BELL Miletic gets all kinds of reactions to her XY 4x4. They range from wowed kids who think it’s some kind of monster truck to outraged ignoramuses who think she’s wrecked a classic Ford ute by sticking it on top of a HiLux chassis.

But what many fail to understand is that the Ford factory actually spat out a few hundred of these XYs in the early 70s, and that what they are looking at is a rare piece of Aussie motoring history.

Have you always tinkered around with cars?

Growing up, my dad had a ’68 Corvette and so it wasn’t unusual for me to be helping him bleed the brakes and whatnot. But more of an influence came when I met my husband, Tony – he’s a massive car head.

What cars have you owned over the years?

My first car was a Cortina. These days Tony and I have a number of cars between us – we’ve got an XA coupe, an XY sedan, a Mk II Cortina and my ute. We’re looking towards getting a Mk I Escot next.

Tell us about this XY?

Tony knew I loved XY utes so for my wedding present he started searching for XY four-wheel drive utes, because he knew they existed and there was only a limited amount. He found one in Queensland photos and bought it sight unseen. At that point it was a stock as they come – it had Sunraysias on it, it was white, it was manual, it had a 250 in it. The first thing to go was the Sunraysias. Tony found the new wheels on eBay and sourced the engine and put it in. It’s now got a stroked 302 in it and a Vortec blower under it.

Yours seems to be jacked up higher than the factory ones.

Everything underneath is exactly as it was but the wheels are just a bit bigger. And we put lowering blocks in so it’s sitting a bit higher in the front. I’ll probably eventually jack the back up as well but at the moment I like how it looks.

What kind of reactions does it get?

It’s like pure shock. A lot of people say to me, “What’s that sitting on? What have you done to it?” When you tell them it came out of the Ford factory like that they’re just like, “Bullshit!” I guess I can appreciate people’s opinion but they need to realise this car hasn’t been created for them; it’s for me and what I like.

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