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Last ever Ford Falcon GT rolls off the Broadmeadows production line

Joshua Dowling
9 October 2014
www.news.com.au

THE last ever Ford Falcon GT rolled off the Broadmeadows production line yesterday as more than 600 workers gathered for the emotional send-off.

It was the end of an era and the beginning of the countdown to Ford’s factory closure in October 2016 as production began on the updated Falcon and Territory that will see out Australia’s oldest car maker.

Ford will keep building the Falcon sedan and ute — and Territory SUV — for two more years but this is the last Falcon GT of all time.

Car number 500 from a batch of 500 was sold in a charity auction last month for $236,100 — three times its RRP — to car enthusiast Steven Clarke, from Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, who briefly owned one of the very first Falcon GT sedans, and has regretted selling it ever since.

Ford allowed the winning bidder to select the colour of the final Falcon GT and Mr Clarke chose a one-off “victory gold”, the closest Ford could match to the original 1967 Falcon GT.

In an unprecedented move, Ford also allowed the winning bidder to help build the car from start to finish, including turning the spanners on the supercharged V8 engine in Geelong.

Mr Clarke even stamped his initials on the V8 engine, and fitted some of the parts to the car on the assembly line.

“It’s mixed emotions for me,” said Mr Clarke, who drove the car off the line at Broadmeadows yesterday, but won’t take delivery until next month.

“I’m excited to finally see the car, but I’m sad about the end of manufacturing in Australia. I’ve gotten to know a lot of the workers over the past month … and they’re just a great bunch of people. They really wear their hearts on their sleeves.”

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I've driven a Falcon GT.....but over $200K AUD? That's like paying over $200K USD for the last Taurus SHO.

Just the same, it is a sad occasion. I happened to be in Australia when the decision was made not to package protect this version of Falcon for LHD, which doomed it from ever being sold in the US market. Bill Ford and other executives in North America had a few Falcons imported and passed around among themselves because there was an idea at the time to import the next gen Falcon as Mercurys and incorporate Ford of Australia into a proposal to create the next generation of RWD sedans for Ford, Lincoln, and Ford of Australia. One car rag broke the story (can't remember if it was MT or C&D, but they got the story 100% right....a rarity).

The idea centered around them making large Lincoln and Ford sedans here and Falcons in Australia. The large Ford (Crown Vic replacement) or Lincoln sedans ( Town Car replacement) would be exported to Australia as Fairlanes while Falcons would be exported back this way as a Mercury. Ford instead decided to go with the FWD Volvo developed platform, not package protect the E8 for LHD, and IMHO doomed the car and in retrospect I feel tipped their hand as far as their future plans to continue manufacturing in Australia..... You saw hints of those RWD large sedan plans with the Ford Interceptor as well as the MKR concepts of 7-8 years ago.

As a side note, you'll hear some say that converting the D2C (Mustang) platform into a sedan would be difficult and expensive work, but that's total hogwash and nonsense in the highest degree. The D2C is based off of the DEW98 SEDAN platform (Lincoln LS and pretty much every Jaguar sedan made today), and the DEW was the basis of sedans for both Ford and Lincoln that was in the planning stages at the start of this century. The new Mustang IRS is heavily based on the original DEW IRS. In effect, the hard work is already done. As with many things behind the scene that were killed by a single person (think Dodge Magnum and then CEO Nardelli), the large RWD program was killed mainly by the arguments of a single Ford executive (whose name I can't recall to save my life) who was the large vehicle director at the time, and was a champion of the D3 and AWD.

Despite impressions, Ford development moves slower and tends to take longer than General Motors. Also, Ford seemingly always has something languishing in a vault somewhere that's mostly developed that they can potentially pull out adapt to a platform, and finish development on (the Taurus itself is an example....it's design was originally a RWD Crown Vic replacement....ever notice how the Taurus doesn't quite look proportionately right???). The Forty-Niner concept (which was really a concept version of the then next generation Thunderbird) stayed in Ford's vaults for quite a few years (and the story about how that didn't reach production...it almost did by the skins of it's teeth...is a fasinating story itself).

Back to the subject, hope you guys like the next generation Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS......that's what's coming your way.
 

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I've driven a Falcon GT.....but over $200K AUD? That's like paying over $200K USD for the last Taurus SHO.

Just the same, it is a sad occasion. I happened to be in Australia when the decision was made not to package protect this version of Falcon for LHD, which doomed it from ever being sold in the US market. Bill Ford and other executives in North America had a few Falcons imported and passed around among themselves because there was an idea at the time to import the next gen Falcon as Mercurys and incorporate Ford of Australia into a proposal to create the next generation of RWD sedans for Ford, Lincoln, and Ford of Australia. One car rag broke the story (can't remember if it was MT or C&D, but they got the story 100% right....a rarity).

