Bits and Pieces from Peter in Australia Feburary 23 Edition

Last updated on March 15, 2023

Peter is a “photographic observer” who is living in Australia. Today’s collection of photographs from Peter are of some very interesting Bits and Pieces of photos that he has taken here in the US and in Australia. I like that we get to see how Peter shares his views and stories of the hobby here in the US and in Australia.

These photos have a bit of everything in them. History, Coincidence and some Car Culture. Peter was driving down Ventura Blvd top down, just like in the song, in his triple black 1962 Thunderbird when he spotted this Mercury in a used car dealer showroom window. As Peter walked around the show room the dealer said it was for sale and would trade it for the T-bird. Peter did not blink an eye before he completed the deal. These photos of the Mercury are right after he drove it home in North Hollywood. Peter later sold it to a buyer who was located in the San Fernando Valley, This was Peter’s last automobile sale before he departed for Australia in 1971.

Peter’s photo when he brought the car home .
Peter’s photo when he brought the car home .

The car attracted all kinds of attention every where he went and has stories unto themselves. One day he got a “toot” and filling up his rear view mirror was a 1940 Lincoln Zephyr. Peter pulled over. The license plate on the Zephyr was HIT 871 and the connection was that they were the previous owners of the Mercury. The coincidence is that the Lincoln license plate and Peter’s plate were one number apart. Peter’s Mercury and the Lincoln Zephyr were stable mates!

Back then Peter worked as a business machine technician that cover a variety of businesses and he traveled everywhere in his Mercury wagon and carried his 35mm camera. In todays world he thought that he might be considered a bit stingy with the 35mm film. He has stories that he wish he had photographed. Such as Frank Sinatra’s 1961 Dual Ghia parked in a yard, or the Brady Bunch’s school bus for sale at service station, or visiting George Barris shop twice in North Hollywood or the biggest miss of all was seeing Elvis Presley and Mary Tyler Moore on location in his last film Change of Habit. Reminiscing Peter thinks that living in the 60s did not seem at all iconic then as it does now.

1969 Pismo Beach

A friend sent Peter these photos from the RM Sotheby auctions that took place in Monterey, CA on August 16th, 2013. The car has been restored and sold at auction for $96,250.00. It is still a better investment than the T-bird. Peter notice that the location of the side mirrors had changed, the passenger side spot light was removed, and the addition of the windshield sun shade are changes that happened since he owned the car.

Courtesy RM Sotheby’s
Courtesy RM Sotheby’s

Peter heard from from a few people that Richard Nixon had campaigned in California using the same wagon. Peter was not able to confirm that but, they did look a lot alike.

This is not Peter’s car the license plate does not match 872 HIT

Later in the 1980s the same Mercury was the featured article in Classic Car magazine. Peter has a copy of the magazine, but it has not surface prior to the release of the article.

Peter wished us Happy New Year and his first drive-by in 2023 and for good measure he is threw in a coincidence.

The drive by is a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am Daytona 500 Pace Car. The Special 10th Anniversary Edition Firebird Trans Am served as the official pace car for the 1979 Daytona 500. This race ear marked the 6th of the 7 Daytona 500’s that Richard Petty won. A total number of 117,108 1979 Pontiac Trans Ams were produced.of which 7,500 were 10th Anniversary Limited Edition. Each of the 7500 came with a decal set to commemorate the race and transform it into a pace car.

The Coincidence is that Peter’s friend came to visit on the same day as the Trans Am and was wearing this shirt.

The same Firebird that Peter photographed on New Years day showed up again a week later . Pete was able to get these photos. He was not able to locate the owner.

Peter, stumbled on to this Ford Capri Mk1 3000 GT, which were built between 1970 – 1974 in Homebush, AU. It is finished in Bright Red with a black interior. it is powered by a 144 hp, 2994cc, V6, with a Weber carburetor. Transferring that power through a 4-speed manual transmission with a 3.96:1 rear axle gear ratio. Slowing it down is a Hydraulic Dual-Line Servo-Assisted with disc brakes upfront and drums in the rear. The front suspension is independent with McPherson struts, coil springs, and an anti-roll bar. The rear suspension has a De Dion axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and radius arms.

During the years of 1970 – 1974 a total of 3,014 were produced with 2,459 being a 4-speed manual transmission and 555 of the being 3-speed automatic transmissions.

Peter was blown away when he saw this 1968 Holden Monaro. He doubts that it is a daily driver, but used as a Sunday driver. It is an original stock everything as it would be if found on a Holden dealers showroom floor in 1968.  You just don’t see a new factory fresh original in traffic. The Holden (General Motors) Monaro GTS 327 Monaro were built at Acacia Ridge, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Peter says that most street driven Monaros are modified just as Mustangs and Cameros, of the same era, are modified here in the U.S. He feels that there is nothing wrong with that.

It is powered by a 250 hp, 327 cu in, Chevrolet V8, with a Rochester 4-barrel carburetor and transferring that power through a 3-speed automatic transmission. Slowing it down are disc brakes upfront and drums in the rear. The published top speed is 115 mph with a 0-60 time of 7.1 seconds.

 The tachometer mounted on the centre console. This proved to be a bad location, as the driver’s knee blocked the view.

Thank you Peter for sharing your observations from here in the U.S. and Australia. Thanks for riding along. Frank