Pride and joy a ‘classic beauty’

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Pukerau resident Geoff Soper’s 1966 Ford Futura V8 289 is virtually in the same pristine condition that it was coming off the production line 53 years ago.

In eight years owning the car, Mr Soper has replaced the wheels for alloys and plumped up the front seat upholstery.

“I have also been accused of wearing out the paintwork washing the car.

“The Cobra Rodders Club keep telling me they have never seen it dirty,” Mr Soper said.

It was totally by chance that the car came into Mr Soper’s possession.

Friends from Gore were in America at the time, loading cars into a container bound for New Zealand.

“My mate John Connor picked up the phone and told me I need to buy the car.

“It’s the best advice I have had.

“If it wasn’t for Peter Woods (Woodsie) and John Connor (JC) I would not be standing here with this classic beauty today,” Mr Soper said.

Soper bought the Futura in 2011, with 23,000 miles (38,000km)

on the odometer.

In the eight years he has owned the car he has clocked up 30,000 miles (48,280km), having driven around the South Island and attended car shows.

“In 2012 it won the best Ford at the Cromwell swap meet, and the same year at the Kaitangata show we won five prizes,” Mr Soper said.

In the United States the car had only had one owner.

“The family in America bought it new in 1966, then it was stored in a really good shed from 1972 to 2011.”

Soper is so enamoured with the car, he wants one day to visit the manufacturer, Selinsgrove Ford, in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

“I hope to go there someday and get the service history of the car off them.

“That would be my ultimate dream,” he said.

In the meantime, Soper takes the Ford out whenever the opportunity arises.

“It is left-hand drive, but I have never had an issue with that; it isn’t a problem.

“Just like driving a new car”, driving the Ford throughout the district is a great way to meet people.

“Having a common interest in cars is always a good conversation-starter,” he said.