Not in my territory

Ford Territory Ghia RWD (Stretched)

There is a Mother Goose nursery rhyme that goes, “There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many children she didn’t know what to do.”

Coming from the 17th Century she didn’t have to worry about how they all got around, but if she went shopping for a car today the Ford Territory might be worth a look.

Whilst there is a 7 seat option in the range it is also possible to order a stretched one with 15 seats and at 11 metres it just happens to be the longest “car” in Australia.

You might have seen stretched Hummers doing the rounds.

They’re popular at school formals. But they are heavy and have small windows, a high floor and a low roof and they are much more claustrophobic to ride in than the Territory.

And the Hummer is so wide that the rear wheels have to be modified to steer as well.

Fords have always been popular with Australian stretch manufactures as they are said to be more sturdily built than Holden’s, or at least that’s what the stretch man told me and my straw poll of cars I’ve seen suggests that he wasn’t pulling my leg.

To obtain compliance and to prove that they are strong enough to do the job the car is supported on three corners after the mod and there isn’t meant to be any more than 25mm of vertical deflection at the fourth point.

But this still doesn’t explain why I could never open or close the doors on my EB Falcon when I jacked up one corner to change a wheel.

The stretched car starts off as a $52,000 Ghia rear wheel drive non-turbo vehicle straight off the production line with a four speed automatic transmission.

An osteotomy is performed grafting a 6 metre free flap between the axles.

That extra wheelbase does mean that speed bumps and humps do have to be approached with some caution.

To cope with the 900 kgs of extra unladen weight the springs are up-rated and the tyres are swapped over to light truck rubber.

And all of that extra weight with a full load of passengers on board means that some planning is required when attempting to go up a steep hill.

The original brakes are strong enough to do the job and haven’t been modified.

The front passenger seat is removed and the space is used to store all the paraphernalia passengers may need (ie extra champagne flutes).

The rear door on the right is blocked off and the left hand door is 150 cm longer.

At the front there’s an extra extra-long “bridal door” on the kerb side which makes getting in and out a breeze.

With 14 seats in the back there is enough room for the entire wedding party including the in-laws and out-laws.

There are two sumptuous J-shaped seats in the rear and a long bench seat facing a 26 inch television.

Mood lighting means that passengers can enjoy a trip in deep space, but just like Apollo 13 the driver does have to keep an eye on the power drain as this is all still working off a single battery.

The stretched Territory is in fact so big that Queensland Transport currently registers it as a bus saving the $140,000 cost of buying a limousine plate.

Dreamtech of Dandenong is currently the only Australian Manufacturer of locally stretched Ford Territory’s.

They make a world-class limousine and come highly recommended from hire car operators.

Safe motoring,
Dr Clive Fraser

For: Handy to use at a friend’s wedding.

Against: Hard to park and the under-belly rubs on speed bumps.

This car would suit: Doctors with large families.

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  • About

    Medical Motoring is an online record of the articles written by Dr Clive Fraser and published in the Australian Medicine magazine by the Australian Medical Association.