The idea centered around them making large Lincoln and Ford sedans here and Falcons in Australia. The large Ford (Crown Vic replacement) or Lincoln sedans ( Town Car replacement) would be exported to Australia as Fairlanes while Falcons would be exported back this way as a Mercury. Ford instead decided to go with the FWD Volvo developed platform, not package protect the E8 for LHD, and IMHO doomed the car and in retrospect I feel tipped their hand as far as their future plans to continue manufacturing in Australia..... You saw hints of those RWD large sedan plans with the Ford Interceptor as well as the MKR concepts of 7-8 years ago.

As a side note, you'll hear some say that converting the D2C (Mustang) platform into a sedan would be difficult and expensive work, but that's total hogwash and nonsense in the highest degree. The D2C is based off of the DEW98 SEDAN platform (Lincoln LS and pretty much every Jaguar sedan made today), and the DEW was the basis of sedans for both Ford and Lincoln that was in the planning stages at the start of this century. The new Mustang IRS is heavily based on the original DEW IRS. In effect, the hard work is already done. As with many things behind the scene that were killed by a single person (think Dodge Magnum and then CEO Nardelli), the large RWD program was killed mainly by the arguments of a single Ford executive (whose name I can't recall to save my life) who was the large vehicle director at the time, and was a champion of the D3 and AWD.

Despite impressions, Ford development moves slower and tends to take longer than General Motors. Also, Ford seemingly always has something languishing in a vault somewhere that's mostly developed that they can potentially pull out adapt to a platform, and finish development on (the Taurus itself is an example....it's design was originally a RWD Crown Vic replacement....ever notice how the Taurus doesn't quite look proportionately right???). The Forty-Niner concept (which was really a concept version of the then next generation Thunderbird) stayed in Ford's vaults for quite a few years (and the story about how that didn't reach production...it almost did by the skins of it's teeth...is a fasinating story itself).

Back to the subject, hope you guys like the next generation Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS......that's what's coming your way.
Please tell us more!
 

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The car was sold at Auction all proceeds to charity

It's actual retail is more like the 90k mark like the HSV GTS


I sometimes wonder is people actually read the threads or just go "freaken hell I must reply to this shocking thread title !!!!!!!"
 

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Holden's blood is on Ford's hands........
Ford is simply a convenient excuse, the real "killer" is much closer to home.

Left to its own devices and product planning, there's no reason why Holden
could not have continued with lighter versions of Commodore and new GM
corporate engines/gearboxes.
 

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Wow Falcon what a car, there are only two cars that were any ever good in worth buying in the Aussie car market this was one of them.

Without the Falcon's platform there would have been no Ford Mustang back in the 60's.

Ford has just lost one of its finest cars ever made, the Falcon sits up there with the worlds finest. Biggest mistake for the Falcon was it never allowed to become a global car. Sat a No2 in the Aussies sales charts nearly all its life, that takes a very special car to do that.

Biggest mistake of all was Ford has just lost a lot of of very talented Engineers, Aussie Engineers are probably among the best in the world who can be proud that their very durable cars were not part of a constant recall, they will find other jobs other work.

Biggest only problem crime for the Falcon was it was a single square peg that did not fit into the Blue Ovals "One-World Global Car" round hole.
It is gonna be missed sorely, if you ask anybody whats the one favourite Ford car you would most like to own to folk that live outside of Australia & New Zealand, its a Stang, T-Bird or an Aussie Falcon.

Ford have just torn the heart out the Aussie Blue Oval car buyer, No words can ever describe just how Falcon and Commodore are gonna be missed. Toyota must be dancing on their grave, can't believe their luck. Ford and GM have just handed the Aussie car market to them on a plate.

A very sad day, not just for Australians for the world as well, without the Falcon there probably would have been no Mustang, the world has just lost a legend.
 
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so sad that this car is ending production. shame they cant make a platform that the mustang and falcon can share. would not mind a rwd 4 door to be in the US too.
 

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I've driven a Falcon GT.....but over $200K AUD? That's like paying over $200K USD for the last Taurus SHO.

Just the same, it is a sad occasion. I happened to be in Australia when the decision was made not to package protect this version of Falcon for LHD, which doomed it from ever being sold in the US market. Bill Ford and other executives in North America had a few Falcons imported and passed around among themselves because there was an idea at the time to import the next gen Falcon as Mercurys and incorporate Ford of Australia into a proposal to create the next generation of RWD sedans for Ford, Lincoln, and Ford of Australia. One car rag broke the story (can't remember if it was MT or C&D, but they got the story 100% right....a rarity).

