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ZF Fairlane – March 1972 – October 1973
Based on the XA Falcon, the ZF Fairlane retained the same wheelbase as the previous ZD Fairlane, but was lower in height, wider and track had been increased by 38mm. There were more luxury features than the ZD and more interior room. The four headlights were placed in a horizontal pattern once more, inside a full-width grille. The two model line-up of Custom and 500 was retained, however the Custom could now be specified with the 5OO’s 4.9-litre (302) V8 in place of the standard 4.1-litre six-cylinder. Options included a vinyl roof, sliding steel sunroof, stereo tape-player, quarter-vent windows and dual exhaust system for the V8 models.
That the market for a large luxury car was alive and well in Australia became apparent when Ford suddenly found that the Fairlane had a pair of competitors from GMH and from Chrysler. The new ZF Fairlane was an emphatic answer to this challenge. Australian designed the new vehicle following the general flowing lines popularised in the Falcon, but in a larger, more luxurious package.
Engines, transmissions and running gear remained the same as for the ZD Fairlane, with just the one six-cylinder (250ci) engine available as standard in the Custom and two V8s, (302 and 351) the 302 standard in the Fairlane 500 and the 351 optional, while both were optional in the Custom. The Custom still had the three-speed manual column change transmission as standard with automatic an option, while automatic was standard in the 500. Automatic transmission could be column-mounted or a floor T-bar on either model.
Prices for the ZF were up about $250 over the previous model, with the Custom selling at $3,900 and the 500 at $4,720. Both models now had the benefit of power assisted disc brakes on the front wheels, while power steering was standard on the Fairlane 500 and optional on the Custom.
Inside the Fairlane, extra comfort was provided and high-backed seats made their appearance, giving protection for the head and neck in a crash. Luxury option on the Fairlane included variable ratio power steering (standard on the500), retractable front seat belts, air conditioning, sliding sunroof, cloth seat trim, a four-speaker stereo radio/tape player or a push-button radio and tinted side and rear windows.
Optional performance equipment made an appearance with Hi-ride suspension, limited-slip differential (mandatory with the351 V8) and heavy-duty shock absorbers. For the exterior, the new Fairlane owner could specify two-tone paint, a tinted, laminated windscreen, passenger side rear view mirror, a vinyl roof with a choice of five colours and body mouldings and bumper inserts.