enthusiast since she was a little girl.

‘‘My dad and uncles all had Fords,’’ Rachel said.

‘‘My dad had an XY and I learnt to drive in it at 16.’’

The love of Fords was simply a hereditary thing.

‘‘It was in the family,’’ Rachel said.

‘‘There are photos of me as a toddler, and I can still remember being in the garage with my uncles under the bonnet of a Ford.

‘‘I had five uncles and they were all car focused and it really fuelled my passion.

‘‘And then the Gone in 60 Seconds movie came out and just added to it.’’

The 2000 Nicolas Cage movie centres on a gang of car thieves forced into stealing high-class vehicles for the vicious leader of an international crime cartel.

One of the most sought after vehicles in the film is a 1967 Ford Mustang.

‘‘I just think they’re tough and beautiful,’’ Rachel said.

The first car she ever owned was a Ford Laser but she has certainly moved on from there.

THE CAR

Rachel’s 1967 Ford Mustang two-door coupe has been restored with a 351 Windsor engine and automatic transmission. It was rebuilt at Gasoline Alley on the Gold Coast.

‘‘The engine is in the original style but it’s just a bit bigger V8,’’ Rachel said.

‘‘It’s a new engine so the whole front end of the car had to be reinforced to handle the torque.

‘‘It has new disc brakes, power steering, air-conditioning.

‘‘We picked it up after all that was done.’’

Because of the major restoration it underwent prior to sale, little work has had to be done to the car since it has been in Rachel’s possession.

‘‘Clive (Polidano of Old Time Auto Repairs) gave it a bit of a tune up,’’ she said.

‘‘We had the tailshaft redone because there was a bit of movement there.

‘‘We’ve tinkered a bit with the steering wheel, horn, the right hand indicator and re-wired some elements in the dash.’’

Not that it really needed too much fine-tuning.

‘‘We just love getting out in the garage and tinkering with it,’’ Rachel said.

WHERE DID YOUR CAR COME FROM?

Rachel and her partner had been looking for a while for a 1967 Mustang.

‘‘We’ve had it eight months now. We bought it last winter,’’ she said.

It was listed for sale on the Gold Coast through a company which specialises in classic cars.

‘‘I’d wanted a Mustang since I was a little girl,’’ Rachel said.

‘‘This is my lifelong dream fulfilled.

‘‘We were holidaying in Noosa when we saw it so we went up and did the deal.’’

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT THE CAR?

‘‘The sound of the engine, the rumbling of it,’’ Rachel said.

‘‘The rareness, the uniqueness of it.

‘‘I was driving a Volkswagen Golf before this and I was happy to trade a few of the mod cons to get this.

‘‘I love the classic make and I like the red leather interior.

‘‘We liked the right hand drive too. We didn’t want to have to convert it (from left hand drive).’’

Given such a sleek and classic style of the car, it turns heads whenever it’s on the road.

‘‘People take photos and come up and have a chat,’’ Rachel said.

‘‘When I first started driving it I was still getting used to how it runs.

‘‘I broke down a few times and someone would come up and say ‘Oh, I used to have one of these’ and would help out so that was good.’’

SO WHAT’S YOUR PERFECT CAR?

‘‘An Eleanor,’’ Rachel said.

In the movie Gone in 60 Seconds, Eleanor is the nickname car thief Randall ‘Memphis’ Raines (played by Nicolas Cage) gives to the elusive 1967 Ford Shelby GT500 Fastback he is trying to steal.

Just like the ‘Memphis’ Raines character in the film, Rachel would love to get her hands on that car too.

‘‘They are really tough and cool but they cost about $300,000,’’ Rachel said.

‘‘I think I’d even choose one of them over a Ferrari (as in, the automobile Ferrari).’’

The Ford Mustang coupe she now owns though appears to fulfil Rachel’s vision of the perfect car.

‘‘This one has been my dream since I was 10 and I’ve achieved it at 38,’’ she said.

‘‘When I told friends I was going to get a Mustang they said ‘that’s silly, don’t be stupid, where are you going to put all the kids?’’

Rachel and her partner Brent are parents to five children and it seems rides are shared on a rotational basis.

And there’s no doubt it is her car.

Just look at the number plate which bears her initial — RF 067.

‘‘When my partner and I pull up in the car, people come up and say ‘Nice car, mate’ and Brent points to me — ‘It’s hers’.’’

AND WHAT’S NEXT?

What about a Ferrari for the Ferraris? ‘‘I’d love to someday, but I’ll start off here,’’ Rachel said.

‘‘This is my main car. I ditched the conventional car.

‘‘I’m an unconventional mum.’’

There’s nothing better for son Flynn to rock up to school in a cool 1967 Mustang.

However, Rachel does admit the car was not really designed for school runs and shopping trips.

‘‘It doesn’t really like the stop-start of town driving,’’ she said of the Mustang.

‘‘The engine is 400hp and is meant for racing.

‘‘The speedo is in miles per hour and Rachel says it gets to 100mph very quickly.

‘‘We’re keen to take it on the quarter-mile at Heathcote dragway to fully test it and see how fast it can really go.’’