By the time you read this, Ford will have closed the shutters and flipped off the lights at its Broadmeadows assembly plant for the last time. It will be the end of the road for Ford’s 91-year run of Australian car production, and the last time a Ford Falcon will be bolted together on our soil.
But while production is ending, there are still thousands of Falcons circulating in the used car market. With no new Ford Falcons to replace them, Ford Australia’s long-lived sedan, ute and wagon is now on the path to extinction.
But before that happens, what should the discerning Ford collector aim to buy? Here’s a list of some of the more accessible collectible Falcons:
1: 1964-1966 XP FALCON HARDTOP
The XP Falcon cemented the Falcon’s reputation for reliability and durability when Ford took five cars off its production line and subjected them to a continuous nine-day, 70,000km torture test.
Conducted at Ford’s You Yangs proving ground, the test didn’t take place on a high-speed oval either; roads representative of typical Aussie backroads provided a greater challenge for suspensions and chassis. All five cars passed the test, which bodes well for the car’s long-term prospects as a collector’s car.
But why do we list the hardtop? Simply because its elegant B-pillarless design makes it a joy to behold.
2: 1966-1968 XR FALCON GT
Ford’s second-generation Falcon may be old, but its classic 60s “Coke bottle” styling gives it significant desirability for nostalgia freaks.
And the GT model is particularly attractive. The first V8-powered Aussie Falcon, the XR GT helped usher in the domestic muscle car era and paved the way for successive generations of bent-eight Ford sedans – right up to the 2016 FGX XR8 Sprint.
3: 1971-1979 XA to XC Falcon hardtop
The XA-XC coupes have some showbiz glitz, thanks to an XB coupe being given the starring role in both Mad Max and Mad Max 2. But besides being Max Rockatansky’s interceptor of choice, Ford’s disco-era Falcon coupes also hold significant aesthetic appeal thanks to their butch and blocky 1970s fastback styling.
And that design, by the way, was penned right here in Australia – the first time Ford Australia had full control over the way the Falcon looked. The XA was also the first to offer locally-built V8 engines – the 302 and 351.
4: 1991-1993 EB FALCON XR8
After nine years without a V8 option in its range, the Falcon finally returned to eight-cylinder power in December 1992 with the EB Falcon XR8.
A development of the EA that launched in 1987, the EB XR8 was also the first model to sport the XR8 badge on its bootlid, a badge that has lasted right up until the Falcon’s demise this year. It may look unassuming, but to Ford fanatics the EB XR8 is a landmark car.
5: 2002 BA FALCON XR6 TURBO
It took a while for Ford Australia to catch on to the joys of turbocharging, but when the company finally bolted a turbo onto the side of its 4.0-litre inline six it resulted in a torque-laden monster of a sports sedan.
Being a relatively young model also means finding one should be easy – and affordable. If you’re looking for a modern classic from the Falcon stable, the BA XR6 Turbo is your car.