Ford XY V8 ute, Monaro and Dick Johnson Turbo – the cars that got away

By: Cliff Chambers, Unique Cars magazine

monaro monaro
johnson falcon johnson falcon
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Local bombers were a bargain then.

Ford XY V8 ute, Monaro and Dick Johnson Turbo – the cars that got away
Big Falcon ute - don't you wish you had one?

Ford XY Falcon GS351 Utility – advertised April 2005

Freddie Gibson’s ‘shop ute’ is one of the best-known commercial vehicles in Australia and would inevitably crop up for sale at some point in Unique Cars. Sometimes we speculate on the whereabouts and condition of Gotaways subjects but with this one we can report the news as all good. The distinctive XY ute is currently back in the market; still looking stunning but now plastered with logos and decals in the styles it would have carried when under Gibson ownership. The only major alteration is to the price which is around three times its 2005 level.

Then $27,000 Now $65-75,000

HK Monaro GTS 186S – advertised April 2002

Fifteen years isn’t a long time in the context of automotive history but long enough for response to this Monaro’s price tag to switch from ‘They’re joking’ to ‘Grab it!’. Looking at this magnificent Warwick Yellow HK with everything in showroom-perfect condition you can understand the seller’s desire for maximum cabbage. However, $20K was more than most people were paying at the time for GTS 327s and this was just a 186S. Currently a car of this model and quality will have eager buyers queued around the corner and $80k is not out of the question.

Then $19,750 Now $70-80,000

XE Falcon Dick Johnson Turbo – advertised April 1989

When Dick Johnson discovered there would be no more factory-made performance Falcons, the Queenslander simply tried to build his own. With Scheel seats, a Garrett-boosted 4.1-litre six, flares and Tru Blu paint, Johnson’s XEs would reach 100km/h from rest in 7.1 seconds. That compared with a stodgy 8.4 from the XE 5.8 ESP. Only 30 of the turbo Fords were made and they have never excited collectors to a huge degree. Most that appear in the market are well kept and should bring slightly more than the $28,000 being sought in 1989 by an ambitious vendor.

Then $27,999 Now $28-35,000


(first published issue 380)

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