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Ron Butler


 

This car started life in 1975 in Petone at the Wellington Austin assembly plant as a Deluxe 3 on the tree manual gearbox model.

 

First registered in Hawkes Bay late Janurary 1976 sold by the local agents (Stewart Greer Motors) to Peter McAuley, owner of a Trucking company. Ron bought it off him on ANZAC day 1989 at 80,000 kms. The car now has a manual, 4 speed gearbox, limited slip diff. 4 head lights, mag wheels and super model specifications.

 

Ron wanted the car to the specification that he would have specified had he been able to buy one brand new.  That is an Executive with air conditioning, power steering and a four speed gearbox.  This was not possible when he bought his first P76 in 1977 so he decided the next best thing when he bought this car. First to go was the horrible mesh sun screen, then the 5 inch steel wheels, replaced with 8 inch Leyland mags, then the 4 headlight grill was installed, powder coated black. Next was a Borg Warner single rail P76 4 speed with the removal of the steering column gear change and 3 speed gearbox. He then fitted body moldings from a Super and had some interior door linings made in Sydney to replace the Deluxe linings. Next he got hold of Super seats and had them reupholstered and changed everything in the interior to Super specs, instrument panel, Force Seven steering wheel and rev counter. The only thing that is not Super specs is the interior rear view mirror, also fitted are chrome sill plates, Executive rubber bumper strips and Targa Florio stripes.

 

The flywheel has been lightened and drilled to take the 6 bolt heavy duty Chevrolet pressure plate as the Leyland pressure plate is only 3 bolt. A limited slip diff is yet not fitted. When time permits a full set of executive seats will be installed and a couple of interior 'C' pillar lights. Steering was upgraded to power steering after having the rack and pump reconditioned a couple of years ago making it a lot easier to park with 245 wide tyres.

 

This is his second P76, the first was a Oh Fudge Super column auto he bought in 1977. It still exists in a garage in Wellington but is not registered.

 

*Ronís Targa Florio wheels are 8 inch!