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Used Ford Falcon Review: 1970-1972

In the days before posted speed limits on our highways the Falcon GT was king. With a top speed in excess of 200 km/h and able to cruise comfortably at 160 km/h the GT was an awesome road car.

While Ford is trying to resurrect the GT in its new BA Falcon range it’s doubtful it will ever capture the commanding road presence of the great GTs, which now reign supreme over the classic car market.

The 1970 XY Falcon GT was the last of the great classic Falcon GTs. The GT badge first appeared in 1967 in the XR range, with follow-up models in XT and XW before the 1970 XY, which was the last of the original body shape that began with the XR.

The GT carried on in XA and XB before being dropped as a regular model in 1973, and Ford later built a couple of GTs – EB and EL – to celebrate the 25th and 30th anniversaries of the original GT, but they were pale imitations of the real thing and have become collectable only because they were built in very limited numbers.

MODEL WATCH

The XY GT is regarded as the last of the great GTs, and is the most sought after today, apart from the HOs that were really built more as race cars than the GTs that were awesome road cars.

There was no mistaking a GT in 1970. It had wild stripes down the side, the bonnet was blacked-out, bold GT badges announced it, and if you missed all of those clues there was no escaping the ‘shaker’ air scoop that protruded through the bonnet.

Inside it had comfortable bucket seats, a centre console, full sports instrumentation, and a wood-rimmed sports steering wheel.

Power was from a 5.7-litre ’Cleveland’ V8 which Ford claimed put out 220 kW, but the reality was that it was considerably more than that.

Most GTs had the four-speed manual gearbox, but there was a three-speed automatic option available, and the diff was the tough nine-inch.

Despite weighing a hefty 1500 kg, the XY GT would sprint through the quarter-mile in 15.5 seconds, and with its tall rear axle ratio would reach a heady 225 km/h.

There was a downside to the go-power though, as the GT was a thirsty beast if you weren’t circumspect with your right foot. With the standard 75-litre fuel tank you found yourself making frequent stops for fuel, although a larger, 164-litre tank, was available as an option and reduced the frequency of servo visits.

IN THE SHOP

Falcon GTs haven’t always been treated the way we’d like to think a classic should be. They were among the fastest cars on the road in their day and most have been used and abused, so expect signs of a hard life.

The more owners they’ve had the greater the likelihood they’ve been driven hard, and possibly crashed, so hope for the best and be prepared for the worst.

Cars that have had lots of owners will usually need lots of work to bring them back to good drivable condition. Every owner thinks they know best so they will often fiddle, and generally make things worse in the process.

The XY GT is now 30 years old, and like most 30-year-old cars suffers from the dreaded tin-worm. Expect to find rust in a number of areas, in the bottoms of the guards, the bottoms of the doors, around the rear window and possibly in the plenum chamber and torque box at the front of the chassis.

Mechanically they are tough. The Cleveland V8 is rugged and can stand a fair amount of abuse, and can easily be rebuilt once they’re worn out. Same goes for the four-speed gearbox and diff.

LOOK FOR

• classic car synonymous with the golden era of Australian muscle cars.

• awesome road performance with thundering exhaust note will turns heads and make you feel good.

• rapidly sinking fuel gauge will ensure you get to know your local servo attendant.

• make sure of the authenticity.

• be prepared for the wear and tear from a hard 30 years of high-speed road life.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
1972 $2,090 $5,720
1971 $2,090 $4,070
1970 $2,090 $4,070

View all Ford Falcon pricing and specifications

Pricing Guides

$2,035
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$0
Highest Price
$4,070

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 4.1L, Leaded, 3 SP MAN $2,640 – 4,070 1970 Ford Falcon 1970 (base) Pricing and Specs
500 4.1L, Leaded, 3 SP AUTO $2,420 – 3,850 1970 Ford Falcon 1970 500 Pricing and Specs
(base) 4.1L, Leaded, 3 SP AUTO $2,090 – 3,300 1970 Ford Falcon 1970 (base) Pricing and Specs
Futura 4.9L, Leaded, 3 SP AUTO $2,640 – 4,070 1970 Ford Falcon 1970 Futura Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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