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The dream car . . .The owner of this 1967 Ford Falcon, James Smith, said he had wanted an XR station wagon since he was young.PHOTO: ASHLEIGH MARTIN

A car that once had a small fire in it caused by some rats is now James Smith’s cruiser.

Mr Smith said the 1967 4.2-litre six cylinder Ford Falcon had rats in the heater when the vehicle was with its previous owner, which caused it to catch fire.

“It wasn’t very big but it burnt the heater box and stuff out of it,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said he had wanted an XR station wagon since he was young and he had a couple of friends who had them and he liked their cars.

“It’s been a local car for 10 years or so, but it .. [belonged to] one of my customers and we used to do work on it. Then I heard a rumour that he was wanting to sell it so I asked him and did a deal.”

Mr Smith said he had the car for about four years and had lowered it, changed the wheels and had given the car a new interior due to the damage the rats had caused.

He said he did not take the car out as much as he would like due to work and being on call 24/7.

“I just use it in the weekends when I can, but being on a gravel road it’s actually restricted me a bit more which is a bit of a pain, but I use it when I can.”

Mr Smith said the Ford was good to drive. It had heavy steering and manual drum brakes which made driving it interesting.

“It’s just a good cruiser, really.”

“I’m part of the Southern Aussie Muscle Car Club and go to shows and runs with them, but I don’t get to go on as many as I’d like.”

Mr Smith said the height and colour of the car gave it some character.

“It’s a very odd colour. Someone painted it before the guy that I bought it off. It’s always been that colour since I’ve known it but it’s not the original colour.”