Down Under Muscle: 1969 Ford Falcon XW GT

The muscle car scene in Australia developed in a completely different way, and a completely different time-frame, to that in the USA. Things really didn’t kick into gear until 1967, when Ford introduced the first of its Falcon GT variants, powered by the 289ci Windsor V8. By 1969, the Falcon had undergone an ongoing evolution, and the GT received some substantial performance boosts as well. This 1969 XW Falcon GT is part of that evolution process, and after being hidden away in a barn for more than 20-years, it has emerged into the light of day. It is located in Rutherford, New South Wales, Australia, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The asking price for this classic Australian muscle car is A$115,000.

For our American readers, the shape of the Falcon may look familiar. That’s because Ford Australia tied itself to its parent company for the basic Falcon styling from its introduction through until 1972 when an Australian styled and developed model was introduced. Under the skin though, it was a very different story, as the Australian Falcon featured a lot of engineering changes. Australian roads are some of the most notoriously harsh roads on the planet, and there were certain aspects of the original Falcon architecture which crumbled under the pressure from Down Under. This Falcon is a 1969 model, which was the 2nd facelift for the 2nd Generation Falcon. It has been sitting for more than 20-years, but it doesn’t seem to be any the worse for the experience. It is 1-of-633 XW GTs that was finished in Diamond White, and this looks to be in quite good condition. It features the correct body-side stripes with the fantastic “Super Roo” logo on the front fenders. If you’ve never seen the Super Roo, take a look at the last photo, because it’s a kangaroo with an attitude. The wheels aren’t original, and I believe that these are Magnum Eliminator wheels, which were a popular aftermarket choice in the 1970s. The front and rear spoilers also aren’t original, but the enormous gas cap is. These are not a locking item, and when these Falcons were a more common sight on Australian roads, many of these were liberated from the cars. It got to the point where many GT owners would remove the original cap and replace it with a locking unit, as they were an expensive item. That gas cap wasn’t just about show, because it fed fuel into a 36-gallon, long-range fuel tank. Overall though, the car itself looks to be quite solid and free of rust.

The interior of the GT doesn’t look too bad, but there are a couple of glaring problems. The first is the fact that the original GT steering wheel is gone, and has been replaced by a basic Falcon wheel. I’ve also noticed some wear in different areas on the dash, especially around the ignition and light switches. There are also knobs missing from various controls on the dash, while the factory radio is missing, along with the boot off the bottom of the shifter. While these are an irritation, they don’t spell the end of the world. Due to the popularity of the various GT models, and also the popularity of creating clones, there is a thriving industry in Australia that produces reproduction parts, and the quality of some of these parts is quite impressive. Thankfully, the upholstered surfaces all look to be in good condition, as does the distinctive gauge cluster.

It was under the hood where the Falcon GT meant business. Compared to many American muscle cars, the 351ci V8 must have seemed quite puny, but it still produces a claimed 290hp. There are many people who believe that Ford was “fudging” the figures here, and that engine output was actually a bit higher. However, Ford was believed to be avoiding issuing a horsepower figure beyond the psychological 300 mark, as this could potentially raise the ire of certain segments of the press. The motoring industry was to find out in a few short years just what impact this would have, thanks to what is referred to as the “Supercar Scare,” which is a story in itself. Anyway, the “290hp” from this engine fed through a 4-speed Top Loader transmission to a 9″ limited-slip rear end. The owner doesn’t mention how well the car runs and drives, but given the rarity and value of the car, I would probably have the car checked out from end to end before I would be willing to drive it any distance. I’m also a bit concerned about the fact that the engine has received a repaint in a non-original color at some point, and judging by some of the overspray, it hasn’t been done with any great care. There are a number of aftermarket items that have been added to the car (valve covers, air cleaner, coil), so I would be inclined to replace these at some point.

The owner claims that this 1969 Ford Falcon GT is the real deal, and this is a fact that is now very easy to prove. The thriving clone industry saw many people paying a lot of money for a “genuine” GT, only to find that what they had bought was a fake. Diligent work by a dedicated group of people has seen plenty of information become available for the potential buyer, so spotting a fake has become easy. If this one is the real deal, then in fully restored and immaculate condition, it can fetch up to around the A$135,000 mark. Given the fact that the popularity of all versions of the Australian Falcon GT are continuing to result in an ongoing increase in value, that would seem to make this a car that is potentially worth the asking price.

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Comments

  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Since Holden and Ford closed up their plants in Australia (they couldn’t compete with the Thai car manufacturers dirt cheap labor) the V8’s and supercharged V6’s are no longer as readily available, bringing big money for those that still have them and will sell to those that appreciate them..
    A dying breed, this.

    Like 6
  2. Max Rockatanski

    Paint it yellow and give me a light bar! Gonna go after the Night Rider, Johnny the Boy, Bubba Zinnetti and the Toe Cutter. Last of the V8’s!!!

