The Ultimate Muscle Car: Enter the Ford Falcon XA GT-HO Phase 4

The Ultimate Muscle Car: Enter the Ford Falcon XA GT-HO Phase 4

Ford Falcon XA GT-HO Phase 4



Think you have a hot muscle car? Enter the 1972 Ford Falcon XA GT-HO Phase 4. This was one of the fastest production muscle cars in the world that actually made it off of the production line.  The GT-HO Phase 4 is one of the rarest muscle cars ever built by Ford Australia. Only 4 were ever made and 3 are still in existence (one was written off in a rally wreck in the mid 1970s).

Three of the high-end Phase 4 models were purpose built for production car racing and only one made it through the production line before the program was cancelled due to the “super car scare” in Australia in which incidents starting mounting including one young guy that decided to drive it 150 mph through a busy city street. were driving up to . To give perspective the XA GT-HO Phase 4 is to Australia to what the Mustang Boss 429 is to the United States. The ultimate muscle car.

Below are three videos showing this bad boy in action (original and today):

Falcon GT HO Phase 4 Videos

Ford Falcon GT HO Phase 4 (1998)





GT HO – Model Features:

One of the most visual features is that the XA features an entirely new body which was larger than that of its XY series (its predecessor). Powered with a whopping 4.1-litre engine and several were available with either a single or double venturi carburettor. The XA even had a wagon series and basically has a longer wheelbase than the sedans and an optional dual-action tailgate that could be opened either downwards or sideways.

Falcon GT-HO Phase 4
The XA also has a hardtop edition with longer doors and frameless windows which were shared with a utility and van edition, with a different shape glass to suit the commercial vehicles’ body shapes.  All together a total of 129,473 XAs were built.

Falcon GT-HO Phase IV Coming Of Age

As with the previous XW and XY series Falcon GT sedans, an extra-high-performance limited-production version of the XA Falcon GT sedan, the GT-HO Phase IV, was developed by Ford Australia for use in Production Touring Car racing. Production of the required 200 examples was abandoned in July 1972 following the “supercar scare”, and only one production example was completed. This significant road car was manufactured in Calypso Green metallic with a white vinyl interior, and has recently been completely restored by the current owner.

Additionally, three regular production Falcon GT sedans – especially painted in Brambles Red – had been in the process of being developed for racing to GT-HO specification by Ford Special Vehicles Division but this was halted and the three cars were sold off. As mentioned earlier one ended-up as a wreck in a rally race.

The value of a car is only what the next person will pay for it.

A Deeper Dive Into the Phase IV

In 1972 the new XA GT model had been released and a GT-HO model was needed to take over from the XY GT-HO on the race track.
The racing rules at that time dictated that 200 standard Phase 4s had to be produced before a race car could be eligible. Therefore all parts on the racing Phase 4 had to be fitted to the standard road going versions. The XA series would pay a price for this rule. In the middle of 1972 the media hit on a story of these 160 mph ‘Super Cars’ that were about to hit the streets. This press gave the impression that these cars were going to be too dangerous for the general public to drive. This was the start of public outrage that eventually led to the government interfering and demanding that all production cease of these road going race monsters. The Phase 4 project was canceled and the cars sold off to various owners and collectors in Australia. So in total four of these specialized cars were built, one road car and three race cars (rally and race teams). A total of 2,759 XA GTs were sold, of which a third were two-door hard-tops.

Falcon GT HO: Specification Table:

1972 GT HO Phase IV

General Data

Make Ford
Date of Manufacture 1972
Number Made 4
Number Existing 3

Engine Type 351 Cleveland
Number of Cylinders 8
Cubic Capacity 5763cc
Horsepower 410bhp
Aspiration 780 Holley

Number of Gears 4
Transmission Type Close Ratio Top Loader

Wheels and Suspension
Suspension Type
Front Angle Poised Ball Joints, Coil Springs, Koni Shock Absorbers, Wishbones and Anti Roll Bar
Rear Hotchkiss type with Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs, Panhard Rod, Live Axle and Koni Shock Absorbers
Brake Type
Front 11.25″ Discs
Rear 10″ Finned Drums
Wheel Type
Front Bathurst Globes
Rear Bathurst Globes
Wheel Size
Rim Width Front 15 x 7″
Rim Width Rear 15 x 7″


What is a Falcon GT HO Worth Today?

The list price of a Ford Falcon Phase III in 1971 was $5300 quite a bargain for a car of that stature back then. Only 300 were built and about 100 survive today.
Back in 2007 a Phase III sold for $683,650 to a Queenslander and another sold for a whopping $750,000 just three months later.  The global financial crisis has since halved the price of these supercars, with a Phase III purchased in Melbourne in June 2010 for $331,000 and another later advertised for $325,000.

So how much would a Phase IV go for? No one knows for sure because the current owners are not keen to get rid of them hanging on to them for sentimental value. The current owner of a Phase IV, Dan Bowden (Phase IV current owner) has yet to put a price on it as it has been in his family for almost 40 years.
“The value of a car is only what the next person will pay for it,” Bowden says.

