Ford Falcon XR
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 3
Whereas the previous four ranges of Falcon tended to follow
styling trends set by their full size US parent cars,
and were marketed with reference to the "Thunderbird",
it was decided with the new XR range, which again followed
a US design, to instead capitalise on the phenomenal success of
Bigger but with a tighter turning circle, the XR was both agile
and, in many respects, more minamilist in style to the former
Falcon models. Copying the Mustang's styling meant giving the car
the familiar coke bottle style line, along with a long bonnet and short
boot cue, but retaining the traditional round tail lamps.
The result was a car that was modern and handsome and
while the two door hardtop model disappeared, this was
more than compensated for by the arrival, for the first
time in the Australian Falcon, of the 289ci (4.7litre)
V8 and some serious horsepower.
Best of all for those who preferred the "3-On-The-Tree" manual transmission
, the XR now came with syncromesh, although
this was only offered as an extra cost option.
The Futura models were replaced by the 500 designation, it
fitting neatly between the standard Falcon and upmarket Fairmont.
Seatbelts were fitted as standard equipment for the front occupants,
however as a lap type only (although again for a price you could
option the far safer lap-sash type).
In 1968 the XR model began the legend that was to be the
GT. This family car muscled out 225 bhp thanks to the 289
Windsor V8. Understated in style, the original XR Falcon GT's were only sold
in one colour - Gold. Apart from the colour, it was somewhat difficult to tell it apart from the lesser sedans.