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Amazing Aussie Garage Find: 1970 Ford XY Falcon GT

UPDATE 11/28/2023: There are times when I write articles like this, and I quote a potential sale price where I’m wide of the mark. That was conclusively the case with this 1970 Ford Falcon GT because I significantly underestimated the interest it generated in the Australian classic community. It went under the hammer with No Reserve, and after receiving an incredible 405 bids, a car I suggested might climb into six-figure territory sold for A$230,000. This proves that even when times are tough economically, buyers still recognize a genuinely desirable classic, regardless of its country of origin. We can only hope the winning bidder returns it to its rightful place on our roads because this GT has hibernated for too long.

11/19/2023: Locating desirable classic cars hidden away in barns and garages is a global phenomenon, and no vehicle proves that better than this 1970 Ford XY Falcon GT. It is one of Australia’s most iconic muscle cars, and it recently emerged after spending almost five decades hidden under a house. It requires total restoration, a significant undertaking for its new owner. However, with values climbing at an incredible rate, it is sure to head to a new home where it will receive the TLC it deserves. If any of our Down Under readers are interested in pursuing it further, they will find the GT listed here at Gray’s Auctions in Pinkenba, Queensland, Australia. The online auction is set to go live on Thursday, November 23rd.

The Australian new car market during the 1960s and 1970s was dominated by local arms of the American “Big Three” manufacturers. Holden quickly developed unique models, while Ford and Chrysler, via its Valiant brand, utilized predominantly American models with local engineering input until the 1970s. The Second Generation Falcon was no exception. Local market volumes and the need to comply with local motorsport competition meant that muscle car variants were typically based on each company’s more popular sedan offerings. The racing links are important because they were driven by the “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” marketing philosophy. The goal was success in the country’s most prestigious competition, the annual 500-mile endurance race conducted on Bathurst’s Mount Panorama circuit. It spawned cars like the Holden Torana XU-1 and A9X and the Ford Falcon GT. Our feature car has a fascinating history. Ford Australia initially owned it as a display and marketing vehicle. It found its way to a Queensland dealership in 1972, where the current owner purchased it. They utilized the GT as a daily driver before parking it under their house in around 1978. That’s where it remained until its recent discovery. With the owner aging, he decided it needed to head to an enthusiast who could recapture its bygone glory.

Dragging this Falcon into the light of day revealed it needs a restoration that entails dismantling the car to the last nut and bolt. However, apart from the wheels and one minor engine bay change, this car is exactly as it left Ford Australia’s Broadmeadows production line. The auctioneers describe the paint shade as “Gold,” but the Body Tag confirms this is 1-of-56 GTs produced in a shade called Quicksilver. There were rarer colors selected by buyers in 1970, but the company obviously felt that with Quicksilver considered one of the premium shades, it was ideal for a car that would showcase the GT range. Adding to this car’s desirability is the fact that this is one of the very few GTs produced featuring a steel wind-back factory sunroof. Confirming production numbers for this option is challenging, but my research suggests that there may only have been twenty-one GT buyers who teamed this option with a manual transmission. I’m sure we have readers who could shed further light on that question. The car has rust, but how extensive this might be below the surface is unclear. The area where the car was unearthed isn’t prone to snow or other issues, but the weather can include extreme humidity, and it is this that may account for most of the rot. The original spotlights are in the trunk, as are a matching pair for the front wheels. Most trim pieces require reconditioning or replacement, but the glass looks okay.

