Ford Falcon XW GT

 

In May 1969 the first of the XW GT’s rolled off the Broadmeadows assembly line. Ford had upped the ante with the XW by fitting the 351 cubic inch (5.8 litre) Windsor V8 with an output of 290 BHP (217KW) and 385 ft/lbs. of torque.

 

With bigger brakes, a final drive ratio of 3.25:1, a huge 36-gallon (164 litre) fuel tank and suspension modifications to take the extra power and torque, the XW seemed to be the ultimate Grand Tourer. But more was to follow…

 

The HO variant, which arrived one month later, was a real street racer. HO stood for “Handling Option” in “Ford-speak”, however most of the modifications added were to the engine. It now developed 300bhp (225KW).

 

The 351 got a bigger (600cfm vs 450cfm) carburetor, hydraulic valve lifters, revised camshaft, heavy duty alternator, alloy inlet manifold, a three-inch heavy duty tail shaft, heavier front roll bar, beefed-up coils, stiffer shocks and a new rear roll bar.

 

In its first appearance at the 1969 Bathurst race an XW GTHO came in second, in spite of wrong tyre choice which saw the works cars pitting for unscheduled stops throughout the day.

 

Production of the XW model resulted in 2,287 GT’s from May 1969 to October 1970 and 662 GTHO’s from July 1969 to October 1970.

 

Ford further refined the XW GT with a Cleveland 351 engine, still with 300bhp. The Cleveland engine was used in some late Phase I GTHOs (also known as Phase 1.5) produced around March & April 1970.

 

These were a long way short of the proper Phase IIs as far as development is concerned… using the standard hydraulic Cleveland engine (but with 600cfm Holley carburetor), wide ratio gearbox, 28 spline diff, standard drums, etc.

 

The Cleveland powered Phase II GTHO which commenced production in June 1970 sported a 750cfm Holley carburetor and improved gear ratios with a lower 3.5:1 rear axle.

Other changes to the Phase II included, solid camshaft & lifters, bigger push rods, guide plates, close ratio gearbox, “Daytona” diff (which incorporated nodular iron carrier, 31 spline rear axles, larger pinion flange and bearings, larger axle bearings, etc…), bigger diameter tail shaft, larger universal joints, 2.5″ wide finned drums, brake proportioning valve, etc… Allan Moffat won the 1970 Hardie Ferodo (Bathurst) 500 in a Phase II after leading from lap 2.

XW GTHO COLOUR CODE CHART

XW GTHO COLOUR CODE CHART
Paint Code Paint Name
GTHO
Phase 1.5
Phase 2
Total
R Diamond White
57
22
40
119
G Candy Apple Red
59
26
17
102
Y Grecian Gold
35
8
18
61
  Reef Green
28
12
20
60
K Starlight Blue
28
14
14
56
8 Silver Fox
23
6
13
42
F117 Brambles Red
9
0
9
18
H Track Red
0
0
36
36
A Polar White
1
2
3
6
S Electric Blue
0
0
12
12
A Polar White
1
2
3
6
F099 Shell Yellow
0
0
2
2
T True Blue
0
0
2
2
Spec Spec
0
0
2
2
F161 Royal Umber
0
0
1
1
F280 Zircon Green
0
0
1
1
F161 Royal Umber
0
0
1
1
F280 Zircon Green
0
0
1
1
FI Belrose Green
0
0
1
1
B Onyx Black
0
0
1
1
None No Code
20
25
95
140
Total XW GTHO Production
260
115
287
662