1968 Ford XT Falcon GT - V8 Falcons #1

By: Guy Allen, Photography by: Stuart Grant

ford falcon xt gt front ford falcon xt gt front

The Ford V8 legend began with the predecessor to this car, the XR of 1966

From Unique Cars #319, Jan 2011 

The 289ci Windsor V8 rapidly established itself as a major player in the Falcon line-up by grabbing 20 percent of sales. And then came the XR GT – a landmark in the history of the Aussie muscle car. Its impact was unprecedented and its ’67 Bathurst win made it an instant legend. So Ford had a lot at stake with the XT.

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ford-falcon-xt-gt.jpgTime has been kind to the XT’s styling. Its clean lines and relatively understated striping are a total contrast to the Phase III that followed three years later

There were all sorts of wild rumours leading up to the release of the GT ‘Mk II’, including a somewhat ambitious claim that the sweet 289ci V8 would be swapped for a monster 390-cube unit. Even though it was the ’60s, Ford’s hallucinogenic intake was obviously lower than that of the rumour mongers and it settled for a subtle upgrade to 302 cubic inches (4.9 litres).

Compression was up to 10:1, power up five ponies to 230, a limited-slip axle helped traction and the brakes (still front discs, rear drums) scored dual circuits.

| Ford Falcon history: XR, XT, XW, XY series


As many will attest, braking was hardly a high point on these things, especially given the XT GT’s 126mph (203km/h) top speed, but it was nevertheless a surprisingly good thing. In 2010, that’s something you don’t truly appreciate until you experience it at full noise.

The 302 V8 will lope along happily, but work the four-speed ’box and there’s enough flexibility to tease Mr Hyde out from under the XT’s Dr Jekyll bonnet. It will make an angry rumble on demand and firing down the main straight at our Broadford test track, the XT has enough pace to guarantee that its brakes will be cooked at the other end.

| 2019 Market Review: Ford Falcon/Fairmont XR-XY GT & replica

ford-falcon-xt-gt-badge.jpgRed GT badging set the car apart, but the subtle boasts were pretty truthful

Aussie cars of the ’60s suffered from a fairly crude image, but that’s something a well-looked-after XT will defy. For its day, it was surprisingly civilised and comfortable and offers arguably the sweetest overall package of all the early GTs. It may not have the glamour of an HO, but there are a lot of folk out there, including some Unique Cars staffers, who have a real soft spot for the XT GT.

Owner Dave Allen purchased this example in South Australia about a year ago and shipped it back to Melbourne.

ford-falcon-xt-interior.jpgExtra gauges, buckets, Mustang wheel and floor-mounted gearchange for XT GT

"Fortunately I haven’t had to do too much work to it other than put the right diff in it and source the right ratios," he says. "Other than that, it’s pretty much as I bought it. "I just jump in it on a sunny day and go out for a drive, out for lunch.

Why pick this model? "When I was younger I had a fake XT so I wanted to buy a real one. I’ve had a couple of them now. It’s just a nice old car."

ford-falcon-xt-gt-engine-bay.jpg302ci Windsor got the nod (and 5hp) over the XR GT’s 289 version

Any advice for anyone looking to buy one Dave? "Make sure you have a good look around and see what’s about because there’s some pretty ordinary cars and some pretty nice cars – so you’ve got to do you homework."

1968 Ford XT Falcon GT specs

Engine 4942cc V8, ohV, 16v, four-barrel Autolite carburettor
Power 172kW @ 4800rpm
Torque 420Nm @ 3200rpm
Weight 1444kg
Transmission 4-speed manual
Wheels 14 x 6.0-inch steel
Brakes 279mm discs (f), 254mm drums (r)
0-100km/h 8.5sec
0-400m 15.5sec
Top speed 203km/h
Price $3200 (1968


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