On 9 August, 1971, former Wheels staffer Mel Nichols and photographer Uwe Kuessner produced the most famous image in the magazine's back catalogue. Shooting over Nichols' left shoulder, Kuessner snapped Ford's Bathurst homolation special, the XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III, at an indicated 145mph (233km/h). At redline, in top.
Ford Australia hasn't needed to homologate a road-going Falcon for racing for a very long time. But as the door began to close on its Ford Performance Vehicles arm, the passionate revheads inside the Blue Oval's Melbourne HQ fought hard to give the very last FPV, the 351kW GT-F, the send-off it deserved.
With such a rich muscle-car heritage, crowned by the legendary Phase III, Ford decided to farewell its Aussie icon by creating the fastest Falcon ever.
How fast? That's what we went to Alice Springs to find out.
We brought along the very same XY GT-HO from the original photograph, and the future icon, the FPV GT-F, to the unlimited roads of the Northern Territory. Two landmark Aussie muscle cars and one of the most legendary Australian motoring stories of all time.