It is fair to say that Ford kick-started the Australian horsepower race when it bolted a 289ci V8 under the hood of the XR Falcon GT. It forced Holden to adopt ever-larger versions of the Chevrolet small-block V8 to power its Two-Door Monaro models. However, Chrysler Australia bucked that trend by squeezing extraordinary power out of its “Hemi” six engines. The XY Falcon GT received a 351ci Cleveland V8. While Ford quoted official power and torque figures of 300hp and 380 ft/lbs, it is believed they followed the typical industry trend of understating both numbers. Buyers could choose between two versions of the four-speed Top Loader transmission or hand shifting duties to a three-speed automatic to feed the power to the 9″ limited-slip rear end. Power front disc brakes were standard, but power steering was optional. Ford Australia equipped this car with the wide-ratio version of the Top Loader, and while this sedan could comfortably seat five, it could still demolish the ¼-mile in 14.4 seconds. The Cleveland came with a limiter set at 6,150rpm, but that didn’t prevent it from hitting 135mph. Disconnecting the limiter pushed that number beyond 150mph, making this a genuinely fast car. This GT is original and numbers-matching, but it hasn’t fired a shot since around 1978. The odometer shows 65,278 miles, and the decades of hibernation make the claim plausible. The small snorkel is missing from the air cleaner, but the original shaker assembly and hardware are intact. The restoration will include a full mechanical rebuild, but the potential value of this car, once complete, justifies that expense.

This Falcon’s interior continues the “original and unmolested” theme with no aftermarket additions or changes. It retains the Black-upholstered low-back bucket seats, center console, rimblow wheel, pushbutton AM radio, and gauge cluster with a 140mph speedometer and the tach redlined at 6,000rpm. Ford chose not to equip this GT with air conditioning, but the wind-back sunroof offers a wonderful alternative. The interior should present acceptably following a deep clean if the winning bidder prefers to retain this car’s originality. However, the driver’s seat has a small tear on the outer edge. This might be repairable, and I would investigate that further before considering replacement. Organizations like Rare Spares sell some impressive reproduction items, but there is nothing quite like retaining factory trim when dealing with a classic of this caliber. The Falcon has a collection of documentation confirming its history, including the Owner’s Manual and Service Records.

Readers outside Australia may not warm to cars like this 1970 Ford XY Falcon GT, but its place in Australia’s automotive folklore is undeniable. This has been emphasized by the demise of Australia’s home-grown vehicle manufacturing industry. No manufacturers have hinted that local production will recommence, and with the dismantling of the Ford and Holden facilities, no infrastructure exists for it to happen. I guess it’s crunch time, and if the bidding is as spirited as I expect, this 1970 Ford XY Falcon should be heading to a new home in around ten days. That begs the question of what the sale price is likely to be for a car in this condition. Recent auction results reveal that while this car isn’t the more desirable GTHO variant, it should still nudge into six-figure territory before the hammer falls. Restoring it to its former glory will probably consume a similar amount of cash. However, with pristine examples currently selling for over A$290,000, this Falcon’s history, rarity, and climbing values justify the expense. I won’t be bidding but I will be fascinated to watch this auction unfold. Will anyone join me?


  1. Connecticut mark

    Wow what a difference, it looks like my grandmothers 4 door galaxie. But way super up.

    Like 5
    • David

      My thoughts exactly! It’s cool for five seconds cause it’s a four door four speed but keep it for 300k. Maybe the reason it’s rare is cause no one liked them sixty years ago either.

      Like 1
      • Ward William

        No Dave, the reason it is rare is that few of them were made and EVERYBODY wanted one but only those with buckets of money could afford them.

        Like 0
      • Harry

        Agreed Dave. But appreciation comes in all forms.

        Like 0
  2. chrlsful

    never looked @ these (or much from Oz) till the 90s. Lots to like as stated so often iodate. Like the emphasis on the i6 better, some of the oh so durable (read 4WD) models too. Over the yrs there’s lots of times I’ve said “How come we didnt get those here?” That’s Y I ask abt my rig’s import Down Under (1st gen bronk) in terms of #s then or now. Cross fertilization before the ‘world cars’ of the 1970s thru 90s.

    Like 0
  3. Ward William

    As an Australian I can tell you that this car is pure gold.

    Like 16
  4. Stan

    Powerhouse, w 4sp, in a plain wrapper. 🙌

    Like 10
  5. Mike76

    I knew these Falcons were fairly rare and sought after but I did not realize they commanded that kind of money. Damn. Cool Ford.

