XW Ford Falcon (1969-70)

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Vehicle Overview

With the release of the XW, the Falcon range received a significant makeover with extensive remodeling both inside and out. The bold new look was the result of an almost $10 million investment by Ford in an attempt to bring a stylistically unique car to the Australian market.

The most striking differences with the XW were wider rear pillars and a recessed rear window, as well as modern square tail lights and wrap-around indicators. The grill was also modified to complement the new angular design with a more squared off masculine look compared with the previous XT models.

Almost all of the exterior panels were in some way redesigned to fit the new aesthetic. Inside, a completely new interior with bucket seats as standard in the GT and Fairmont, and as an optional extra across the rest of the range.

The XW Falcon range consisted of eight passenger models and three commercial ones. Passenger models included the base model Falcon, the Falcon 500 and Fairmont, which were available as a sedan or wagon, as well as the Futura sedan and Falcon GT. Commercial models included Falcon and Falcon 500 utility vehicles, as well as Falcon vans.

The Falcon 500 was optioned with a 3.1L (188 cu) inline-six engine as standard and with a larger 3.6L (221 cu) available as an option across the range. Overall, performance was improved, as the engine options were increased to include both the stroked version 4.9L (302 cu) Windsor V8, as well as the addition of the 5.8L (351 cu) Windsor V8 at the top end of the range. The 351 Cleveland V8 would also be available in the second series GT-HO which was released June, 1970.

Braking was improved with the introduction of Girling 11 ¼-inch ventilated front disc brakes as standard on the Fairmont and Falcon GT, and as an option across the range. All other models came with self-adjusting 10-inch drums all around as standard.

Transmissions included a 3 or 4-speed manual, and 3-speed automatic. Both the 4-speed and Cruise O’Matic “T-bar” automatic transmission options were both floor mounted. Power steering was offered across any model within the range, however only as an optional extra.

The interior was, as the brochure states, “luxury vinyl”, including the dash which utilized a wood-like vinyl veneer, as well as thick padding for additional safety. The XW range benefited from the addition of front and rear demisters, as well as front mounted seat belts, which were by then required by law. Deep carpet was optioned on some models whilst sound deadening insulation throughout the passenger compartment reduced noise and improved passenger comfort.

For those wanting more, Ford gave buyers the option of upgrading certain features in the more moderately priced models. This was achieved with what Ford promoted as the “GS options package”. This allowed customers to select from the Falcon 500, Futura or Fairmont sedan models – their choice of engine, transmission and interior combinations as they preferred from the extensive GS options catalogue. Some sporty cosmetic options included rally stripes, chrome wheel covers and 3-spoke faux-wood sporty steering wheels. Air-conditioning was an available option also.

Two months after the release of the XW GT, Ford released the GT-HO. Engine performance was increased from 290bhp to 300bhp in the GT-HO. This was achieved with a larger 600 cfm carburettor, a revised camshaft and an upgraded suspension to compensate for the increased power. The XW GT-HO was also the first car to feature the iconic Super Roo emblem.

Between June 1969 and October 1970, Ford-Australia built 105,785 Falcon XWs until they were superseded by the XY in 1970.

XW Ford Falcon 500 sedan

XW Ford Falcon panel van

XW Ford Falcon 500 station wagon

XW Ford Falcon futura sedan

XW Ford Fairmont sedan

XW Ford Fairmont GS station wagon

XW Ford Falcon utility

XW Ford Fairmont station wagon

XW Ford Falcon GT sedan