Ford ZF Fairlane
Driven by Andre Razums, Lance Dickinson & Steven Mehes
The car was owned by Andrew Razums, owner and co-founder of Dairy Bell Ice Cream. His co-drivers were Dr. Lance Dickinson, a chiropractor, and Steven Mehes, who owned a bodyshop.
Andre bought the 1972 Ford Fairlane second hand and had it totally rebuilt over seven months, including the motor, suspension and the body. It also had improved safety features including a roll cage and safety harnesses.
The 351 cubic inch V8 engine was fitted with a supercharger and twin Holley carburetors, and ran a C6 automatic transmission built locally by Paul Munro. The work on the car alone cost around $20,000.
The engine was built by K&D Engineering at Doncaster and the bodywork was done by Steven Mehes at Parkral Autos in Murrumbeena.
The Fairlane was repainted black and had a wild body kit, the main feature being a huge bonnet hump which was necessary to fit the carburetors and supercharger, and had gauges mounted on the rear.
The car was named "Trans Aust", and featured a large mural on the boot lid depicting it driving across Australia. Michael O'Shannessy, who worked ay K&D Engineering, says he originally suggested the name to Andre. It was also Michael's idea to install a switch to deactivate the rear lights, and he also suggested to Andre that they could trailer the car through any roadblocks – an idea he got from the Cannonball Run movie.
The car had a 28 gallon (106 litre) "Bathurst" tank for extra fuel range, and was fitted with a scanner and CB radio.
Prior to the race they did a test run from Essendon to Ballarat and back. Andre says that Lance Dickinson claimed that the car was quicker than the Porsche he owned at the time.
The car would do 90 mph (145 km/h) at 2,800 rpm and was capable of cruising at 160 mph (260 km/h).
The car wasn't quite legal, mostly because of the bonnet hump, and would have been stopped by the Victorian police at the race start.
To avoid the police, the car was put on a trailer for the start and towed to a quieter place where it could hit the road on its own wheels. They were the 11th car to start.
They had to stop at one point when the car overheated. The thermostat was found to be jammed so was removed. After the quick fix they were able to continue but had been passed by other teams while stopped.
Their only other stop for repair was when they ran over a brick or rock on the road which caught the exhaust. They drove the car up onto a kerb to get access underneath, and Steven was able to make repairs at the roadside. They continued on having lost less than an hour.
At Port Augusta in South Australia, the team had heard through the radio that teams were being stopped at a roadblock. Andre called up a nearby friend who brought a Ford F100 and trailer to tow the car through the roadblock. Andre says that they enjoyed chicken and champagne in the back of the F100 as they passed through the roadblock without being stopped.
Once off the trailer, Andre recalls catching a group of six or seven teams on the Nullarbor and passing them at a high rate of speed.
They were able to avoid police on a few occasions but did get pulled up when crossing the desert. The car was defected for the bonnet hump but they were allowed seven days to get that rectified, so could continue on with the race.
After 39.5 hours they arrived at the finish in 25th position. Andre said after the race that they had been stopped nine times by police, but not booked.
At the end of the race the car was transported back to Melbourne. The bonnet scoop was changed to make the car road legal and later Andre sold the car (for around $7,000!) because he didn't have space for it, but wishes he still had it.
Lance Dickinson passed away on 28 May 2013. Andre Razums passed away on 20 June 2018.
Someone posted some photos of the Fairlane when it was being transported through South Australia after the race.
photos taken in Wudinna, SA on the Eyre Peninsula.Boost Cruising
Where is the car now?
The car is still around and is owned by someone who appreciates and is maintaining its Cannonball Cup history.
The following photos were taken from when the car was advertised for sale some time in the past.
Here's a photo of the car at Summernats in 2013.
There's also some videos of this car posted on Youtube.