1965-1966 Ford XP Falcon - Buyer's Guide

By: Unique Cars magazine, Photography by: Stuart Grant

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Our mini buyer's guide if you're in the market for a Ford Falcon XP

 

1965-1966 Ford XP Falcon

An ambitious 70,000-mile run around the company proving ground helped convince potential owners that the Falcon was ‘fragile’ no more and the XP became the first Falcon to sell more than 70,000 units during its production life.

As a collector car, the Ford Falcon XP range has one stand-out performer. Condition is imperative when buying a two-door Hardtop because perfect examples will go close to $50,000. Cheap ones needing a full make-over are money pits.

The XP Fairmont which replaced the Futura in late 1965 has a classy interior and disc brakes and is viable for frequent use. Quality survivors at $30,000 are worth 30 percent more than a Deluxe in similar condition. Panel vans are less common and likely to be worth considerably more than a sedan.

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Survival rates for basic XPs are pretty good and prices remain below the money being generated by Holden’s controversial HD. Simplicity and spares availability should help XPs that have avoided the scrap heap for 50+ years manage a few decades more.

VALUE GUIDE:
1965-66 Ford Falcon XP

Fair: $5500
Good: $14,500
Excellent: $22,000

(Deluxe sedan)

BUYER'S CHECKLIST

Body & Chassis

Unless you find your XP untouched under some junk in the corner of a dark shed, it has probably already been treated for rust and repainted at least once in its life. Cheap, older repairs will often be characterised by areas of lifting paint and lumpy body-filler. Rust repair sections including half and full door-skins, floor-pans and lower rear quarterpanels are available, however rust in the suspension mounting points and firewall, inner sills and turret might not be economic to repair unless the car is a hardtop. Missing and damaged brightwork, especially bumpers, will add more than $1000 to
renovation costs.

Engine & Transmission

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‘'Robust and easy to repair' is the message regarding a Ford 'six'. While basic 144 cubic inch engines seem scarce plenty of Pursuit 170s and even 3.3-litre Super Pursuit motors are available. Valve train wear causes startup rattles – sometime hard to hear over the noisy starter motor – and blue exhaust smoke suggests rings and bearings for your shopping list. Stored cars will need a cooling system flush, probably a new water pump (about $80), even a re-cored radiator. While manuals can be slow to select gears, more than a couple of seconds’ hesitation suggests overhaul. Listen for a clicky first gear; due to chipped teeth because someone forgot there is no synchromesh on that ratio..

Suspension & Brakes

Front suspension creaks and groans at low speeds mean new ball joints, bushes and tie-rod ends are likely needed. Rear spring leaves sag and crack (new semi-elliptics cost around $600 a pair, with matching front coils $200- 300). If you're used to power-assisted discs you might think at first touch of the pedal that an XP has no brakes, but they do stop eventually. Uneven wheel locking, grinding noises on light applications and a weak handbrake mean an overdue overhaul. Less than $1000 should buy all the new brake components you need. Wobbly or binding steering might be remedied by spending $350 on a reconditioned steering box.

Interior & Electrics

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The vinyl trim fitted to XPs was so tough that some cars still have their original seat coverings and door panels. If not there are suppliers offering exchange door cards and reproduction seat material for a total outlay of $2500 or less. New vinyl hood-lining costs around $250 plus installation with carpet sets below $200. Manual window winders that are hard to move or have broken handles can be repaired and remember to test the floor-mounted dip-switch to make sure you have highbeam lights. Installing or replacing front and rear seat belts is a wise move in cars this age and costs around $500 for parts.

SPECIFICATIONS

1965-66 Ford XP Falcon

NUMBER MADE: 70,954
BODY: all-steel unitary 4-door sedan/wagon, 2-door hardtop, panel van and utility
ENGINE: 2365, 2781or 3273cc in-line OHV six - single carb
POWER & TORQUE: 90kW @ 4400rpm, 237Nm @ 2400rpm
PERFORMANCE: 0-96km/h 14.6 sec, 0-400m 19.4 sec (Super Pursuit 200 auto)
TRANSMISSION: 3 speed manual, 3-speed automatic
SUSPENSION: Ind.with coil springs, control arms, tele shocks, anti-roll bar (f). Live axle with semi-elliptic springs and tele shocks (r).
BRAKES: drum or disc (Fairmont) (f) drum (r) power assistance on some
TYRES: 6.50x13 cross-ply

 

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