2022 Shannons Winter Timed Online Auction
Lot
90

1965 Ford XP Falcon Coupe (Project)

$34,000

Brisbane

Sold

Specifications

Engine 170 cubic-inch 6-cylinder
Gearbox Automatic
Body Work Coupe
Colour Blue
Interior Blue
Wheels Steel
Brakes Drums

Description

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 American 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. Ford Australia became the first of the local ‘Big Three’ to offer a two-door version of its popular six and the XM Hardtop and its XP successor have long been highly sought by collectors.