Ford Falcon XR GT

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GT Falcon

Ford Falcon XR GT

1968 - 1968
Country:
Australia
Engine:
V8
Capacity:
4.7liter V8
Power:
n/a
Transmission:
4 spd. man
Top Speed:
n/a
Number Built:
596
Collectability:
5 star
In 1968 the XR model began the legend that was to be the GT. This family car muscled out 225HP thanks to the 289 Windsor V8. The start of the Falcon GT's was only sold in one color - Gold.

596 of these made it into production. The GT versions of the Falcon are probably the most famous of the breed, and certainly the most desirable and collectable today.

What inspired Ford of Australia to produce such a car can be reduced to a single word: Bathurst. In its early years, the annual 500 mile race at the mountain road course of Mount Panorama, Bathurst attracted many entrants driving a wide variety of foreign and domestic cars, including the first purpose built local Ford 'race' car, the Cortina GT500.

In 1967, however, Ford were keen to showcase their current image car, the Falcon, and with the arrival of the XR model, which for the first time in the Australian Falcon was available with a V8 engine, they set about planning something different.

In many respects, the development of the XR GT benefitted from the gathering of several happy coincidences. First was having the right men at the right place. Bill Bourke was the then Assistant General Manager of Ford Australia and he was passionate about racing, and, inspired by the success of racing V8s, both in Australia and in his native U.S. he felt sure that a sporting XR Falcon could be a winner.

He passed the idea over to Harry Firth, who was Ford's tuner and race car preparer and had been so successful in developing the GT500 Cortina and who had been working on beefing up the XR after a request from the Victorian police for a heavy duty pursuit vehicle.

Firth saw that, taking the best bits from the police package and introducing some more horsepower in the engine, a sporting Falcon GT could be developed. At the same time, the news and media, especially live television, were focussing on the annual Bathurst event and creating a valuable and unique advertising opportunity for any manufacturer willing and able to win the race by lasting the 500 miles.

And finally, Henry Ford II, had set Ford on its 'Total Performance' track. Motor sport dominance was his aim. If in the U.S. that meant Nascar and the dragstrips, and in Europe it meant forest rallying and Le Mans, in Australia it meant touring cars and conquering the Mountain.

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Also see:


Falcon XR GT Specifications
Falcon XR GT Identification Guide
The Ford Falcon GT Story
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