Ford Falcon EB GT: Future Classic

By: John Wright

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John Wright looks at the Ford EB Falcon Tickford-engineered GT

Ford Falcon EB GT: Future Classic
Future Classic: Ford Falcon EB GT

 

Ford Falcon EB GT

'What would the vehicle be in 1992 if the GT had existed since 1967?’ This was the question Howard Marsden used as the basis for creating the EB Anniversary Falcon GT. The late Howard Marsden managed Ford Australia’s touring car program from 1971 to 1974 and oversaw both the GTHO Phase III and its Phase IV successor.

Significantly, Marsden said at the launch of the EB GT in October 1992, ‘Thankfully we now have a set of rules for Touring Car racing which spare participating car manufacturers from having to make road-registerable "homologation specials" – like the GTHO – to be race competitive.’ He put the new GT into a similar category to the XA and XB: ‘Like the latterday GTs however, the EB GT is not a race car.’

I don’t imagine I was the only motoring journalist who fell in love with Marsden’s EB GT. Neither was I the only one to suppose it would one day become a collector’s item. Who could have guessed it would take so long?

There were at least two negatives with the car, the minor one being that the charismatic new Cobalt Blue paint proved to be rather too translucent and Ford Australia stopped using it. At least the GT came in two other colours, Cardinal Red (there were 88 of these) and Black Pearl.

More importantly, very few EB GTs delivered real world performance in keeping with the claimed 200kW @ 5250rpm and 420Nm @ 4000rpm. In fact, the EB GT was no quicker through the sprint to 100km/h (7.3s) or through the 400 metres (15.4s) than the $30K Falcon S-XR6 launched just weeks earlier.

The aerodynamic body kit was claimed to cut lift by 40 per cent without. Unique bumpers, deep skirts, new front air intakes, low-set driving lights, a large bootlid wing, 17 X 8.5 5-spoke alloys, lowered ride height and – surely the piece d’resistance – the central bonnet scoop with pair of louvred grilles gave the EB GT great road presence (if less than its EL successor!).

Leather and fair dinkum walnut graced the Ghia-based interior. With the surprisingly soft-riding suspension, it was much more a luxury grand tourer with a sporty character than the other way round (like the 1967 XR). The suspension was developed by Tickford but had softer settings than the XR cars. The automatic version had softer settings again.

Perhaps here was the real reason why collectability is still coming with excellent cars available for $30K. In a country which has long thought of GT not so much as Gran Turismo as code for Mount Panorama, the 1992 Ford was not fast enough.

Expect prices to rise. This was a Tickford-engineered GT and thus more distinctive than most HSVs. The fact that the EB shares its body shape with the first V8 Supercars can’t hurt either. It took the XA/XB GTs and these are surely the model’s real predecessors.



*****

 

More reviews:

> Budget classic: Ford EB-EL Falcon XR6

> Falcon EA/Commodore VN: 25 years on

> Future classic: 2002-08 Ford BA/BF Falcon XT V8

 


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