Ford Cortina

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My sister’s boyfriend had one of these, only his was a mustard colour. I used to enjoy sliding into the back seat, cruising the back streets of Johnsonville – Abba belting out SOS from the cassette player on the parcel shelf. Slightly on the too loud side, speakers rattling. Sis was partial to a bit of Abba back then but who cared, this was a Mark 1 Cortina and we were cruisin’. The Boyfriend was probably wondering why the little brother was always in tow, but that never really occurred to me. Sis and the Boyfriend up front, me in the back with Abba having my own party, maybe it wasn’t such a big deal. To be honest, Johnsonville wasn’t that glam – twice around the block was enough before the lure of the bright lights drew us to ‘The Mall’ – this is where it really happened in Johnsonville on Friday night, I can tell you.

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Ford Anglia Super 123E

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Drove to Auckland and back in one of these when I was 17. Me, my mate and his girlfriend. It wasn’t awkward. I’d have happily ditched the girlfriend and done a roadie with my mate, but she owned the car. She would have happily ditched me for a weekend away with the boyf. Well, I needed a ride and thought it best to let it go. We went to see a band play at Western Springs stadium. I say stadium, more a paddock with a flat-bed truck at one end, but then it was New Zealand 1977. Can’t tell you who the band was, if I did I’d have to kill you. Forty years on, it still makes me blush – but just quietly, they were quite good. Anyway, the girlfriend’s grey Zed-Back was a trooper, didn’t miss a beat. Topped 60mph on the Mangaweka hill … with the clutch in. Different story coming home but it was all the same to me, sitting in the back seat, knees around my ears, supping quietly on a lukewarm can of beer.

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