The Ford Falcon XY GT-HO Phase III is one of the most valuable Australian-made cars in history, but it’s largely unknown outside its home country. It was built in the early 1970s as the third version of the GT-HO that had been specifically developed to win both the Hardie-Ferodo 500 at Mount Panorama in Bathurst, and the Australian Touring Car Championship.
The battles that have been happening on the track and street in Australia between Holdens and Fords since the middle of the 20th century is the stuff of legend. Ever faster and more extreme cars were developed by the two companies in the fight for supremacy, today these cars are worth figures exceeding half a million dollars in cases like the GT-HO Phase III.
The Phase III was a homologation special that started out as a standard Ford XY Falcon GT, it was fitted with a 351 cubic inch V8 that had been worked to turn out approximately 380 bhp. Ford officially listed the power output as 300 bhp to keep the insurance companies happy, but in reality the real figure was almost 30% higher.
The car was also equipped with a 4-speed top-loader transmission, Detroit locker nine inch (LSD) differential, performance brakes, a performance handling package, and a 36 imperial gallon (164 litre) endurance fuel tank.
The GT-HO Phase III took the outright win at Bathurst in 1971 at the Hardie-Ferodo 500, the car took a slew of other race wins including the 1973 Australian Touring Car Championship. Today there are estimated to be only 100 or so surviving examples of the model, down from the original 300, and they sell for figures in the range of $700,000 AUD.
This film tells the story of the uniquely Australian car from the perspectives of the people who were there. It runs just over 1 hour and 10 minutes long and it includes interviews with some of the biggest luminaries in the history of Australian motorsports.
If you’d like to read more about the Phase III you can click here.
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