The XA was certainly the first Australian Falcon that couldn’t claim close kinship with an American Falcon. Sometime early in 1968 the decision had been taken to discontinue production of the US Falcon. Thus it was that in May of that year, a team of Ford Australia executives flew to America to begin work on what was to become the 1972 XA Falcon. There they would collaborate with senior Dearborn stylists because the Australian operation was at that time considered to be too small to have complete autonomy.
Very early on in the project the Americans suggested that an abbreviated version of the new Fairlane/Torino – a car of which they were proud – would do the job. By using the center section of the car in conjunction with a shorter wheelbase and shorter front and rear overhangs, an attractive car of Falcon dimensions could be created.
But the Australians had immediate doubts, believing that the effectiveness of the Fairlane/Torino styling was largely a consequence of those long, flowing overhangs and the long wheelbase.
A clay model was built and everyone agreed that the Australians’ reservations had been right. While the XA bears some resemblance to the Fairlane/Torino, it was in fact an all-new design.
In October 1968, work was completed after three Australian designers had worked 90 hours. Dearborn was so impressed with the work achieved by the Australian stylists that Ford Australia was told to build itself a design center.
The XA Hardtop was released in three editions: Falcon 500 Hardtop, Fairmont Hardtop and GT Hardtop. The 500 and the Fairmont could be ordered with a GS Package as an option. They were all exclusively designed and built in Australia. Engines came in a variety of sizes from the six cylinder 200ci, 250ci and 250ci 2V to the V8 302ci Cleveland and the 351ci Cleveland. Transmissions were either C4 or FMX automatics or 4 speed manuals. Delivering the power to the road was normally done an 8″ or 9″ differential.
Identifying an XA Falcon Hardtop There are four major external features that differentiate the XA Hardtop from the XB and XC Hardtops.
- The grille is made with horizontal lines meeting at a point in the center.
- The hood meeting at a point in the center.
- The front marker/turn lights cut into the front fender.
- The rear lights have a concave design.
It has now been 35 years since the XA was released so these features are used as a general indication only. A lot of cars have been modified over time.
The XA Family There were a total of 129,473 XA’s produced between March, 1972 and September, 1973. Ford didn’t keep detailed production records for all editions but we can tell you the Hardtop numbers: 4,525 XA Falcon 500s; 3,273 XA Fairmonts and 891 GTs.
The other models in the range consisted of 120,784: Sedan, Wagon, Utility (Ranchero) and Panel Van (Sedan Delivery).