THE 50-year anniversary of the XY GTHO Phase III Falcon has been commemorated in an expansive new book.
Arguably one of Australia’s most famed cars, the Phase III was the fastest four-door production sedan on the planet in 1971. Ultimately, it would be the final evolution of its line, with the Phase IV killed off by the infamous ‘Supercar Scare’ of 1972.
Written by Ross Vasse and officially licenced by the Ford Motor Company, The 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Phase III Register is an encyclopaedic account of the legendary Falcon.
Ross has spent the past 30 years meticulously cataloguing the GTHO Phase III by procuring Ford production records, lodging Freedom of Information requests on stolen or destroyed cars, and even trekking to South Africa in pursuit of the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ Phase III. “Some people collect stamps, some breed pigeons, but I just love Australian motoring history,” enthuses Ross.
The book chronicles every one of the 300 Phase IIIs produced, covering their build specifications, sales records, and current status. Every car features a loving and individual written history.
Ross even tracked down the 11 once-missing ‘phantom cars’ no longer held on Ford’s production lists. “Every phantom has been verified with period documentation,” he says, “The footprints of truth are all there from 50 years ago.”
Plenty of myths and legends are put to bed, including that of the fabled automatic Phase III. It’s a long story involving a successful NSW car dealer and Al Turner’s Lot 6 operation - one researched by Ross since the early 90s.
His exhaustive research means the book contains troves of never-before-published imagery and information, including period photos dating right back to ’71. Previously unrecorded cars also grace the pages of this GTHO bible, including a one-owner Phase III, and also the lowest mile GTHO Phase III in existence, with just 13,000 miles on the clock!
This final ‘Blue Edition’ of the book follows the rapid allocation of previous versions at the start of the year, which included 300 ‘Black Editions’ (book number 1/300 is to be auctioned as a Dementia Australia fundraiser), plus 25 Allan Moffat-signed ‘Gold Editions’ and 25 ‘Factory QC Editions’ also signed by Fred Gibson and John French. One prototype book is held by Ross, meaning 351 in total were created. “I knew there was going to be interest in it, but I had no idea it would sell as well as it did!” laughs Ross. “The first sale was on New Year’s Day at 6:15am, and by 10:05 it was a total sellout.
“There was a huge backlash on Facebook, because on social media you’re a hero until you’re not. I got some advice and decided to come out with an apology and release a soft-cover version once I got an official Ford licence.
“Once the Blue Edition comes off sale, the title will no longer be available.”
The Blue Edition of The 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Phase III Register will be officially released on 30 November, 2021. Copies can now be reserved at theGTHOregister.com.au for a limited time.
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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.
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