Are we ready for a return to large car coupes?
Holden pensioned off the Monaro in December, but may return with a Camaro in the next few years; Ford president Tom Gorman says there is not enough demand for a return of the Cobra but is “seriously looking” at a hardtop convertible version of the Focus; and Chrysler is considering a Dodge Challenger.
With fuel prices at record highs and the large car market decreasing about 22 per cent, large car coupes would seem like dinosaurs.
However, one Ford Falcon coupe is up for sale and the asking price is $250,000.
Few people have seen the one-off Falcon coupe, built in 2001 as a showcar and intended to be the precursor to a full-blown production program.
That potential, sadly, fell by the way. The sole coupe, featuring coachwork by Millards in Victoria and a 4.6-litre Cobra engine built and supercharged by Sprintex in Perth, has sat forlorn in Sprintex's showrooms.
Sprintex marketing manager Stephen Wilkinson said the car was up for sale because they were moving away from playing with big-engined, big-horsepower vehicles and on to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars and motorcycles.
The Millard-built coupe is based on a Falcon TE50 and sits on the standard sedan platform and wheelbase, but with a 4.6-litre 370kW Cobra V8.
The late Howard Marsden, then heading Ford Motorsport, oversaw the project though Mr Wilkinson said there was never any official agreement with Ford.
The original intention was to make 100 cars and orders were taken for 20, however, Ford withdrew from the project.
Coachwork changes to the coupe started with the sloping roofline, the lengthened doors and the new bootline. Inside there's seating for four.
Ford 300+ coupe
Body: Falcon AU-based coupe, body kit
Engine: Cobra SVT-spec 4.6-litre, V8, quad-cam, 10psi supercharger
Transmission: 6-speed manual, Tremec
Brakes: Brembo 4-piston calipers, 365mm vented discs (front); Brembo 2-piston calipers, 330mm vented discs (rear)
Tyres: 245/35ZR19; 275/30ZR19
Weight: approx 1665kg
Price: asking $250,000