By Dave Turner
All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.
Ford Falcon XA
Replacing the US designed Falcon XY in February 1972 the XA was the first Falcon to be completely designed and produced in Australia. While based on the preceding XY and having the same wheelbase, the bulkier and bolder styled body was a couple of inches longer. Five levels in the sedan line started with the basic version, the 500, the Futura, the Fairmont and the GT. 2 door hardtops came as the 700, the Fairmont and the GT. The wagons on a 5 inch longer wheelbase (the same as the contemporary ZF Fairlane) came as the basic version, the 700 and the Fairmont. Then there were the basic and 500 Utility and the van.
Engine choices were a couple of straight sixes in 3.2 and 4.1 litre sizes and a couple of V8s of 4.9 litres and 5.7. The four door sedans featured the ‘coke bottle’ line rather like being a larger version of the Cortina MkIII while the 2 door coupes boasted very deep rear quarters with rather sinister looking rear side windows quite different to the sedans.
As usual various options and specials add to the complexity for example the Grand Sport Rally Pack ‘boy-racered’ up the base, the 500 and the Fairmont while the proposed GT-HO Phase IV was abandoned after just one example. Just 250 of the GT – RPO 83 Falcons were made – 130 sedans and 120 hardtops, and differed only by a few mechanical upgrades with no external changes. Another limited run were the Falcon 500 Superbird RPO – 77 hardtops featuring considerable mechanical upgrades to engine, suspension, instrumentation complete with rear window louvre.
The up-market version of the Falcons were the bigger Fairlanes but these differed from the regular Falcon in size and equipment sufficiently to demand a separate feature – sometime.
Australia seems to have a reasonably healthy model car supply base with several local operations providing miniatures of their home-grown product. For example Top Gear/Trax may be the most familiar on this side of the globe although Classic Carlectibles and Oz Legends have also been imported.
Oz Legends have in fact provided quite a few models of the XA in a variety of 1:32 scale diecast sedans, hardtop and Ute versions. Most of which appear to be limited to 2,500 examples and feature opening doors, hood and trunk. Classic Carlectibles have gone the 1:18 scale route with slight variation on the same subjects.
Back on 1:32 a range on the Signature label (Yatming?) has a few sedans, hardtops and utes and inevitably concentrates on the higher performance end of the line and like the other makes includes a few customised examples. Auto Art offered some Aussie Falcon Hardtops under the Biante name in both 1:18 and 1:43 scales.
Top Gear/Trax seem to have concentrated on 1:43 for most of their vast range of Ford models but the only XA seems to be the 1972 GT Sedans in at least four colours. These came in the relatively expensive Opal Series that featured a vast amount of detail for 1:43. All four doors open as well as bonnet and boot while the interior and engine compartment are detailed to an incredible degree. The door windows are in the lowered position so that the interior can be viewed without opening the doors.
Falcon XA Models
|Hardtop GT RPO-83||150mm||1:32||diecast|
|Sedan GT RPO-83||150mm||1:32||diecast|
|18268||China||Superbird hardtop show car||250mm||1:18||diecast|
|18448||China||Hardtop GT RPO-83||250mm||1:18||diecast|
|18545||China||Sedan GT HO Phase 1V||250mm||1:18||diecast|
|18615||China||Sedan GT RPO-83||250mm||1:18||diecast|
|T005||China||2008||Sedan GT Ltd 2400||112mm||1:42||diecast|
Succeeding the XA in November 1973 the XB was very similar but featured a few subtle changes to the bonnet and grille – the latter having a central divider. The sedans got larger tail lights that featured a wrap-around section at each side. Once again there were some ‘specials’ such as the Sovereign Edition based on the 500 and celebrating Ford Australia’s 50th Anniversary. The John Goss Specials were Hardtop 500s with decals and a GT bonnet named after a local race driver while the McCleod Horn Specials were produced by a Sydney Ford dealership and identified by a large strobe stripe on the body side.
