Get the tissues ready, as this story will bring a tear to your eye. Once thought ruined forever, a son restored his father's 1973 Ford Falcon for the surprise of a lifetime
Cars tug on our heartstrings not just because they are functional, dependable and charismatic, but because they are ever-present. As a vessel for channelling memories, little can offer the warm glow of rose-tinted nostalgia like the old family wagon.
Such was the story for the Giankos family. In 1973, Paul and this father travelled to Melbourne on a mission; to purchase Paul’s first car. Driving to Sleeman Ford in Fawkner, the pair left with a brand-new, lime glaze Ford Falcon XA Superbird. Naturally, Paul was over the moon.
Unlike most ‘investment’ muscle cars, the Superbird became the family driver, used daily to cart children, groceries, shopping and relatives across Australia. The Falcon brought joy and camaraderie to an already strong family unit, but then the worst happened.
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Traversing the common route home, Paul lost control of the car and crashed into a ditch not far from where his family lived. The Falcon was practically destroyed, and although Paul escaped without injury, he had to sadly admit that the Ford was beyond repair. The decision was made not to fix the vehicle.
Not that he would part with it. Rather, the Falcon spent 20 years sitting on a farm before being moved from property to property, waiting for the day it was rescued.
Paul’s son, Tommy, finally reached the stage where he could give the Falcon some attention, and a new journey began in April 2013. In an emotional process, Tommy set about restoring his Dad’s cherished Falcon. But he had to keep the last stages a closely-guarded secret.
Tommy showed his parents photographs of the restoration work up to a point, stopping all correspondence about the vehicle just over a year before it was complete. They thought the car would be ready in late 2018, yet had no idea that Tommy had finished the car already.
Rolling onto the driveway of his parent’s home with the green paintwork glinting in the sunlight and guttural exhaust tone radiating towards the front door, the reunion between Tommy’s parents and the Ford was nothing short of moving. There wasn’t a dry eye in the office upon viewing the video. Brace yourselves for the full reunion video below: