Ford Falcon XC Cobra
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 5
While it is true to say that today the XA/XB/XC hardtops
are classically desirable cars, at the time they proved
to be hard sales for Ford, as the Australian motorist
has always preferred four door cars to coupes, even when
it is a high performance car.
When they decided that the XD Falcon would be a four door
model only, Ford found themselves near the end of the
XC production run with 400 unsold hardtop body shells.
To sell them, to create maximum marketing exposure and
to end the line on a glorious high note, they created
the Cobra, and in so doing created an instant classic.
The Cobra allowed Ford to create an above standard road
car that passed the homologation regulations for racing,
while catering for the enthusiast that wanted a coupe
just like the one Allan Moffat was racing.
There were many people at Ford involved in the decision
to get this car onto the street, but ultimately credit
went to the then Deputy Managing Director, Edsel Ford
II who was on a tour of duty in Australia at the time.
Introduced in August, 1978 and sporting a unique and
dramatic white paint scheme with blue stripes, each of
the 400 was serialised and fitted with a sequentially
numbered dash plaque.
The first 200 were fitted with
351ci V8 engines and the remainder got the 302ci V8. Automatic
or manual transmission
was available with four
wheel disk brakes
and limited slip axles.
Mounting 15" Bathurst
Globe wheels and fitted with spoilers front and rear,
the interiors sported seats in black with blue inserts.
The first 30 cars were even more desirable. Known as Option
97 to differentiate them from the 'standard' Option 96
cars, and in the tradition of the HO's of they past, they
were fitted with optional parts to allow homologation
for the race track.
Twin thermostatically controlled fans,
an engine oil cooler, Sheel racing seats and a large rear
opening bonnet bulge were among some of the additions.