The Australian model suppliers have provided even more of the XB series than of the previous one. The same names crop up again but with the addition of a new one on this subject – Hot Wheels, who offered a XB Coupe in no less than 20 versions, and apart from the unsightly wheels they are reasonably acceptable.
Most of the previously mentioned ranges offered both custom and competition versions of the standard issues while some are detailed to a commendably degree once again. For example the 1:43 Auto Art XB GT 351 Hardtop features a great deal of underside detail – even steerable front wheels while deciding not to bother with opening doors etc, and probably looks neater as a result. The Trax Opal Series XB GT 351 Sedan followed their XA in featuring a mass of detail plus opening parts quite neatly. The Oz Legends range now included a trio of Panel Vans.
Falcon XB Models
|Panel Van GT||1:32||diecast|
|Panel Van GS||1:32||diecast|
|18615||Sedan GT RPO-83||1:18||diecast|
|Hardtop GT John Goss||1:18||diecast|
|72886||China||Hardtop GT McCleod Horn||1:18||diecast|
|T006||China||2008||Sedan GT 351||112mm||1:43||diecast|
|2010||Malaysia||2009||Hardtop GT 351||75mm||1:64||diecast|
A second update brought us to the XC Falcon in July 1976 and this was to carry through to March 1979, late examples can be identified by featuring a Ford oval on the XCs horizontal grille. The front of the XC was given a softer look than the XB while a larger rear door window was provided by the use of the Contemporary ZH Fairlane rear doors effectively losing the ‘coke-bottle’ line. Tail lights were now horizontally divided while the GT was replaced by the GXL and the Fairmont given rectangular headlights. A limited run of 400 Cobra Hardtops were finished in white with blue racing stripes.
Models of the XC are far less well represented than the first two of the series. Oz Legends are present again but so far only the Hardtop Cobra has been recorded while the only Auto Art XC seems to be once again the Cobra but in 1:43 this time. Trax have concentrated on the Hardtop to a greater extent, they again did the Cobra first but followed it with at least six further versions, some of them in competition form as the Hardtops were a favourite with the racing fraternity. Another Cobra they did was a model of the projected Phantom that in reality didn’t go into production and this was followed by another rare subject, the GS Homologation Hardtop of which only 13 real examples were made. Finally a model of the production GS Fairmont 4.9 Hardtop was produced. A sedan Fairmont GXL was a recent issue and while it is a highly detailed resin model, it features a degree of stick-on chrome edging – none of which has peeled off yet it must be said.
Falcon XC Models
|TR10||China||1994||Hardtop Cobra Ltd 7500||111mm||1:43||diecast|
|TR10C||China||1998||Hardtop Cobra Phantom 4500||111mm||1:43||diecast|
|TR10F||China||2004||Hardtop GS Homologation 3200||111mm||1:43||diecast|
|TR10G||China||2008||Hardtop GS Fairmont 4.9 2800||111mm||1:43||diecast|
|TRR 36||China||2016||Sedan Fairmont GXL||115mm||1:43||resin|
Illustrations Ford Falcon XA, XB and XC
Trax 1:43 diecast from China: TR10G, Hardtop XC GS Fairmont 4.9.
rear of TR10G
Trax 1:43 resin: TRR 36, Fairmont XC GXL
rear of TRR36
Hot Wheels 1:64 diecast from Malaysia: 2010, Hardtop XB GT 351 one of at least 20 versions.
rear of Hot Wheels
Trax 1:43 diecast from China: T006, XB Sedan GT 351.
rear of T006
Trax 1:43 diecast from China : T005 XA Sedan GT.
rear of T005
Auto Art 1:43 diecast from China: 52752, XC Hardtop Cobra.
rear of 52752
Auto Art 1:43 diecast from China: 52742, XB Hardtop GT.
rear of 52742
Trax 1:43 diecast from China: TR10F, XC Hardtop GS Homologation
rear of TR10F
Trax 1:43 diecast from China: TR10C XC Hardtop Cobra Phantom.
rear of TR 10C
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