In May 1969 the first of the XW GTs rolled off the Broadmeadows
assembly line. Ford upped the ante with the XW by fitting
the 351 cubic inch (5.8 litre) Windsor V8 with an output
of 290 bhp (217KW) and 385 ft/lbs of torque.
With bigger brakes, a final drive ratio of 3.25:1, a huge 36 gallon
(164 litre) fuel tank and suspension
mods to take the
extra power and torque, the XW seemed to be the ultimate
But more was to follow. The HO variant, which arrived
two months later, was a real street racer. HO stood for
"Handling Option" in Fordspeak but most of the modifications
added by Ford racing boss Al Turner were to the engine,
which now developed 300bhp (225kW).
The 351 got a bigger (600 vs 450cfm) carburettor, hydraulic
valve lifters, revised camshaft, heavy duty alternator,
alloy inlet manifold as well as a three-inch heavy duty
tailshaft, heavier front roll bar, beefed-up coils, stiffer
shocks and a new rear roll bar.
In its first appearance at the 1969 Bathurst race an XW
GTHO came in second in spite of wrong tyre
saw the works cars pitting for unscheduled stops throughout
The GTHO also saw the debut of the "Super Roo" emblem,
Production of the XW model
resulted in 2,287 GTs from May 1969 to October 1970 and
662 GT HOs from Juty 1969 to October 1970. Ford further
refined the XW GT with a Cleveland 351 engine, still
The Phase II GTHO which appeared in August 1970 sported
a 750cfm Holley
carburettor and improved gear ratios with
a high 3.5:1 rear axle. Allan Moffat won Bathurst in a
Phase II after leading from lap 2.