WE’VE created a lot of fantastic things as a country – Vegemite, lamingtons, the Hills Hoist – and we even used to make some pretty nice cars as well. But frankly, the best thing that’s ever come out of this island is the AU Falcon.
An ugly bastard child from the twilight of the 90s, it isn’t hard to see why the VT/VX Commodore managed to outsell the AU hand over fist. But to focus on that would miss the point, because once you get past the unbelievably ugly exterior and interior (have you seen the dashboard design in one of these things?), you’ll find tough-nut Aussie attitude that means AUs are capable of just about anything.
There have been more than a few reported cases of these things topping one million kilometres with original running gear; they’re just one of those cars that’ll take any form of punishment you throw at it without giving up the ghost.
So naturally, we’ve cherry-picked a list of the top 10 coolest things people have done with the legendary AU Falcon. It goes without saying that some of these belong in the ‘do not try at home’ basket, unless you want the constabulary knocking on your door. Now enjoy!
10. Lightning McQAU. We’ve seen a few cars kitted out to replicate famous children’s movie characters, but something about the face of an AU seems to make this example fit just right.
9. Who needs a ute? This bloke decided to take it into his own hands and test out the boot capacity of an AU sedan.
8. War wagon – because the sight of this in your rearview mirror would be as mesmerising as it is terrifying.
7. What payload? If it fits, it sits.
6. Tow ratings are for chumps when you’ve got an AU to do the horse work.
5. Hillier-built Ford XR8 coupe. Amongst our more pisstake-y selections, this one is actually a solidly built car. The real question is: Should Ford have built this to try and take on Holden’s reinvented Monaro?
4. The ultimate farm hand – you don’t need a HiLux or Rodeo to get around the paddocks when you’ve got an AU sitting in the hayshed.
3. Going out in style. What better way to leave this world than in a stretched AU Falcon wagon dressed up with a Rolls-Royce front end? If all this isn’t weird enough, this unique automotive specimen is located in the UK, and is for sale for £15,000 in the old money.
2. Boost ’til she blows. These blokes got hold of a seriously second-hand wagon and decided to strap a giant GT47 turbo to the donk and see how far they could push the engine. In this video it made a stonking 402hp on 25psi of boost, and the drama at the end of the clip is just the intake hose letting go, not the engine.
1. An RTV wagon capable of conquering the world, proving you don’t need to spend a house deposit’s worth of cash on a 4x4 to have fun off-road. Skip to around 10 minutes into the video to see it in action.
And here’s a bonus! It didn’t make the top 10 because it isn’t actually an AU Falcon, but rather a Nissan Skyline R32 coupe with an AU front end. We’ll just leave it at that.