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The final chapter in the legendary Ford GT story, the XB GT represents the end of an era and coincided with the Blue Oval’s decision to pull out of motor racing in Australia. Launched in September 1973, the XB range was restyled with a new split grille, one-piece tail lights and some significant mechanical improvements, chiefly the adoption four-wheel disc brakes. Having continued the GT lineage with the previous XA, Ford again offered a high-performance version of the new XB, moving away from the fire-breathing XR-XY GTs and pitched instead as a more refined GT for the mature executive. Powered by the 351-cid V8 with a four-barrel carburettor and developing 300 bhp at 5400 rpm, the XB GT certainly wasn’t lacking in grunt and could still turn the quarter mile in 15.8 seconds on its way to a theoretical top speed of 200 km/h. With a choice of four-speed Toploader or three-speed FMX automatic transmissions, the XB GT had a limited-slip differential as standard. The XB GT was again sold in either sedan or hardtop guise with blacked-out bonnet, grille and rear panels plus GT badges and luxurious interior. One area the XB GT was improved over its predecessor was the optional four-wheel disc brakes and the press generally sang the praises of the new model – Sports Car World headlined the car as “Ford refines the stormer”. Ford may not have run factory-backed XB GTs in touring car racing, but stalwarts like Allan Moffat, Murray Carter, John Goss and others persevered as privateers, with Kevin Bartlett teaming up with the latter for an unexpected win at Bathurst over the hotly favoured Toranas in 1974. In total there were 1,950 sedans and 941 hardtop XB GTs built before production ceased in June 1976 and – like all Ford GTs – prices have shown rapid growth in recent years, making them a fast appreciating asset that’s also great fun to drive.