One of the biggest selling names in worldwide automotive history, the Ford Falcon has been sold since 1960. Original production began in 1959 at Broadmeadows, Victoria in Australia and was manufactured by Ford.
Still remaining the most popular Ford model in Australia, today the Falcon is only built in this country and production still continues steadily.
Since 1960 when the model was first introduced, over four million Ford Falcon's have been manufactured in various versions. Available in sedan, station wagon, panel van and as pickup trucks (or more commonly known as ute in Australia) the Falcon has been a versatile automobile.
The Falcon has became signaturely popular as both taxi cabs and police vehicles in Australia and New Zealand. Other well known uses for this Ford line were rebuilt versions made into stretch limousines and hearses.
The 'XK', a right hand drive version of typical Falcon's that were sold in the U.S. debuted September of 1960. Due to lack of durability, this model was not considered to be a popular success on rough terrained outback roads.
The next two years brought modifications and design changes to the 'XK' to authenticate it to Australian terrain.
Redubbed the 'XL' this more modified vehicle came with several updates including a heavier suspension system.
Unfortunately, this model was also not considered durable enough and failed in the Australian market for the beginning years.
Ford refused to give up, and after several years noticed a steady rise in market sales.
1964 introduced a new version of the Falcon to the Austrailian public. The 'XM' was the first version that carried an Australian-designed body.
After the 'XM' was the 'XP' which was considered to be an upmarket variant and claimed the prestigious Car of the Year title for 1965 by Wheels magazine.
Ford Falon variants have been designed to race in touring car races held in Australia for many years. In 1969 the'XW' which came with a bigger V8 was 351 cubic inches and produced up to 291 hp (217kW) and the Canadian designed 'Windsor' engine. This GT model is still considered to be a valuable collectable model today.
1970 brought the XY with the a 'Cleveland' 351 being the sole difference as it replaced the Windsor. The XY produced 300 hp (224kE).
Producing 385 hp (287 kW), the semi-legendary 'XY' GTHO Phase III was the next updated version of the Cleveland in 1971. These were rare and only a few were built.
US production dwindled to a halt soon after as what became known as the 'Supercar Scare' in 1972 imacted the sales of street legal supercars that could top 220 km/h.
The end of production in the US paved the way for much greater Australian input in the design of Australian-made Falcons, from 1971 onwards and the Falcon still remains a popular car today in Australia.
Making up the majority of Australian state police fleets, the Ford Falcon (along with its rival the Holden Comodore) are modified and upgraded to accommodate this popular trend. Dual airbags, sports suspension and a limited slip differential have been transitioned to provide comfort and safety to police officers.
To accommodate speed detectors, both radar and police radios, a police-certified speedometer, map reading lamp and room to faciliate emergency lights, the police version is also modified with a heavy duty battery, alternator and wiring.
In New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and many other territories in Australia the sedan versions are the most populer used police vehicles today.By Jessica Donaldson