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Today in 1960: Ford powers on

By Jesse Taylor, 29 Apr 2009 Features

Today in 1960: Ford powers on

We dug up some pics from the <i>Wheels</i> archive for this date steeped in Ford production history.

First Falcon motor to be produced by Ford Australia April 29, 1960

On this day in 1960 at its Geelong plant, Ford Australia began production of its in-line six-cylinder engine. The same engine (with shared bore-centre spacings and basic architecture) continues today in the current FG Falcon range. Displacing 2.4-litres, the original over head valve engine produced just 60kW.

A straight six cylinder block in the 1960 machine shop

Fast forward to today's six-cylinder range-topping FPV F6, and the now twin overhead cam, turbocharged six pumps out 310kW (that's over 500% more power). The Falcon XK that the in-line six powered, struggled it's way to 60mph (97km/h) in about 13.5seconds, the same amount of time required for the F6 to cover the standing 400metres (at 180km/h).

The first Falcon to receive the Australian engine

Ford had originally planned to kill off the iconic straight six next year in favour of an imported V6, but its now been granted a stay of execution beyond 2010, and likely until 2013. In line with international emissions standard, Ford's in-line will become Euro IV compliant from July 1 next year, meaning the old girl still has a few more birthdays to celebrate.