Aussies abroad: 1976 Ford Falcon XB GT for auction in the USA

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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xb falcon in the usa front side xb falcon in the usa front side
xb falcon in the usa rear side xb falcon in the usa rear side
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One of the 949 XB GT coupes ever built has sold for AU$108,000 at auction in the USA

UPDATE October 13, 2020: Our well-travelled Australian expatriate has found a new home, passing across the block at Vicari Auction's Biloxi, Mississippi, sale over the weekend.

We watched with curious eyes as a couple of floor bidders battled a number of internet bidders, before the car ultimately reached reserve at US$78,000 and was sold under the hammer to an anonymous internet bidder.

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At the current exchange rate, the XB Falcon GT sold for a local equivalent of AU$109,000 which is perhaps a little ways below market value for a good XB GT Hardtop however, could still be deemed comparable with the local market for an example in such well-worn condition such as this.

In fact, given that our homegrown heroes are virtually unknown to the rest of the world, the final sale price is perhaps a pleasant surprise.

The sale did not start off confidently however, with the auctioneer initially calling for starting bids of US$100,000.

Met with deafening silence, the starting call quickly became $75,000, then $60,000; before a floor bid of $50,000 kicked off proceedings. Bids were made in conservative $2,500 increments.

As for the car's future? Will it return home or stay in the United States? Interestingly, the auctioneer mentions after striking the gavel that the winning-internet bidder is located in Alberta, Canada. 

It seems the well-travelled Australian Falcon may soon add yet another stamp to its passport.

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Original story: The Ford Falcon nameplate bowed out of the US market in 1970, however our uniquely Australian counterparts would famously go one to become one our country’s most-loved models.

Amazingly, one such Aussie icon has made it stateside and is coming up for grabs at Vicari Auction’s Biloxi, Mississippi sale on October 9-10.

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This Red Pepper 1976 XB Falcon GT represents one of 949 coupes produced from 1973 to 1976, and one of just 125 produced in 1976.

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It’s now known when or how our homegrown hero ended up stateside, although we do know it has covered some 76,000 miles and is described as largely unrestored except for a partial respray - due to a brush with a guardrail in Australia.

The car also wears some "bolt-on" modifications as it was reportedly extensively raced both in Australia and in the USA before being retired from competition in 2003.

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Its factory 351 Cleveland, toploader four-speed and 9" posi-track rear all in place and are believed to be numbers-correct, however the motor has been stroked to 393ci.

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There isn’t much of a market outside of Australia for most of our unique vehicles, although the XB GT uniquely holds a bit more of an international appeal thanks to its starring role in the Mad Max films.

There is no pre-auction estimate published, however on local shores you’d expect to pay north of $120,000 for a hardtop coupe. 

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The auction will be a curious litmus test on how well Australian hero cars perform on the world stage, and we’ll be sure to report back with a final selling price once the auction comes to a close.

In the meantime, if we have any USA-based Aussies out there looking for a little slice of home: you can view more information on the auction here, and view the car in full here.

 

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