Res­ur­rec­tion

Australian Muscle Car - - Factory Muscle -

Thirty-

two years after the XT GT’s star­ring role at Mount Panorama in 1968, Fal­con GT club iden­tity Rob Mace­don en­tered its life. And vice versa.

“The rolling shell was be­ing ad­ver­tised for $500 in Fair­field, in Syd­ney’s west,” re­mem­bers Mace­don. “I said to my son, Tim; ‘do you want to buy a race­car to have fun with?’

“I went out to Fair­field. It was sit­ting in this guy’s front yard. I was the first one there. I checked the num­bers and con­firmed it was a gen­uine GT, al­beit much light­ened with Lexan win­dows and flared wheel arches. I man­aged to knock the guy down to $400, we shook hands and he said; ‘I’ll write you a re­ceipt and get you the log­books.’”

Mace­don says that he im­me­di­ately did a dou­ble-take.

“I was a bit be­wil­dered, but he came out with two CAMS log­books with the car’s sports sedan com­pe­ti­tion his­tory.”

What Mace­don thought he pur­chased was a gen­uine XT Fal­con GT with an in­ter­est­ing sports sedan his­tory, but noth­ing more. But as the pres­i­dent of the Fal­con GT Club of NSW, he got to know Club Pa­tron, one F Gib­son.

“We started talk­ing about the GT’s his­tory and soon I re­ceived a par­cel in the mail from Fred. In it was a copy of the CAMS log­book that Fred had is­sued for the GT post Bathurst, com­plete with pho­tos of the GT out­side his Road & Track ser­vice cen­tre! I checked the chas­sis num­ber in Fred’s log­book and matched the Sports Sedan CAMS log­book. I couldn’t be­lieve it!”

Mace­don had hit the jack­pot at a time when the mus­cle car boom of the early ‘noughties’ was tak­ing hold. He re­stored the GT back to its 1968 Zir­con Green liv­ery and dis­cov­ered a few things along the way that con­firmed its her­itage.

“It came with its orig­i­nal (steel) bon­net. At the front of the bon­net there were two lit­tle holes for the leather straps that held the bon­net down. Also the up­per and lower con­trol arms in my GT were moved an inch lower to give more camber. I found out this was a trick Harry Firth also used later on his Holden To­ranas.

This fa­mous XT GT is not pre­sented to ‘orig­i­nally raced’ spec­i­fi­ca­tion. It cur­rently runs a Cleve­land 351 for starters and has a roll cage fit­ted. But it has given the Mace­don fam­ily over 10 years of fun on club runs and at shows and dis­plays. It even graced the front row at the 2013 Mus­cle Car Masters’ Bathurst Grid Spec­tac­u­lar, when 40-plus gen­uine cars from the Great Race lined up on Syd­ney Mo­tor­sport Park’s main Brab­ham straight. It was a fit­ting re­ward for a true rac­ing sur­vivor.

Present that day, and mak­ing his last pub­lic ap­pear­ance in NSW, was Harry Firth him­self. As Rob Mace­don high­lights, the car has a spe­cial place in Aussie rac­ing his­tory, as Harry’s last Bathurst Ford.

Above: This is how the XT looked when Rob Mace­don pur­chased it. Right: Two old foes back to­gether again. At the 2013 Mus­cle Car Masters, Rob’s XT lined up along­side an ex-HDRT Monaro GTS 327 that it raced against at Bathurst 1968. Main and right: After its metic­u­lous restora­tion, the car ap­peared on the cover of AMC #17, in 2005, which told the story of the first epic Holden ver­sus Ford Bathurst bat­tle.

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