2019 Ford GT Nationals, Adelaide

By: Dave Carey, Photography by: Troy Barker

Presented by

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The cars were the stars at the 9th Falcon GT Nationals held in Adelaide during the Easter break

Easter in Adelaide heralded the rumbling of Windsor and Cleveland V8s, with just a dash of Boss thrown in for good measure, as the city played host to the 18th Falcon GT Nationals. Cars attended from across the country to celebrate 50 years of Phase Falcons, represented by big-dollar restos, freakishly clean survivors and rough-and-ready workhorses. It was an amazing display of Australian automotive history, all under cover at the Adelaide Showgrounds.

Those expecting a Diamond White-wash of primped and preened trailer queens were sorely disappointed; sure, a GT Nationals contains plenty of that, but the number of vehicles that proudly displayed histories in dirt was astounding.

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Ford collector Parry Bitsikas was only ever going to have cars fitting the former; his RPO83 sedan took out Best Original Restored XA, while his RPO83 coupe landed Runner Up in Original Unrestored XA. At the opposite end of the spectrum stood KAG003; the beaten-but-not-broken XT Falcon GT that achieved a laudable sixth outright in the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon.

Similarly, the Phase III Odyssey boys drove a pair of the irreplaceable supercars anticlockwise from Melbourne to Adelaide, raising money for a trio of charities along the way. David Frake and Leo Khouri displayed their GTHOs with 16,953km worth of Aussie dirt and bugs intact, along with their swags, kit bags and tools required for their epic adventure.

ford-falcon-gt-nationals-84.jpgAfter a lap of Australia, raising money for charities, it’s showtime

Although David and Leo got to drive their cars every day for over a month, it was the Willunga Hillclimb where the big Falcons were able to properly clear their throats and bellow. Despite some wet spots on the track, the Hillclimb was devoid of incident, with 1967 Bathurst winner Fred Gibson’s beaming smile almost outshining the cars. "These guys are sprinting to the top of the mountain on a closed road, then driving back down the main highway for another run," he said with enthusiasm. "This would never happen in Victoria."

ford-falcon-gt-nationals-71.jpg24 carat Gold. A jaw dropping XR-GT lineup

With the biennial event set to run on the Gold Coast in 2021, it will be another decade before it lobs back into SA, regardless, the 2019 event will certainly be remembered as a highlight in the Nationals’ 18-year history.

 

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