Browse over 9,000 car reviews

XY Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III fails to reach half-million mark at auction

A prize winning Falcon GTHO was passed in at auction this week after it failed to reach the $500,000-plus asking price.

Arguably the most collectable car in Australia the sought after Phase III model was expected to sell in the $470,000 to $520,000 price range.

But it was passed in after bidding topped out at $480,000 on Monday night at the Shannons auction in Melbourne.

Our sources report the car changed hands later for more than this figure.

In 2007 a similar Falcon sold for a record breaking $683,000.

The figure is a far cry from the original $5302 you would have paid for one in 1971.

With a 351 cubic inch (5.8-litre) V8, the GTHO (the HO stood for handling option) was a race bred special.

Based on the 1969 XW GT, only 300 Phase IIIs were built for Bathurst, with the addition of a beefy rear anti-sway bar, larger Holley carby, lumpier camshaft, free flowing intake manifold and different lifters and valves.

The engine pumped out an impressive for the time 300bhp or 224kW in today’s figures, but the real figure is said to have been closer to 380bhp or 284kW.

It was apparently understated for insurance purposes.

The GTHO could sprint from 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds and was able to dispatched the quarter mile in 14.4 seconds.

Four-time Bathurst winner Allan Moffat drove one of the cars to victory in the 1971 Bathurst 500 where the cars finished in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place plus 5th and 6th.

The car auctioned on Monday had been the hands of its current owner for 25 years.

Delivered new by Murray Ford of Ipswich, Queensland in June, 1971, the matching numbers car was fully restored to factory specification in 1998.

The restoration was so good the car took out the GT Nationals in Adelaide the following year, then again in Brisbane in 2003 and was a runner-up at Brisbane in 2011.

This particular example was selected by Ford Performance Vehicles as the poster car for the launch of the BA FPV GT 290kW at Bathurst in 2004.