POLL: Ford’s most iconic Falcon race car
Following the recent reveal of the final Ford Falcon road car, we want to know what you think is Australia’s most iconic racing Falcon of all-time?
Speedcafe.com has narrowed down the list of contenders to a dozen finalists, spanning the model’s first Bathurst win in 1967 to its modern-day V8 Supercars weapon.
Check out the contenders below before casting your vote on this week’s Pirtek Poll.
Gibson/Firth XR GT
The XR GT may have enjoyed only a brief competition history, but its success in the 1967 Gallaher 500 ensures it was never going to be missing from this list.
The Harry Firth/Fred Gibson-led Ford one-two marked the first victory for a V8 in the Great Race and triggered Holden’s Monaro assault for the following year, setting the tone for an enduring rivalry.
Allan Moffat XY GT-HO
As the final in the line of racing-bred Falcon road cars stretching back to the XR, the XY GT-HO was the ultimate Bathurst weapon prior to the infamous ‘Supercar Scare’.
Allan Moffat used his factory example to lead home a Falcon one-two-three in the 1971 Hardie-Ferodo, backing up his victory of a year earlier in the XW.
The XY fell to Holden’s nimble Torana XU-1 in a wet 1972 Great Race, but returned the following year in Group C form to take out the Australian Touring Car Championship title.
Allan Moffat XA GT
The Falcon XA marked the last Ford factory assault on Bathurst before the company reigned in its motorsport activities.
Allan Moffat teamed with five-time ATCC champion Ian Geoghegan to get his revenge on Holden and Peter Brock at Bathurst in 1973.
The first of the Falcon hardtops is immortalised as the maiden winner of the Great Race in its 1000km form.
Allan Moffat XC GS
With or without official factory support, Allan Moffat’s Falcon hardtops continued to taste success during the mid-1970s.
Winning the 1976 ATCC at the wheel of an XB, Moffat switched to the newer XC model for the following year’s endurance races, which yielded both a fourth Bathurst win and third ATCC title.
The orchestrated one-two finish between Moffat and team-mate Colin Bond at Bathurst in 1977 is perhaps the Falcon’s most famous achievement at Mount Panorama.
Dick Johnson XD
After two years of Holden Torana domination, Dick Johnson and his Tru-Blu backed Falcon XD provided new hope for Ford fans in 1980.
Crashing out of the lead while trying to avoid an errant rock on the circuit during that year’s Hardie-Ferodo shot the Queenslander and his Falcon to national fame.
Returning with a new shell the following year, Johnson and his Tru-Blue XD swept the ATCC and Bathurst double, kick-starting DJR’s place as one of the country’s top racing teams.
Dick Johnson XE
Following the success of Tru-Blu, Dick Johnson’s Falcons took on the colours of Ross Palmer’s latest steel brand, Greens’-Tuf from midway through 1983.
It was again a story of disaster and triumph, with the green XEs equally well remembered for Johnson’s frightening crash in the 1983 edition of Hardie’s Heroes and victory in the 1984 ATCC for the replacement chassis.
Glenn Seton EB
After eight years of imported Mustangs and Sierras, the advent of the 5.0 litre formula for 1993 saw the Falcon return to the front-line of Ford’s Australian motor racing efforts.
After a concerted testing and development program the previous year that had seen its first car debut in the 1992 Sandown 500, Glenn Seton Racing’s two-car effort proved a dominant force under the new regulations.
Drivers Seton and Allan Jones took a one-two in the 1993 ATCC having won six of the first seven rounds between them.
Dick Johnson EBII
While GSR’s EB Falcons ultimately failed at Bathurst, Dick Johnson’s examples thrived at the endurance events.
Alongside regular team-mate John Bowe, Johnson drove his Shell Falcons to victory in both the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 in 1994.
The team will pay homage to the EB’s livery this year with a special retro scheme on its Bathurst contender.
Stone Brothers EL
Stone Brothers Racing’s Jason Bright/Steven Richards EL Falcon of 1998 holds a significant place in the model’s Australian racing history.
It was the only Falcon to take victory in the Bathurst 1000 between 1995 and 2005; breaking up an extraordinary run of defeats in the two-marque contest.
Stone Brothers BA
Five years after tasting Bathurst success in its maiden season, the debut of the BA Falcon in 2003 saw Stone Brothers Racing establish itself as the new dominant force in V8 Supercars.
The team’s BAs won three consecutive championships from 2003; two with Marcos Ambrose and the final with veteran Russell Ingall.
The streak ended the Holden Racing Team’s five-year dominance of the championship.
Triple Eight BA
For all the success that Triple Eight enjoyed with its Vodafone-backed BF and FG Falcons between 2007 and 2009, it is undoubtedly the team’s Betta Electrical BAs that will be best remembered.
The 2006 season saw Craig Lowndes lead Triple Eight to an emotional first Bathurst victory, just weeks after the passing of mentor Peter Brock.
Triple Eight’s third year in the championship also marked the emergence of Jamie Whincup, who won on debut with the team in Adelaide before joining Lowndes for Bathurst glory.
Eleven season after joining the championship under then Prodrive UK ownership, Ford Performance Racing finally broke through for a Bathurst win with its FG in 2013.
The first of the Car of the Future specification Bathurst winners, the car marked the first official factory Ford win in the Great Race since the 1970s.
Several famous Falcons narrowly missed out on making our top dozen.
Triple Eight’s one-time championship winning and two-time Bathurst winning BFs fell at the final hurdle on the grounds that they were overshadowed by the team 2006 Great Race win with the BA.
Championship winning cars from Glenn Seton Racing (1997 EL) and Dick Johnson Racing (1995 EF and 2010 FG) were among other notable modern mentions, with a lack of Bathurst success counting against both contenders.
Others, such as Ian Geoghegan’s ‘Super Falcon’ of 1971/72 and Craig Lowndes’ ‘green-eyed monster’ AU of 2002, have also gained notable icon status, but ultimately failed to make the grade without success to back up their track presence.