Ford commenced building Falcons in Australia in 1959 and the first model sold here, the XK series, was available from September 1960. Essentially a right-hand drive version of the American Falcon, the newcomer was intended to allow Ford Australia to take on General Motors and the crisp, modern styling certainly made the FB Holden look distinctly old fashioned. Powered by a 144-cid six-cylinder engine with three-speed column shift or Fordomatic two-speed automatic, Ford subsequently offered the 170-cid Pursuit Six as an option for those seeking additional performance. After some criticism of the XK's ability to withstand the rough Australian roads, Ford responded with the XL Falcon in 1962 that benefited from heavy-duty suspension. The bodywork was given a new "Thunderbird" look, with squared-off roofline and convex grille. Other improvements included a new starter motor, redesigned carburettor and stronger clutch, plus revised gear ratios to improve low speed acceleration. Ford added a new model to jazz up the range, the luxury Futura with bucket seats, full carpeting and a padded dash. The XL Falcon was certainly better received by the public, as reflected in the steadily increasing sales figures, though it is a rare sight on our roads today.