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

Ford Falcon XA GT-HO Phase 4

Source: coop-falcons50thanniversary.blogspot.com

 

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)

XA 351 INTERCEPTOR Falcon GT HO PHASE 4 CATCHER

 

FALCON 500 XA 351 BLUEPRINTED GT HO PHASE 4 CHASER

 

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
Model XA GTHO
Date of Manufacture 1972
Number Made 4
Number Existing 3

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

Gearbox
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″

(Source: http://www.gtho4.com/fouronthefloor/fouronthefloor-archive.html)

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.

One thought on “The Ultimate Muscle Car: Enter the Ford Falcon XA GT-HO Phase 4

  • January 3, 2015 at 4:06 pm
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    i have a xa fairmont coupe with special stamped on the compliance plate,vin number and engine number matching jg numbers crosed out and replaced with matching codes starting with s. engine is a 351 ci with 4 barrel holly carby and a c4 auto transmission. is this a standerd procedure for vehicles that went threw s.v.o …

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