1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special: Reader ride

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Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special
Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special
Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special
Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special
Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special

Robert Hilston's 1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special...

1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special: Reader ride
1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special

 

Robert Hilston's
1975 Ford Falcon XB John Goss Special

We came to Australia from the UK in 1976, a year after my Gossy was built, and the first car my old man had here was an XC Fairmont. It was a behemoth compared to the Morris Marina we had in England, which was considered a large family car over there. Australian cars with big V8s were a bit of culture shock for us but they captured my imagination when I was a kid and every weekend we used to explore the big wide-open roads of the country in the Fairmont.

My first Aussie car was a TF Cortina with a 4.1-litre six and I’ve always been a bit of a Ford nut although I have owned an HSV along the way. My brother-in-law had a mid-life crisis about 10 years ago and bought a Landau coupe and that started me looking for my own hardtop. I got to know some of the guys in the scene and after three years I found one in Tassie through a guy called John Chandler, who also owns a Goss and is the guru of these cars.

What appealed to me was the two-tone look – done by a Ford designer called John Orlando Birt who also did the Cobra hardtop – and its racing heritage; John Goss is still the only driver to have won Bathurst and the Australian Grand Prix.

The car was originally sold in NSW and has had a good dozen owners. The guy I bought it from did a full resto and I added the front scoop, changed the exhaust, refurbished the steering wheel, fitted a 600 cfm Holley to make it more reliable, and repaired some ’roo damage. The only non-standard things are wider rear tyres and different centre caps on the wheels.

There is a lot of conjecture about how many Goss Specials were built, somewhere between 260 and 500 depending who you talk to, but because there is no actual identifier, like there was on a GT, for example, it’s hard to nail down a final number. The way you do it is by a certain number of XB hardtop options. There were only two paint colour options, and if it doesn’t have an RS Rally Pack (dash, suspension and 12-slot wheels) it’s not a Goss. Dealers also used to option them with a range of other things too.

It doesn’t have a radio and that’s one of the best things about the car. I just love hearing the burble of the V8 and feeling the instant throttle response. Mine’s an auto but it doesn’t have any pollution controls, sound dampening, or air-con and only weighs 1385kgs, which is pretty light so it goes okay for a small-block V8. All the running gear is original and it has discs and drums. It handles pretty good for a big car and turns heads everywhere I go, it’s fantastic.

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