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XA Falcon – March 1972 – November 1973
The XA Falcon, built March 1972 – November 1973 was big and brash with a dash of class! Offered in a number of different bodies, engines, transmissions and suspensions options, the XA Falcon had something for everyone.
The XA Falcon was the first Falcon to be designed and built in entirely in Australia, marking the beginning of an important era for Ford Australia. It also saw the return of the two-door Falcon hardtop to the Australian Ford line up in August 1972.The station wagon versions had a longer wheelbase than the sedans, the first time that Ford Australia had tried this sensible design feature.
With the popular XY Falcon about to be replaced, the public was eager for information on the upcoming new model. ‘Modern Motor’ magazine showed photos of the XA sedan and wagon heavily disguised for its February 1972 issue. The accompanying story attempted to see through the disguises, and compared the styling with that of the then recently introduced TC Cortina. It even claimed that the XA would have the option of a 400 cubic inch V8!
The XA range was introduced to the Australian public in March 1972 and featured a staggering range of choices. The Sedan range started with the basic Falcon and proceeded through the Falcon 500, the Futura and Fairmont to the mighty GT. Wagons were only sold as Falcon, Falcon 500 and Fairmont. Engine choices in the XA were 200 or 250 cubic inch sixes, the latter with a single or twin-venturi carburettor, 302 and 351 cubic inch V8s. Transmissions available were three-speed and four-speed manual, the former with a column change, the latter with a floor change. The Falcon Wagon offered tailgate options to be opened either down-wards or to one side. Identification features of the XA are the full-width grille and turn lights in the forward edges of the front guards.
The XA Falcon hardtop was released at, of all places, the London Motor Show in August 1972.Distinctive features of the hardtop model are the large doors, lower roofline, bulging rear three quarter panels and tunnel rear window treatment. The side windows retract completely and there is no B-pillar, so the car is a true pillarless hardtop. Despite its sporty looks the hardtop could be specified with the small six-cylinder engine and column-change automatic. Naturally it also came with the other engine options and four-speed floor change.
Five months after the release of the sedans and wagons, Ford introduced the utility and panel van models. These were fitted with the same wider doors as the two-door hardtop.
The four-door XA Falcon GT was released only a matter of weeks after the standard sedans. The two-door XA GT coupes came out at the same time as the other hardtops models. Though there had been plans to market a high-performance Phase IV GT as a follow up to the Phase Ill XY GT, the concept was cancelled owing to government pressure. Only three Phase IV prototypes and one production car were built.
Despite suffering a flat tyre and having to limp back to the pits, the John Goss/Kevin Bartlett XA Falcon won the 1974 Bathurst 1000 race.