History of the Typewriter: Slow to Start

typing dream

In Awe of Technology

A typewriter is a mechanical writing tool, usually equipped with pushbuttons with which characters can be pressed onto paper.

The concept of the typewriter dates back to 1714, but was not a commercial succes until 1870.

It’s development and acceptance has been a bumpy process, but the device has left a definite mark on the cultural heritage of many people. Its influence is still visible in the functional aspects of modern writing technology.

Who invented the typewriter?

The English claim that it was Henry Mill who invented the typing machine in 1714.

Henry received the first typewriter patent from Queen Anne for “an artificial machine or method for the impressing or transcribing of letters … whereby all writings whatsoever may be engrossed in paper or parchment so neat and exact as not to be distinguished from print … the said machine or method may be of great use in settlements and publick records, the impression being deeper and more lasting than any other writing, and not be erased or counterfeited without manifested discovery.”

As there exist no drawings or models of Mills machine, the patent is the only proof of his work. This was the first in a long line of around 112 patented pre typewriter designs, almost all of them by Europeans.

The Italians are of the opinion it was their countryman Pellegrino Turri who fabricated the first typewriter in 1808. His fellow countryman Giuseppe Ravizaa produced various models between 1837 and 1855. The French see Xavier Progin as the orginal inventor, with his “Plum Typografique” in 1837. Austrians believe Peter Mitterhofer was the father of the writing machine, and the Russians claim M. Alissoff deserves creator credit.

The United States however coined William Austin Burt the first person to fabricate and use a (wooden) typographer prototype, with which he wrote a letter to his wife. The writing process was slower than longhand writing, and the prototype perished in a fire, which killed any potential for succes.

Christopher Sholes and the first practical typewriter



While there are many different opinions on the identity of the first inventor of the typewriter, there is hardly any debate who designed the first typewriter that was taken into mass production: Christopher Latham Sholes, Carlos Glidden and Samuel W. Soule invented the first practical typewriter in 1868.

This team of engineers worked together in a small workshop in Milwaukee. In 1876 they sold the patent to their model to E. Remington and Sons, producers of weapons and sowing machines at the time. The first commercial typewriter, Model 1, was manufactured by Remington on the 1st of march in Ilion, New York.

Here are two examples of the patents Sholes registered:

During the 1880’s many different types of typewriters were designed, but the model we know today as a typical typewriter was the Underwood. This version was invented by F. X. Wagner and produced by the Wagner and Underwood Company.

Underwood nr. 5

Underwood nr. 5

Not an overnight succes

The typewriter arrived silently into the public world. As the New York Times recalled later: “ The advent of the first writing machine was not announced in cable dispatches and newspaper headlines. It slipped into existence quietly, timidly, unobtrusively, with an indifferent world to face.” This may have been because the product was associated with work rather than social life.

Initially typewriters were also slow sellers.  One reason given was that many professionals felt typing would appear rude to potential clients, as there would be no personal touch. Once it became apparent the efficiency of office work could greatly increase with the use of mechanical typing, the machines gained popularity in work environments, and a new profession was born: that of typist.


Ad targeted at typists

The Development of the QWERTY Layout

Initially most manufacturers used their own order of keys. The arms with the characters got stuck regularly however, because the most frequently used characters were close together.

Sholes and Glidden then designed the QWERTY layout, in which these keys were far apart. The name stems from the first 6 letters of the top row. This system, based on an ideal positioning of the most frequently used keys, is still in use in the western world.

Another version of the reasoning behind this layout is that salesmen could very easily type in the word “typewriter” for prospects, to demonstrate the speed of producing text with a typewriter. It has also been rumored that Sholes’ intention in creating the QWERTY layout was to slow down the typist deliberately so that the flaws in his typewriter were never noticed.

A selection of various models of typewriters

As typewriters became widely used, many different models were produced by manufacturers. Below are some examples to illustrate the wide range of typewriter designs and features.

Royal Bar-Lock. Est. 1910

 barlockThis typewriter had a double keyboard. Without the switch key, that was developed by Remington in 1878, typewriters needed two keyboards. One set for the lowercase characters and one for the capital letters. Because of the location of the levers it was very difficult for the typist to read what was being pressed in the printed.

Multiplex. 1919

multiplexHammond made a lot of innovating typewriters. On the Multiplex various fonts could be printed. On the typewriter the slogan “For All Nations and Tongues” was imprinted. Usually the different fonts were structured in 3 rows, but sometimes in 4, for which a second switch key was needed.

Lettera 32. Est. 1960 

letteraMarcello Nizzoli was de first and most influential product designer at Olivetti. In the 40ies and 50ies he was mostly focused on office supplies, including typewriters. This Lettera 32 is based on his portable model, the Lettera 22.

