NOSTALGIA drives with local artist Gregory ‘Becko’ Beckenham riding in his 1964 Ford Thunderbird. Purchased in 2015, for this Kialla Lakes resident turning the keys is like turning back time.
“It is incredible to feel that adrenaline run through my body again with the sound and vibration of a V8 390 big block. The feeling reminds me of the Holden and Ford V8s I owned in the 80s and 90s. It would be great to still have them, but sometimes the cost of everyday life and supporting a family is more important, and I wouldn’t change a thing,” he said.
“My family and I have had great pleasure enjoying the nostalgic part of a classic car where we can have those feel-good moments.
“My wife likes to pack the picnic blanket and we head off somewhere for lunch before my son tries to take it for the day, which he does on approval. At nights, I often pick my daughter and her friends up from the nightclubs.”
Greg’s T-Bird is another member of the family, and he has been privileged to take part in weddings, formals and to tour the countryside.
Imported from Texas by the first owner, the engine, paintwork, and interior are all original.
“The comfort inside and the way it handles the road, like the driver is in control and not the car. Modern cars seem to lose that feel and sense of control. Understanding and appreciating the quality and manufacturing skills motor companies had back in the 1960s in the USA makes it even more of a treasure to own.”
A few years ago, a friend sent Greg a Facebook link for a local group called GV Cars and Coffee, managed by the late Peter Russell.
“Peter’s passing from a long illness that he fought hard over the years didn’t slow him down from building a wonderful group of car enthusiasts,” said Greg.
“Even without a classic car, you were made very welcome to join in. The first GV Cars and Coffee that I went along to at Emerald Bank, Peter came straight up to me and shook my hand, said he loved my car and asked if we could go for a spin in the Thunderbird.
“So, we did, and Peter’s smile said it all. I felt in that moment that I had known Peter for a lot longer than five minutes.”
“Peter will be sadly missed by everyone at GV Cars and Coffee, but with the 600 strong members, the wheels keep spinning, the yarns keep coming, and the chrome will keep shining,” said Becko.