Southland's Ford Falcon GT 'hoarder'

Diane and Roger Whyte with their 1967 Ford Falcon GT, nicknamed Elsie.
JOHN HAWKINS/FAIRFAXNZ

Diane and Roger Whyte with their 1967 Ford Falcon GT, nicknamed Elsie.

Roger Whyte confesses. He is a hoarder.

But the Southland man doesn't hoard rubbish, knick knacks, or teaspoons. He has a collection of Ford Falcon GTs.

From 1967 to 2015, he owns at least one of every model ever made, in fact.

Along with wife Diane, Roger has been collecting GTs for about 10 or 15 years.

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The dairy farmer's Australian muscle car collection is to be envied.

"I did my time as a Ford mechanic, that's where I got the bug I guess."

He has so many, he can't really remember which one he bought first, but, with some prodding from Diane agrees it was probably the 1967, which the couple have affectionately nicknamed Elsie.

There are only seven 1967 GTs in New Zealand, and Elsie is one of two in the deep south.

As young man, all he ever wanted was a V8. Now, he has more than he's willing to count.

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"I just love cars full stop."

Even more impressive is the fact that all of them are complete cars, and should run - provided he keeps the batteries up-to-date.

"I know how to fix the older ones. It's the ones with the computers in that get me stumped."

But it isn't just GT Falcons that Roger owns, he also has Ford Cortinas and Escorts, a panel van, a Chevrolet, and a 1926 Page, to name a few.

Not to mention whatever else he might have stashed away in his sheds.

But the GTs will soon be moving to a new home on Roger's property - he and Diane are nearing completion of a custom-built storage and display shed.

What was once the yards of his farm have been filled in, under-floor heating for humidity control and special air filtration installed to keep the cars as mint as possible.

Keeping classic cars is certainly a labour of love for this couple.

But before she'll get a chance to move into her new home, Elsie, along with several more of Roger's GTs, will be on display as part of the South Island GT Club conference and show and shine, on in Invercargill this week.

While the club will be having its inaugural AGM, some cars will be on display at Macaulay Ford from Wednesday, with about 29 cars expected for a show and shine competition on Saturday.

The public is invited to come and check out the cars from 10am-12noon, and cast a vote for their favourite in exchange for a gold coin donation.

There will also be judging on the GTs and their supporting cars.

 - Stuff

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