    Like 6
  3. Troy s

    Tough looking Falcon, really like the wheels on this one. As an American I am not all that familiar with the thunder down under but it sure looks right, the movie Mad Max had me bugged for years as I could not figure out what the heck those screamin squad cars were. Great looking car here in and out, motor looks souped which is just fine.
    Gotta love that Super Roo decal!

    Like 4
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      You probably already know this Troy s that the last GTO (2004-06) was for the most part just a rebadged Holden (Commodore?) since US GM didn’t have the stones to put one together themselves..

      As well, I think the earlier G8 was also an Aussie-born moment of brilliance, but as my wife has pointed out occasionally I could be wrong again!

      Like 5
      • Troy s

        Yeah, I knew that about the Holdens, they fizzled in the image department compared to original GTO’s despite the strong running Chevy under the hood. But it’s the older cars like this Falcon and the use of the the 351 and their own 302 Cleveland that gets me excited. I was fourteen when Mad Max came out, wierd movie at the time, and that was the first time I ever realized they had cars like that down in Australia. The black interceptor completely blew my mind!

        Like 4
    • Dave

      I love the Super Roo too, maybe Ford’s answer to Dodge’s Rumble Bee?

      Like 1
      • Jason

        It’s possible.

      • Chris M.

        Super Bee? A half baked imitation if there ever was one. Lol

  4. David Ulrey

    Love it! Some of the Australian cars are pretty odd looking to me but some of our American are too. This is bad @$$ though. I’ve driven right hand steering vehicles so that’s no problem for me. The only downfall for this one for me is the manual transmission. I can drive a stick just fine but here in America we shift with our right hand. No problem for me. My left shoulder isn’t that great anymore so shifting a manual with my left hand wouldn’t work out too well. Totally love the car though!

    Like 3
  5. TimM

    A rare bread here in America it would probably come close to that price it it wasn’t for one thing!! Or maybe I should say two things!! Those extra doors in the back of the car!! I really don’t see a car like this bringing that money as a four door!!

    Like 1
  6. ken tilly Member

    This was sold in South Africa as a Ford Fairmont GT and had the 351 V8. A friend of mine had one and proudly announced that if he drove it like a ballet dancer he could get 8 mpg out of it. It, and the Ford Perana V8 built by Basil Green were acknowledged by the motoring press as the fastest production cars ever in SA at 142 mph. As a dealer in classic cars back in the late 90’s I sold several of them to Australian collectors as they knew exactly what they were buying whereas the SA owners thought they were stupid to offer so much money for them. Who was stupid?

    Like 6
    • Gay Car Nut

      I don’t know. Given how rare these cars and how desirable they may be, I’m betting they’re asking lots of money.

      Like 1
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        This one’s $115,000 Australian-about $91,000 USD!!!!

        Like 1
  7. Gay Car Nut

    G’day mate! Sweet looking Falcon GT. My favourites are the XT Falcon and the XY Falcon. If I could, I’d buy an XT Fairmont and an XY Fairmont. :)

    Like 3
  8. chrlsful

    gimmie da x-flow 250 instead (guys here put’em to 500HP range)…
    I C the H2O spray to make look nice’n shiny too.

  9. bog

    I’ve followed the OZ hotrod scene from “here” in the good old USA, and also watch their V8 “sedan” road-racing. Wow ! Having lived in Germany I follow the Euro market vehicles as well, and think this looks much more like the full-sized German Ford of that vintage than the US Falcon, and the four-doors fit the upper executive range of vehicles (just not those at the TOP). That engine compartment in this one is almost “too” clean, and it’s missing something in the right rear corner where that hose comes thought the firewall. Wonder what ???
    Rear spoiler looks much like the one on my BOSS 351….And I felt bad hearing that manufacturing there was shuttering too !

    Like 3
    • WayneH

      That hose is just the heater hose that’s been disconnected. You can see the hose looping over from the water pump back to the block. Probably had a heater core leak.

      Like 1
      • bog

        WayneH – that’s what I thought. I’m not as used to engine compartments on right-hand drive cars, but sure have plenty of experience working on vehicles with an open engine compartment….pre-smog. Sigh. Now it’s just packed under there with electronics for everything. Better ?!?! I suppose. Glad I learned all that I did as a child with my Dad.

  10. Sheffieldcortinacentre

    Great motor 4drs or not these cars as iconic as any yank muscle.& I love’m I either flavour.

    Like 3
  11. jason harrison

    It’s lovers like a mk1 Cortina on steroids

    Like 1
  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Nice……

  13. James Martin

    10000 dollars worth of ugly. A 4 door falcon here is worth much.

  14. Garry

    Japanese competitors referred to the XY GT HO as the GT Hoho! When insurance became too much for the GTs, Ford placed the same mechanicals in a special model Australian Fairlane.

  15. gary a saunders

    I Live in Melbourne Australia and there is more GT falcons on the road than the actual number that was produced ,looking at the photo`s it looks like a clone and not a very good one .

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