The beautiful, burgundy Ford Falcon XP sedan caught my eye from behind a row of bushes and as I walked over to investigate further a young bloke and his young son also approached. “Fantastic job!” I said, as they got into the car. “Thanks”, he replied. I realised he was in a bit of a hurry to get going but I asked if I could take a few photos of the car and he agreed.
As you can see, this is no ordinary early model Falcon. The 289 V8 badges and the exhaust rumble give away the obvious modification. That and the gear lever and the wheels. All up this is a beautiful, straight car with what appeared to be a near perfect paint job. The interior is spot on too. Not everything is quite finished and there’s a hole in the dash where the radio used to be. There is however a good quality modern sound system cleverly fitted into the glove box.
Unfortunately neither of us really had any time to chat, but I’m glad that I had the chance to snap this great looking classic car.
A Bit of History on the Ford Falcon XP:
The Ford XP series was released in February /March 1965, and were produced until August/ September 1966; 70,998 were produced.
The XP Falcon was available as 4 door sedan , Deluxe sedan , a Station Wagon , Deluxe Station wagon , Deluxe Utility, Utility and Panel van. During 1965, 2,608 Hardtop coupes were produced with a further 1,227 in 1966.
In September 1965, two models were added to the model line up; the Fairmont was to replace the Futura Sedan; and the Squire Wagon. While the Futura name continued with the Hardtop model, the unpopular Squire was dropped, it did not sell well and was one American idea (side panelling in false wood and fibreglass) that Australian buyers did not like. The Fairmont was aimed at providing competition to Holden’s Premier and Chrysler’s Valiant Regal and came in Sedan and Wagon versions.
The XP won the Wheels magazine ‘Car of the Year’ for 1965. The magazine said at the time,
The XP has won the award mainly on the grounds of seriously applied development engineering to improve a basically poor (XK – 1960) product.
After long and careful deliberation, Wheels magazine has awarded its Car of the Year award to the Ford Motor Company of Australia for its Falcon XP series. The Falcon is the first six cylinder car to win the coveted trophy, the first of the American-backed “Big Three” to figure, and has the highest local content of any winner so far.
Although the XP Falcon wasn’t available with a factory fitted V8 engine, Wheels magazine in January 1965 reported,
After much speculation and idle rumouring, the Australian market is at last to see a V8 compact, albeit in small doses. Australians can now buy new Ford Falcons – the XM model – equipped with V8 engines. This sensational piece of news has “sneaked up” on the motor industry because of the quietness – perhaps even secrecy – surrounding the first experiments with the new cars. The V8 Falcons will be made in small numbers at first while Ford Australia gauges the effect on the market. The cars are being turned out by Sydney speed shop proprietor Mr Bill Warner, who buys new unregistered two-door Futura hardtops from Ford; replaces the six-cylinder engine and transmission with his equipment; makes certain suspension modifications, and then returns the unused engine and transmission to Ford, where he is credited for them.
Unfortunately the V8 XM and later XP Falcons never went into production, although the V8 conversion is quite popular these days.