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1972 Ford Falcon GT

1972 Ford Falcon GT

The XA Falcon saw the return of a two-door hardtop, which allowed the new XA GT to appear in two-and four-door body styles for the first time. Media controversy over race homologation specials hitting the streets killed the XA Phase IV at birth. Ford had to quickly find a home for 200 sets of the Phase IVs 15 inch Globe Bathurst wheel and Australias first 60 series radial tyre amongst previous Phase III owners so that the Phase III could continue racing in 1972 on the latest 15 inch racing rubber.

The XA series was the first all-Australian Falcon design and the sleek new GT looked the part with twin bonnet NART scoops, side vents on the front guards, blacked-out bonnet, wheel arches and door sills, and driving lights integrated into the blacked-out grille. Upgraded suspension and extra refinement made it even more of a Grand Tourer. The XA GT marked a return to the popular 12-slot sports wheel. From the end of the XY series, the GT’s Cleveland V8 was locally assembled from imported parts before they were manufactured here. The Windsor 302 V8 was replaced by a 302 version of the locally-built V8. The hardtop eventually became even more famous as the basis for the Mad Max super car for the film of the same name.

The XA GT continued the race-winning tradition set by the earlier models culminating in the Moffat/Geoghegan Bathurst victory in 1973 followed by the 1974 Goss/Bartlett win in pouring rain making the XA GT the single most successful GT at Bathurst. Almost one third of the XA GT models were hardtops out of a total of 2,759 units sold. Three prototypes (all supplied to race and rally teams) and one actual production model of the Phase IV were built. Legends, lies and rumours of these four cars persist to this day but they are the most collectible of all GTs. The XA GT was also available with Regular Production Option 83′ essentially a Phase IV in most respects except for the name!

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In Detail

submitted by Richard Owen
engine Cleveland 351 V8
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
valvetrain Pushrod OHV
fuel feed Autolite 4300 600CFM 4-Barrel Carburettor
bore 102 mm / 4.02 in
stroke 89 mm / 3.5 in
compression 10.7:1
power 223.7 kw / 300 bhp @ 5400 rpm
bhp/weight 203.25 bhp per tonne
torque 515.21 nm / 380 ft lbs @ 3400 rpm
driven wheels RWD w/LSD
front tires ER70H14 radials
rear tires ER70H14 radials
front brakes Vented Discs w/Servo Assist
f brake size x 286 mm / x 11.3 in
rear brakes Drums w/Servo Assist
r brake size x 354 mm / x 13.9 in
front wheels F 35.6 x 15.2 cm / 14 x 6 in
rear wheels R 35.6 x 15.2 cm / 14 x 6 in
steering Recirculating Ball
f suspension Wishbones w/Spring over Strut-Type Dampers, Anti Roll Bar
r suspension Live Axle w/Semi-Elliptic Springs, Telescopic Shock Absorbers
curb weight 1476 kg / 3254 lbs
wheelbase 2819 mm / 111.0 in
front track 1537 mm / 60.5 in
rear track 1524 mm / 60.0 in
length 4737 mm / 186.5 in
width 1969 mm / 77.5 in
height 1372 mm / 54.0 in
transmission 4-Speed Manual or 3-Speed Auto
gear ratios 2.78:1, 1.93:1, 1.36:1, 1.00:1, :1
final drive 3.00:1
top speed ~202.8 kph / 126.0 mph
0 – 60 mph ~7.9 seconds

Auction Sales History

1972 Ford Falcon GT

1973 Ford Falcon XA 351 Coupe – sold for $43,700. Ford’s XA was the first Australian designed Falcon and broke with the traditional styling of the previous XW/XY model, ushering in a new era of curves and for the first time, a two-door hardtop coupe. Showing a strong American influence, the hardtop was Ford’s belated answer to the runaway success of the Holden Monaro. Launched in March 1972, the XA was sold in various guises including the 302-cid and 351-cid V8s. The interior was modernised, with wraparound fascia, and front disc brakes became standard across the range, along with safety items like rear seat belts. The hardtop was sold as the Falcon 500 or Fairmont with the option of a GS pack, or in high performance GT guise plus the limited Superbird edition with special decals. Ford’s XA/XB/XC hardtops rate as one of the toughest Aussie muscle cars ever made and today have an almost cult following, thanks in no small part to the Interceptor used in the “Mad Max” movies.

Another Ford example with celluloid history, this 351-cid XA Coupe enjoyed a starring role in the 1999 movie “Two Hands” as Sydney crime boss Bryan Brown’s personal car and was also driven on screen by a young Heath Ledger. Thereafter it was kept by the movie’s director and writer Gregor Jordan until 2004 before passing to the current owner, Sydney comedian and radio personality Merrick Watts with a passion for Australiana. Featuring the desirable 351-cid V8 under the bonnet, the XA has automatic transmission and comes with some recent service records. The car has covered very little mileage in recent years, with routine maintenance carried out. Sold registered in NSW with the numberplates ‘2HANDS’, these are not transferrable if sold interstate. Auction Source: 2011 Motorclassica