1970 Ford Falcon XW GT - Reader Ride

By: Steve Neal with Guy Allen, Unique Cars magazine, Photography by: Nathan Jacobs

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You had to take your shoes off to get in

 

 Steve Neal's Falcon XW GT

This car is almost a family member. My uncle bought it when he came back from Vietnam, where he was part of the 21 Engineer Support Troop.

That was July 1970 and it was registered in my grandmother’s name. He used it as a daily once he left the army. He worked in the PMG. He used to drive it on holidays – including a trip to Queensland.

For some reason he ended up retiring the car. That was a very long time ago, in the early ’80s. I remember riding in this car when I was a kid. It had sheets and blankets over the interior to protect it and you had to take your shoes off to get in. I still do that to this day! It’s still very fresh inside, no-one would have dared smoke in it.

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It used to have Mickey Thompson tyres on it, and Magnum wheels, which was a ’70s.

By the time I got around to owning it, the boot was in primer and the paint generally was in a sad state. There were crows feet in the finish and it was weathered.

Sitting in the shed had at least saved it from the worst. Incredibly, it had just 53,000 miles (85,000km) on the clock when I took it over in 1988.

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My grandmother remained involved with the car – she even helped to finance the respray. I used it as a daily driver for a few months after the refresh, but soon gave it a break by getting a Corolla as a daily hack.

It got me involved in the Ford GT club and I’ve met a lot of good people through that. One of them was Neil Thompson, then the owner of Grand Tourer, who took on finishing the project and putting the car together. Sadly, he’s no longer with us, but he did leave behind a legacy of really nice cars like this one.

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While it’s been restored, the components are those the car came with, as my uncle had left it very complete. It’s running the 351 powerplant that’s been rebuilt and blueprinted. There is of course the top loader transmission and 9-inch diff.

You can’t compare it to a new car of course, but it’s great to drive on the highway and it’s won a string of trophies.

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The GT is now for sale through Grand Tourer, tel (03) 9357 7757. 

Valuation guide: GT prices have soared and depend on provenance.  @ $150-220k.

 

Unique Cars magazine Value Guides

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