    Like 7
  6. Ward William

    Consider my mind blown. I am 62 and it is hard to believe this car has been there in Brisbane, my city, under a house, since I was a teen. Pinkenba is a suburb of Brisbane down near the river and the port and it is a Brisbane sales tag.
    I may have driven past this vehicle numerous times and never known it was there.
    Now you think that price is bananas, if it had been a Ford XY GTHO it would be worth 1-1.2 million $AU from what I am seeing the very few ever to change hands going for these days. There are less than 100 of the 300 HOs made that still exist. Most were wrapped around trees by guys who had way too much money and not enough driving skills. That HO at the end adds big bikkies sports fans.

    Like 13
    • Al Saunders

      Probably would not command more than $30,000 US.

      Like 0
      • Ward William

        Wrong Al, it would still command the same price but it would not be sold to an American. ;-)

        Like 4
  7. John Taylor

    Not to mention the GTHO was the fastest 4 door sedan in the world at time of production even dusting the European cars. I wonder how much the guy who owned the car got or will get for it or did these guys dust it out from under him.

    Like 4
    • Chris In Australia

      No, never was. A Mercedes Benz 6.3 will show it a clean pair of tail lights.
      And it’s pace has always got to be defined as ‘fastest 4 door”

      Like 0
  8. Century Turbo Coupe

    Yawn….the only interesting thing with this is the backwards running engine!

    Like 2
  9. Dave, Australia

    Way over priced compared to their American peers, probably by a factor of 3 or 4.

    Like 2
    • Ward William

      Fewer made Dave. I love American MOPARs but they are like backsides, everybody has one. It’s all about real rarity and provenance and old XY finds like this are the proverbial rocking horse faeces.

      Like 4
    • Chris In Australia

      Over rated then, over priced now. Think of the Euro classics or American muscle you could get for the price of a tarted up Fairmont.

      Like 0
  10. jim

    Great for a postal delivery man in usa they get rt drive postal jeeps

    Like 1
  11. FireAxeGXP

    Wow. A couple of the dumbest comments I’ve ever seen on BF and that’s really saying something. As an owner of two Holdens I can say this Falcon is very interesting and I too will be watching the auction though not bidding. OZ had a great car culture fir decades, which the incompetent “leaders” of the Big Three have done their witless best to destroy.

    Like 6

      Yes, unfortunately the US leadership did their level best to utterly ruin Australian car manufacturing, just like they’re doing to American CAR manufacturing. I own the modern version of this Falcon, a Fusion Sport with a twin turbo V6 and AWD that I have installed a few performance upgrades and a 93 octane tune that takes it to over 400hp, and it absolutely breaks my heart that I’ll have to look at a “foreign” car company to replace it when the time comes.
      The folks down under had several decades of really cool, locally built fast 4 doors to choose from, but those days are gone, probably forever. But I’m sure the Germans or the Japanese will be more than happy to take our money. Heck, even the Koreans are making some pretty cool cars these days, so sad Americans would rather have an SUV that accelerates like an economy car and handles worse, while getting comparatively poor fuel economy. Just sad.

      Like 2
      • jwaltb

        How many times has your Fusion steering failed? We had to replace our complete rack and electrical components twice in 123,000 miles- actually three times when the dealer repair failed in one day. Found On Road Dead indeed.

        Like 0
  12. jwaltb

    We ‘Muricans like to sound off whether we know anything or not. In fact, especially when we don’t!

    Like 5
  13. Glen

    Further research hints that the glove box door is signed by none other than Steve Irwin.

    Like 1
  14. David Mann

    FireAxeGXP. That is indeed saying something!

    Like 1
  15. Tom

    I appreciate the four speed and love Ford small blocks and I’m sure it’s a hoot to drive but it’s sure ugly!

    Like 1
  16. JoeNYWF64

    I hope this doesn’t share the same power steering parts & front suspension my “twin” US 1970 boxy falcon futura had – 1 of the worse handling cars i ever drove(no front sway bar!) Squeaky too. lol
    & VERY slow power steering.
    2 totally different looking interiors on the 2 cars, however – odd they didn’t share more parts – like the hood, grill, etc.
    The oddest, tho helpful, feature on mine was the ignition switch almost in the middle of the dash that lit up when you turned on the parking lights! Did any other car have that feature – ever?

    Like 0
  17. Rw

    Watch the movie Fast lane fever/Running on empty to see some awesome Aussie stuff .

    Like 0

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