Ford Falcon XT
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 3
The XT Falcon was a mild restyle of the previous model, with a barely altered grille, but distinctive new tail lamps, circular lamps still, but cut by large rectangular indicator lenses.
The V8 engine increased in size to the 302ci (4.9 litre) version and there were minor mechanical revisions as Ford placed its Falcon squarely up against it competitors in the marketplace.
In fact, the entire engine range for the XT was revised, the six cylinder engines growing in capacity to 3.1 litre (188ci) and 3.6 litre (221ci) respectively, and the 289ci V8 growing in capacity to the "Mustang 5.0 litre" (302ci, 4.9 litre).
Each of the new engines was now idintified by litre displacement instead of the previous used cubic inch displacement, although even today we still think of the capacity of each, particularly the V8's, by their respecitve cubic inch capacity.
Numerous safety features were added, including split-system brakes
and larger tyres, although disappointingly radial ply tyres
remained an extra cost option. Thankfully though, synchromesh
on first for the manual transmissions
was now standard, as was electrically operated windscreen washers.
On the outside, the beautiful chrome strips that ran along the waistline of the XR were relocated to the top of the doorline, further enhancing the cars linage with the Mustang "shape". While the rear tail lights were still round, the indicator lamps were now housed in a horizontal rectangle across the centre of the circle.
The venerable "bench" seats were still the standard fitment on all but the Fairmont's and GT's, many buyers of the Falcon and Falcon 500's were now ticking the option box for the sumptuos Ford reclining bucket seats.
Those lucky enough to be able to afford the Fairmont were the envy of most, as standard equipment now included not only the bucket seats, but 3.6 litre six (with optional 4.9 litre V8), front disc brakes, heater/demister, carpet and courtesy lamps in all four doors.
All of this was topped off by a rather elegant wood-grain finish applied to the dash. Those who chose the Fairmont Wagon also received an electrically operated tailgate. Further helping the XT make it mark on the Australian motoring landscape was its success in the London-Sydney Marathon rally, where its three entered cars took third, sixth and eighth places, capturing the "Team Prize" in the process.
Both the XR and XT had 11-inch front discs and drum rear brakes, although this model used a dual hydraulic system. And then, of course, was the XT GT
, but that is covered in depth in other sections of the Unique Cars and Parts