Samsung SQ-3000.  Est. 1990 

samsungThe Samsung is a typical example of a hybrid writer that combined a compact electrical typewriter with data memory. On the small screen one line of text was displayed before it was printed. These types of models became widely popular in the 80ies, until they were driven off by the introduction of the personal desktop computer.

The Sound of History

A very different impression of the developement of typewriters can be experienced in this amazing performance by Michael Winslow aka Man of 10,000 Sound Effects, in 2010:

The “End” of Typewriters

For over hundred years the typewriter remained a huge success. There were improvements to increase speed, correct errors, combine different characters in one key and to make typing less noisy. The device was an important tool for everything that had to be written.

Around the 1930s the portable typewriters arrived, and electrical versions were developed. The portable typewriters were mostly used by sales representatives, journalist and army clerks. These were light, more fragile and produces low quality typing.

By 1961 the mechanical versions of typewriters were mostly out of use, and with the introduction of the personal computers in the nineties the mechanical typewriter quickly disappeared out of daily use. Till the invention of the computer the typewriter was an essential tool in office places, and the typewriter itself has influenced the design and functionality of computers.

The Rebirth of Typewriters

Though newer writing technology offers many benefits like time-saving auto-correction and faster and easier typing, there are some reasons to consider switching back to a mechanical typewriter, for example:

  • they are distraction free
  • they challenge a user to be more efficient and aware of their errors
  • they give a richer sensory experience which connects you closely to the creative process


There are many established and upcoming writers who prefer using an old typewriter. Prices however are skyrocketing as they are no longer produced, and are becoming quite popular among collectors.

Not only do people collect typewriters for their beautiful classic appearance and place in industrial history, but also for the famous books and plays that have been created on typewriters.

**Update: In November 2014 Angelina Jolie gave a very special marriage gift to husband Brad Pitt. She was able to acquire the typewriter previously owned by Ernest Hemingway. On this 1926 Underwood model Hemingway wrote his famous For Whom the Bell Tolls, and it was the last typewriter he used before committing suicide.

Angelina bought the machine from collector and police chief Steve Soborroff, for the price of 250.000 dollars. (Source:  TMZ,

Other celebrities and well-known writers that love and use typewriters are:

    • Martin Amis
    • J.K. Rowling
    • Tom Hanks
    • Tom Wolfe
    • Danielle Steel
    • P.J. O’Rourke

(source: and


Typewriter art

The first typed manuscript was Life by Mark Twain in 1883. Besides being used for writing literature and movie and theater scripts, the typewriter has also inspired composers to create musical pieces with the typing tool as instrument. For example:

The American composer Leroy Anderson composed the concert The Typewriter, with a typewriter as instrument:


Another musical piece involving a typewriter is the Ballet Parade by Erik Satie:


And finally Concert for typewriter in D by the Estonian rock band In Spe, 1984:


Books on Typewriters

To find out more about the history of typewriters, visit your local library and check out these books:

  • Typewriter Topics, The Typewriter: An Ilustrated History, : Dover, 2000.Adler, M.A. , Antique Typewriters: From Creed to QWERTY, : Schiffer, 2007.
  • Beeching, W. A. , A Century of the Typewriter, : Heinemann, 1974.
  • Darren Wershler-Henry, The Iron Whim: A Fragmented HIstory of Typewriting, : Cornell University Press, 2007.
  • Current, R.N. , The typewriter (A history of the Sholes & Gidden), Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1954
What Else is Living in your Facial Hair?

What Else is Living in your Facial Hair?


Face Mite

Red skin?

If you are suffering from redness of the skin on your face or other skin complaints, your face and facial hair might be host to Demodex Folliculorum.

Another type of face mite

These microscopic animals are usually found near the eyebrows and nose, but can also inhabit hair follicles and sebaceous glands. When there are large numbers of the Demodex Follicorum on your skin, the infestation is called demodicosis. Sometimes these infestations can cause inflammation of the skin, which results in red patches on your face.

About Demodex Folliculorum

The mite is a small animal between 0.1 and 0.4 mm long, and has four pairs of short legs. It lives with its head inwards, and its tail sometimes is visible between the hair follicles. Up to 25 mites can live in one follicle. The life span of the Demodex is about two weeks, and it feeds on the content of the sebaceous glands and dead skin cells. They are most active at night, because they do not like the light. When you sleep, the mites travel over your face.

Quite harmless?

Though these hair follicle mites have been associated with hair loss, and in particular the loss of eyelashes, it has not been proven that hair loss is caused by mites. They have als been associated with skin complaints like acne rosacea and inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis). In general infestations have been found in all types of skins, and are considered to be part of the normal skin fauna. About 80% of the adult population has these mites.


To determine whether you are infested with the Demodex Folliculorum, the content of sebaceous glands can be examined under a microscope. What you would see would be similar to this video:


With most skin problems it is not clear if the Demodex folliculorum is of any influence. A good skin care can limit the amount of mites on the skin. An overproduction of sebum causes a faster growth in mites, and should be avoided. So be gentle with your skin and make sure you only use natural products without preservatives and other additives.