1969 Ford XW Falcon GT-HO Phase I Review

By: Cliff Chambers, Guy Allen, Photography by: Alistair Brook

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The Phase III was not the first Falcon to come to market wearing spoilers, a big carb and with its boot crammed full of fuel tank

 

1969 Ford XW Falcon GT-HO Phase I

The first GT-HO was derived from the XW GT and set just one task; to win the annual Bathurst 500 race for Series Production cars.

Finishing second didn’t count and lack of competition success did influence the Phase I’s survival prospects.

Combined production of 1969 and 1970 (Phase 1.5) cars made them the most commonplace of GT-HOs, however the 1970s and 1980s saw them sold for little more than the price of a standard GT and treated with scant regard for increasing scarcity. Cars that had been written off in crashes or recovered after being stolen could often expect to end their existence on a local speedway.

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Values during the 2006-08 price boom peaked at $250-300,000 but the cost of an average car was considerably less. Phase Is offered for sale during 2017 showed values holding steady in the vicinity of $250,000 however that could be set to change for the better.


THE FACTS

As is often the case with iconic muscle cars, the development path was anything but straight and narrow.

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For example, one of the options Ford toyed with, when it was looking for a high-performance successor to the XR GT, was a two-door American market Falcon body. A mock-up, possibly with a 427 under the bonnet, was displayed at the 1969 Melbourne Motor Show. Meanwhile an Australian car was air-freighted to Dearborn and fitted with a 428 CobraJet powerplant (plus some Mustang-inspired components, such as the ‘shaker’), and returned here, ending up in the hands Ford Australia exec Bill Bourke.

In the end, the company opted for a warmed-up version of the Windsor 351, for the first ‘Handling Option’ of the GT.

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GT-HO PHASE I TIMELINE

Average values

1985  $12,250
1990 $17,700
1995 $25,900

2000 $32,000
2007 $145,000
2012 $140,000
2017 $260,000

(1985 & 1990 Values From 'Making Money From Collectable Cars' Marque Publishing Company, 1995-2017 Values From the Unique Cars Value Guide & Unique Cars Muscle Car Guide)

TOTAL BUILT: 375

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1969 Ford XW Falcon GT-HO Phase I specs

Engine Windsor 5894cc pushrod V8
Power 224kW @ 5400rpm
Torque 515Nm @ 3400rpm
Gearbox 4-speed all synchro or 3-speed auto
Brakes Discs (f), drum (r)
Suspension Independant coil springs(f), live axle, leaf springs (r)
PERFORMANCE
0-100km/h – 6.4sec
Top Speed – 220km/h

Thanks to owner George Papadopoulos for the use of the car

 

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