The New Ford 6's
was not a historic year for either vehicle sales or exciting new releases — although GMH
boosted everyone's spirits with its tease - showing of the dramatic GTRX
in August. But the XY Falcon
was a worthwhile improvement on the XW
it succeeded – a design that had been around since Ford went Mustang-bred in 1966
. Today the XY
is regarded as the most refined version of the car that played a substantial part in putting Ford on its feet in Australia. This didn't mean that every component of the XY was to be scrapped when Ford introduced the XA
– history records that the then new six cylinder engines would be providing motive power for many years to come.
The Ford sixes were arguably the most significant changes for 1970
, pushing out substantially more bhp than did the prior models and incorporating a number of improved design features. The basic engine was now a 200 cubic inch unit which developed 130 bhp at 4600 rpm and 190 ft./lb. of torque at 2000 rpm - an increase of 12 bhp and 10 ft./lb. over the ratings of the 188 it replaced. The optional 250 engine used the same 3.68 inch bore as the 200, gaining its extra capacity by a massive stroke increase from the 3.46 inches of the previous 221 engine to 3.91 - which made it the only under-square engine being produced by Ford Australia. The resultant benefits in torque were evident in the quoted ft./lb. figure of 240 ft./lb. at a low 1600 rpm, while the maximum bhp of 155 was produced at an agreeably moderate 4000 rpm. Running a single barrel carburettor and a compression ratio of 9.3:1, the potential of this engine is obviously being only partly utilised.
Moving up into the V8 area, the 302 engine, which was a derivative of the famed 289 was still used, putting out the same bhp and torque figures as 1969 versions. These were 220 bhp at 4600 rpm and 300 ft./lb. at 2600 rpm. The carburettor was a two-barrel Ford unit and compression ratio was 9.5:1. To combat GMH
's hot-performing 308 V8 which was available on all models in the Holden range, Ford introduced with the XY a de-tuned version of the 351 GT unit, which with a two-barrel carburettor and a compression ratio lowered from 11.0:1 to 9.7:1, put out a whopping 250 bhp at 4600 rpm and a torque of 355 ft./lb. at 2600 rpm. This was available on all models in the Falcon range and could be teamed with a four-on-the-floor manual or Ford's three-speed automatic.
Ford XY GT and GTHO
At the top end of the scale, the GT
model got a boost to HO specifications - 11:1 compression ratio, 300 bhp at 5400 and 380 ft./lb. at 3400. The penalty was higher rpm at both maximum bhp and torque figures, and an actual drop of five ft./lb. below the XW GT's best torque. Notably, fuel capacity took a plunge back to the standard 16.4 gallons. With the new sixes, final drive ratios were altered to make the most the extra lugging power. The 200 engine used 3.23:1 (3.50 on the old 188) for both manual and auto, while the 250 went down to the 2.92 of the V8 for four-speed manual and automatic. The 351 engine, in both 250 and 300 bhp versions, used 3.00:1 for manual and 2.75 for automatic.
Apart from a number of modifications such as new engine mountings, exhaust
system, better cooling and new carburetion for the sixes, basic running gear was as per the XW
. Suspension had been carried through since the XT
without any real changes, which said a lot for the original setting-up of the system, and the ventilated front disc brakes
which were introduced in 1969 were continued. XY exterior identification was by a completely re-styled grille and revised treatment around the rear tail panel. The 500 revived the waistline strip of stainless steel which disappeared in 1967
with the introduction of the XT
- importantly, the 500 was more readily recognised as the newest model than was the HG Holden Kingswood
. Inside, the XY Falcons
retained the same instrument layout, but, like the Holden’s, were readily identifiable by new upholstery patterns. Although standard equipment is basically as before on most models, the 500 scored a first by being the only big three base model to provide a heater/demister as standard.
A big feature with sun-lovers will be the optional sunroof which was available on all models except station wagons. We still get lots of questions about whether a sunroof on an XY was factory fitted. Given the number of after market operators at the time, there is no way we can guarantee the fitment of one to be “factory” – but it was available. To help identify the factory job, the sunroof should take up most of the width of the car, running from just behind the sunvisors to the centre pillar. Gimmick equipment on the GT was toned down slightly with the XY, but the new "shaker" functional hood scoop kept the U.S. image well to the fore. The grille was a blacked-out version of the new unit being used throughout the range.
Also see: 1970 Australian Car Advertising
| 1970 USA Car Spotters Guide
| 1970 British and European Car Spotters Guide
| 1970 Japanese Car Spotters Guide