Ford XF Falcon: who could argue, Falcon WAS the answer!
To an industry outsider and even perhaps to a few of the invited motoring journalists, Ford Australia’s decision to showcase its XF Falcon at the Oran Park racetrack might have seemed odd. After all, in October 1984 it had been almost two years since the company had manufactured its final V8 engine and more than eight years since the demise of the legendary, unique Ford Falcon GT. High performance was no longer a Falcon brand value.
But there was an unpublicised tale to explain the decision to let the motoring media loose in the now six-cylinder-only Falcon at a closed venue. The previous year, at the launch of the Ford Telstar, one journalist crashed his car heavily with one of the company’s most senior executives in the passenger seat. No-one was hurt but the PR executives decided that their next major launch would not be conducted on public roads.
As it turned out, the Falcon was not too bad on the Oran Park South circuit. (I recall lapping in 62 seconds, which was reasonable for any standard production sedan running on street tyres not especially inflated for the purpose.)