The idea centered around them making large Lincoln and Ford sedans here and Falcons in Australia. The large Ford (Crown Vic replacement) or Lincoln sedans ( Town Car replacement) would be exported to Australia as Fairlanes while Falcons would be exported back this way as a Mercury. Ford instead decided to go with the FWD Volvo developed platform, not package protect the E8 for LHD, and IMHO doomed the car and in retrospect I feel tipped their hand as far as their future plans to continue manufacturing in Australia..... You saw hints of those RWD large sedan plans with the Ford Interceptor as well as the MKR concepts of 7-8 years ago.

As a side note, you'll hear some say that converting the D2C (Mustang) platform into a sedan would be difficult and expensive work, but that's total hogwash and nonsense in the highest degree. The D2C is based off of the DEW98 SEDAN platform (Lincoln LS and pretty much every Jaguar sedan made today), and the DEW was the basis of sedans for both Ford and Lincoln that was in the planning stages at the start of this century. The new Mustang IRS is heavily based on the original DEW IRS. In effect, the hard work is already done. As with many things behind the scene that were killed by a single person (think Dodge Magnum and then CEO Nardelli), the large RWD program was killed mainly by the arguments of a single Ford executive (whose name I can't recall to save my life) who was the large vehicle director at the time, and was a champion of the D3 and AWD.

Despite impressions, Ford development moves slower and tends to take longer than General Motors. Also, Ford seemingly always has something languishing in a vault somewhere that's mostly developed that they can potentially pull out adapt to a platform, and finish development on (the Taurus itself is an example....it's design was originally a RWD Crown Vic replacement....ever notice how the Taurus doesn't quite look proportionately right???). The Forty-Niner concept (which was really a concept version of the then next generation Thunderbird) stayed in Ford's vaults for quite a few years (and the story about how that didn't reach production...it almost did by the skins of it's teeth...is a fasinating story itself).

Back to the subject, hope you guys like the next generation Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS......that's what's coming your way.
Oh, you'd be amazed by some of the things Ford has in its development vault. I call it "purgatory", since it's basically 90% of the way done, from an engineering perspective.

The core of the Ford RWD problem was this - to make sense from an ROI perspective, the platform needed to work for a Mustang, a Lincoln, and a Falcon. It was just impossible to engineer something that met the requirements of all three. It would either be too expensive, too heavy, or wouldn't meet NVH requirements. The volume for any two of those cars wouldn't make the investment worth it, so it never came to fruition. Ford tried three or four times since the early 1990's, and it failed each time.

That being said, given the collapse of the large sedan market in the US, and the splintering of the luxury market away from RWD, maybe it wasn't a bad thing after all.
 

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I've driven a Falcon GT.....but over $200K AUD? That's like paying over $200K USD for the last Taurus SHO.
Not even remotely the same. The Falcon is to Aussie what the Mustang and Corvette are to America. When the 1st 2015 Mustang is auctioned for damn near $200K what do you think the last production Mustang ever would bring in? The Taurus doesn't even belong in the conversation with the Aussie Falcon.
 

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Oh, you'd be amazed by some of the things Ford has in its development vault. I call it "purgatory", since it's basically 90% of the way done, from an engineering perspective.

The core of the Ford RWD problem was this - to make sense from an ROI perspective, the platform needed to work for a Mustang, a Lincoln, and a Falcon. It was just impossible to engineer something that met the requirements of all three. It would either be too expensive, too heavy, or wouldn't meet NVH requirements. The volume for any two of those cars wouldn't make the investment worth it, so it never came to fruition. Ford tried three or four times since the early 1990's, and it failed each time.

That being said, given the collapse of the large sedan market in the US, and the splintering of the luxury market away from RWD, maybe it wasn't a bad thing after all.
The interesting part to me is that back in the 90's when GM and Chrysler were running away from RWD as fast as they could Ford held steady. Once GM and Chrysler both began embracing RWD once again in the 2000's Ford walks away. Strange.
 

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The interesting part to me is that back in the 90's when GM and Chrysler were running away from RWD as fast as they could Ford held steady. Once GM and Chrysler both began embracing RWD once again in the 2000's Ford walks away. Strange.
A cynic would say it's due to Ford's slow response to the market, but it's reflective of a more cautious and thoughtful approach to product development. They aren't so quick to run away from market-driven trends, and rely more on internal research and insight.
 
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