Used Ford Falcon review: 1967
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It's often the original model that becomes the much-admired classic in later life, and that's certainly the case with the first Falcon GT Ford, launched in 1967. The XR Falcon GT can lay claim to a number of firsts. It was the first Aussie muscle car and the first V8 to conquer the Bathurst mountain.
The GT was one of the smartest marketing moves ever seen in Australia. Ford was building a high-speed pursuit car for the police when some smart marketing men thought it would make a great high-speed road car and, perhaps more importantly, a potent race car for events like Bathurst.
Using the police pursuit specification as a base, a GT spec was developed. The GT was based on the XR Falcon sedan, the first to offer a V8 engine, and was enhanced with some special go-fast gear and dress-up equipment so it looked the part.
All apart from a handful of special build cars were painted GT Gold with black GT stripes down each sill and across the boot lid, while the grille was also blacked-out for added effect. GT badges adorned the grille, boot lid and the C-pillars.
It wasn't over-the-top to the point of being garish, it looked just about perfect.
Inside, there was a Mustang-style woodrim steering wheel, extra dials with the speedo going all the way to 140mph (225km/h), and there was a Hurst shifter jutting out of the centre console. The engine would be a more powerful version of the standard 4.7-litre pushrod V8. The compression ratio was boosted, it had a sports camshaft, four-barrel Holley carburettor, special intake manifold and exhaust system. All that added up to 225hp (168kW) at 4800 revs while torque was 305lb ft (413Nm) at 3200 revs, enough to power it to 100km/h in a little more than 10 seconds and, at 195km/h, it was the fastest car ever produced in Australia at the time.
The V8 was linked to a four-speed manual gearbox with the final drive delivered to the rear wheels via limited-slip diff.
Underneath the glittering gold panels, the suspension had been stiffened with heavier springs, bigger shock absorbers and a larger front anti-roll bar. The steering ratio had been reduced, disc brakes were fitted to the front, and the wheels were wider and fitted with radial tyres.
IN THE SHOP
The XR GT is almost 40 years old and will have many of the problems that affect all old cars. Rust can be a particular problem, and their high performance meant that many have been crashed, some a number of times. That means a thorough inspection is needed to determine the condition of the body.
The good news is that it's not too difficult to find replacement body parts as they're the same as those on regular XR Falcons.
Finding second-hand body parts in good condition, however, requires patience and persistence. Mechanically there is nothing daunting about the GT. The 4.7-litre V8 is a simple and durable unit and there are plenty of parts available to rebuild them.
Same goes for the gearbox, rear axle, suspension, steering and brakes. The difficulty with the GT is replacing those special GT parts that might be missing.
There's not much to talk about on the safety front. Airbags were a thing of the future in 1967, even seat belts were optional, although the GT did come with lap-sash belts up front.
FORD FALCON GT 1967
Not recommended for daily driving
Rumbling V8 performance
Authenticity is a must
Rust and crash damage
Must be complete with all special GT features
12/20 A head-turner that's fun to drive and appreciating in value.
Range and Specs
|(base)||2.8L, Leaded, 3 SP AUTO||$2,640 – 4,070||1967 Ford Falcon 1967 (base) Pricing and Specs|
|(base)||3.1L, Leaded, 3 SP AUTO||$2,640 – 4,070||1967 Ford Falcon 1967 (base) Pricing and Specs|
|500||3.1L, Leaded, 3 SP MAN||$1,980 – 3,080||1967 Ford Falcon 1967 500 Pricing and Specs|
|GT||4.7L, Leaded, 4 SP MAN||No recent listings||1967 Ford Falcon 1967 GT Pricing and Specs|
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