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Used Ford Falcon review: 1969-1972

Want a classic Falcon GT, but can't afford the silly prices GTs bring? The GS might be the answer.  There's no doubt the Falcon GT is the classic leader in Australia, it is the car that defines Australian muscle, the one that has set the price pace for classic muscle cars.

For most classic car enthusiasts the prices GTs have been bringing has put them out of reach of all but the well heeled.  The solution may be the GS or 'Grand Sport', an option pack that could be added to a Falcon 500, Futura or Fairmont to give the regular Falcon sedan a sporty appeal.

MODEL WATCH

Not everyone wanted, or could afford, the rumbling menace that was the Falcon GT, but many desired a sportier ride than the regular Falcons could offer.  The answer for them came in the form of the GS option pack, a bundle of bits and pieces lifted from the Ford parts bin that cleverly combined to give the Falcon a more exciting personality.

The GS pack could be added to any of the regular Falcon models, the 500 base sedan, the more luxurious Futura and the fabulous Fairmont.
In essence the GS option was a dress-up kit aimed at giving the regular Falcon a sporty look.

Outside there were rally stripes running down each side, ending with a GS decal on the read guards, and fully chromed wheel covers, while inside there was a GT-style wood-grained steering wheel, and a full array of dials in the cockpit dash.  From there the GS buyer could dip further into the option box and add all manner of appearance and mechanical options to individualise his/her GS even further.

The interior could be made sportier with bucket seats and a sports console, air-conditioning made it more comfortable, a laminated windscreen added to its safety, while a vinyl roof could be fitted to give it a real touch of class. 

Mechanical options included a 5.0-litre V8, manual or auto transmissions, power disc brakes, power steering and wide radial tyres.  In the XY model it was also possible to have the GS option with the legendary 351 Cleveland V8 engine.

IN THE SHOP

Buying old cars is always fraught with risk so take lots of time and examine cars very carefully; it's always a good idea to get an expert to eyeball your car before you lay down any cash money.
The old adage of condition, condition, condition is the best advice to follow when looking at old cars.
A pristine car in good condition could provide many years of enjoyment without the need for a major rebuild, but a car in down condition requiring a full resto could cost tens of thousands of dollars and end up costing far more than it's worth on the market.
Look for rust, and not just rust you can see on the outside, lift carpets, boot mats, remove door trims and check the underbody. If a car is fitted with a vinyl roof inspect it closely for bubbles that could indicate rust underneath.
Engines, gearboxes, suspensions and other mechanical components are likely to be worn, but it's not a huge job to refurbish these components, and it can be fun to do if you're handy with tools.

IN A CRASH

The XW/XY Falcons were built well before airbags, safety was provided primarily by a collapsible steering column, a strong, solid body, and seat belts.  Check seat belts for wear to the webbing and replace if they're worn.

AT THE PUMP

A six-cylinder Falcon GS can be an economical classic, one that won't cost an arm and a leg to run. But a big-bore V8 will suck up the juice and will cost a lot more.

LOOK FOR

. Classic Aussie chrome bumper car
. Sporty GS look
. Roomy family fun car
. Low-cost classic
. Avoid rusty cars
. Easily maintained

THE BOTTOM LINE

Doesn't have the GT edge, but it's a neat, affordable and fun Aussie classic.

RATING

70/100

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
1972 $1,900 $5,720
1971 $1,900 $4,070
1970 $1,900 $4,070
1969 $1,900 $4,070

View all Ford Falcon pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$2,985
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$1,900
Highest Price
$4,070

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 3.1L, Leaded, 3 SP AUTO $2,400 – 4,070 1969 Ford Falcon 1969 (base) Pricing and Specs
(base) 3.1L, Leaded, 3 SP AUTO $2,400 – 4,070 1969 Ford Falcon 1969 (base) Pricing and Specs
500 3.1L, Leaded, 3 SP MAN $2,100 – 3,630 1969 Ford Falcon 1969 500 Pricing and Specs
Futura 3.6L, Leaded, 3 SP MAN $2,400 – 4,070 1969 Ford Falcon 1969 Futura Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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