2008 Brisbane International Motor Show Auction
1967 Ford Falcon XR GT Sedan
This lot is no longer available
It was Bill Bourke, a legendary figure in the history of Ford Australia, who first promoted the idea of turning the family Falcon sedan into a race winner. Bourke, always a keen supporter of motor sport, saw the chance to promote the newly released XR Falcon model through the fast growing touring car category - thanks to changes to the homologation rules, the previously dominant Cortina GT500s were no longer eligible. Developed in conjunction with local police forces, coincidentally looking for a suitable pursuit vehicle, the XR GT was jointly developed by Harry Firth, Don Dunoon and Malcolm Inglis and quickly established itself as Ford's first locally made hero car. The XR GT was launched in April 1967, using the same classic 289-cid V8 small-block V8 found under the bonnet of practically every high performance Ford from the Mustang to Cobra in the Sixties. The 225 hp V8, in combination with a close-ratio four-speed gearbox, made the new model a performance sensation and it was soon pressed into service with police forces around the country, not to mention taking outright honours in the Hardie-Ferodo 500 at Bathurst. Changes that set the GT apart from more mundane Falcons included Stewart-Warner gauges, unique steering wheel, chrome gearlever, and of course, GT stripes and badges. The suspension was beefed up and the car had a lower ride height, giving the GT a more aggressive stance, something helped also by the blacked-out grille. The XR GT was built in very limited numbers, with only 596 completed (each at a cost of $3,890.00) and all but a handful of promotional cars built for the Gallaher Company were finished in GT Gold. As the first of the legendary Falcon GTs, the XR has a special place in Ford Australia's history and this, combined with the appealing styling, has seen values climbing steadily, not least with the 40th anniversary of the model this year.