70,000 miles at 70mph

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Thread: 70,000 miles at 70mph

  1. #1
    GMI Australia Correspondent Premium Member mikmak's Avatar
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    70,000 miles at 70mph

    Great article on Shannons Club (membership required) about a crack pot marketing stunt that went right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shannons club
    In 1965 Ford Australia was in big trouble. Falcon sales had tanked due to durability problems with the early models and dominant rival GM-H was closing in for the kill. The blue oval’s audacious solution was as desperate as it was inspired. Launching its new make-or-break XP Falcon with a highly publicised nine-day torture test saved Falcon and ensured Ford Australia’s future.

    What was officially known as the Falcon-Mobil 70,000-mile Durability Run was the brainchild of the brilliant Bill Bourke who arrived in Australia in February 1965 to take up his role as Ford Australia’s new marketing and sales manager. He would later become managing director.

    Bourke, who was working as Ford Canada’s sales manager at the time, was hand-picked by Ford Australia boss Wallace Booth; a pragmatic Detroit numbers man sent to Australia two years earlier with a clear directive from US head office to either turn around the struggling fortunes of the company’s Australian operations or shut them down.

    Bourke was a rising star in the Ford empire, with a reputation for getting things done. Booth knew that if he was going to turn around entrenched negative perceptions of the Falcon he needed a guy capable of creating bold marketing concepts that challenged convention.
    If you can't join, here are the youtube vids of the event:



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  4. #2
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    Re: 70,000 miles at 70mph

    I met Bill once in Queenscliff. he had a Falcon (XW I think) parked outside the fish shop with a 428 in it. I went in to see my mate Andrew who ran the fish shop and said to him that the Falcon out front looked real nice especially with the 428. Bill turned around and said something to the effect of you can't keep anything a secret. He said I was about the fifth person who had noticed and identified his special and he had only had it on the road a couple of days. He was happy that Australian really were enthusiasts! It was great to see him light up the tyres when he left!

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    2.4 Liter SIDI ECOTEC AnotherSteve's Avatar
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    Re: 70,000 miles at 70mph

    Quote Originally Posted by chinamonty View Post
    ... It was great to see him light up the tyres when he left!
    Which would see it seized by plod if he dared do that today. If Lewis Hamilton got pinched, so would Bill.:-(
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    Re: 70,000 miles at 70mph

    Yep you are right. He actually did in three different gears IIRC.

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    2.4 Liter SIDI ECOTEC ams1983's Avatar
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    Re: 70,000 miles at 70mph

    Would that be this Falcon..........bill bourke special.jpg

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    Re: 70,000 miles at 70mph

    I think you would be right. Same colour (or should that be lack of colour?) and model so it's a good chance.

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