2021 Shannons '40th Anniversary' Timed Online Auction

1965 Ford Falcon XP Deluxe Coupe





Engine 200 cubic-inch 6-cylinder
Gearbox 3-speed automatic
Body Work Coupe
Colour Red
Interior Red
Wheels Steel
Brakes Drums


This lot is no longer available

On Monday 3 May 1965, a battered red Ford XP Falcon Deluxe Hardtop bearing the racing number 1 held pride of place in the foyer of Melbourne’s Southern Cross Hotel, marking a pivotal moment in the history of Ford Australia. For the seven preceding days, this had been the hero car of Ford’s now legendary Durability Run. Newly appointed Ford Australia vice-president, Bill Bourke, conceived the bravest automotive test the country had ever seen – a seven-day, 70,000-mile enduro at an average speed of 70 miles per hour (on a tortuous test track designed for speeds of half that). Bourke was determined to prove that the new XP Falcon had the ruggedness, speed and handling prowess to cope with whatever Australia could throw at it! Harry Firth, master of ceremonies, selected the red Hardtop as the pacesetter among six brand new XPs. All incurred damage but, amazingly, all finished, beating the target speed. The result not only vindicated Bourke’s audacious plan, but effectively guaranteed the long-term future of the Ford Falcon on the Australian market – the sub-brand was discontinued in the US in 1970 but endured in Australia until 2016! The Falcon XP range won the acclaimed Wheels Car of the Year award for 1965, the first of the American-backed ‘Big Three’ to do so.

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