XW GTHO Falcon 1970

GT351.COM.AU was sent the message below, unsigned most likely in response to this post in our blog – Ford Falcon XW GTHO Phase 2 Auction. We also found a couple ofauctions that all look like they are auctioning the same vehicle,which we have placed at the bottom of this page.

1970 XW GTHO FalconDear Rob

I am concerned about the history of the 1970 XW GTHO Falcon you have in this Saturday’s auctionas I have been a fan of this era Falcon my entire life.

I sawthis car at the Kumeu Show at the beginning of this yearand it is truly a fine example of this classic. Now I’m in the latter years of my life I am in the financial position to comfortably afford to own a classic such as this,however thiscaris not as genuine as the owner claims it to be.

My concern is that this person is asking a huge amount of money in anyones terms for a vehicle based on its history, but the current owners memory seems to be a bit hazey around the late 70’s.

To cut a long story short, one of my best friendsdied in this very car in the late 70’s, his name was Brian Bowater. It goes back over 30 years now but I still remember certain things clearly. I even drove with Brian to the car dealership to buy it, it was a huge deal we were all so jealous.

I was a bit younger than Brian at the time and had an XR Falcon with a 289 in it. I guess the thing that is most clear to me was my mother dragging me down to the salvage yard in South Auckland to see what a horrific mess this car was in, he had hit a concrete bridge at 120mph which in any vehicle was unsurvivable. I always had a respect for the Falcon but after seeing that, I was put off racing cars for a long time.

I read an article in Classic Driver recently on this vehicle and I couldn’t believe it was the same car. I know for a fact, the family of Brian sent the vehicle to auction and it was bought by a man named Robert who took a few parts off it he could and it was destroyed. As this car was such a big deal in the day I knew of robert having a Red XW GT and I’d heard he was going to put the ID on too.

I tried many times to buy this off Robert before he left for America and because so many were going missing, for safety they pulled it apart and stored it in someones garage out West Auckland. I tried for many years to get this car but I was after the Red XW GT with black trim.

I don’t have anything against what this guy has done but he is well aware this car is not the original body or engine. The original engine was sold just prior to the crash. We replaced it with a performance one from a 1972 Ford LTD. The original XW GTHO engine had a number stamped at the back, the LTD engine we put in had no numbers. All GT’s had engine numbers. The LTD engine had cobra jet heads and a 780 carb. The original engine was 4 bolt main caps and had a 600 autolite carb, so this car does not have the right engine in it.

The GTHO world is very small and when a friend of mine called at some stage in 2000 to tell me that Robert Cox’s Falcon had resurfaced, it had changed hands and was at a metal blasters in Newlynn, I was quick to go see. What I saw and I think of myself as an expert, was a red XW in very tidy condition. Just prior to being blasted the original colour was red not green, I also noticed no chassis stamping which all GT’s had, which tells me it may not even been a GT. Anyway, it is a well known fact all GT’s have a four digit number stamped on the left tower.

So ask yourself this, wouldn’t it upset you to pay $400k for a GT with an GTHO tag on it. I don’t know about you, but I would be after blood and I’m sure most Ford fan’s would be and considering your company stated its history is secure, I would be after you as well.

Anyway, I don’t agree with what this guy has done. Robert was very forthcoming about this cars history and there is still people who remember what happened, so its bound to surface the more this car is out there but I feel you should either withdraw or let people know its true history and then they can decide if they want or not.

I’m very sure I could dig out some old newspaper articles my mother kept. It was a huge deal for us but it was such a long time ago, but its still sad when I think about my friend who lost his life so young, and now someone is knowingly trying to make a lot of money off something it is not.

Is that not fraud ? Whats the diffrence to me puting the ID and parts off a 2009 XR8 onto a standard one. Why should it matter, if it was last week or 30 years ago is it still not car conversion ? I will also advise a few forums I have found on the Internet and the Classic Driver editor, I think its wrong to deceive people especially when some of those buyers are from overseas and are not able to view this car. Its alot of money to part with.

On a brighter note, it is truly an amazing restoration although it has many reproduction parts. It probably belongs in a museum somewhere.

I don’t really want to get involved in this issue but I could probably dig out some old article’s or find some name’s to prove this is all fact.

I’m just informing you of its true history and its totally up to you what you do from here.

Kind regards


Don’t be surprised if the links are broken into the future once the auctions have expired..


  • To whom it may concern. I came across this blog about this XW GTHO in Auckland. I can confirm this story 100 percent correct. I remember this myself. I can’t believe its still out there. It was so well known the Ernie Sprague Falcon did get destroyed, so ask yourself this… What is it ? Ask yourself what are you paying for ? If this went to the auctioneers they should really advise people its not an original body.
  • Hey, hows it going. Could’nt help but be interested in this story on the GTHO, I had a flick through some old NZ hotrod mag’s and found an article in Dec 75 about the Bowater GTHO formerly of Ernie Sparague. I could scan you a copy if you like. It kind of sucks this guy isnt being honest. I watched the auction, it got past in. The top bidder is negotiating but he is hesitating over some issues with car. Anyway great site thanks.

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