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Strong thought-provoking content, myths debunked, facts only, no nudity. Written by Mark Barraclough.
in Silver Fox, 56 in Track Red, 28 in Polar White, and 21 GTs and HOs in Electric Blue.
Special orders and fleet colours were also available, with some favourites being Brambles Red and Surfer Orange. There were 276 ‘Fleet’coloured XW GTs and HOs ordered in total. However official Ford production records show a ‘blank’ space with no indication of how many of each colour were made.
Some of the rarer colours that exist via survivors today include Onyx Black (6), Vintage Burgundy (4), Zircon Green (4), Imperial Burgundy (4), True Blue (3), Surfer Orange (3), Lime Frost (2), Shell Yellow (2), Woodsman Green (2). Meanwhile, there is one known example of each of the following: Opal Glow, Royal Umber, Golden Yellow and Fanta Orange. In addition, there were 16 ‘SPEC’ coded GTs and GT-HOs which denoted a special order colour that wasn’t standard in the Ford range.
As to trim colours, customers mostly selected black or dark saddle. There were 14 GTs and GT-HOs made with dark saddle trim and cloth inserts. Some of these had a spectrum coloured insert commonly known as a ‘Hawaiian pack’. There was also three GTs made with burgundy interiors and one with light grey trim.
Interestingly, the XW trim colour of Dark Saddle is lighter than the XY Light Saddle trim! When
it comes to identifying an XW GT, three identifiers should be present. The first is the chassis number stamped into the passenger-side front shocker tower. This will begin with GL for a manual and GJ for an automatic. This number should match the number on the engine which is located on the engine block behind the alternator. There should also be a VIN serial number stamped on the passenger-side front of the radiator support panel beginning with the magic numbers JG33. For 1969 models, a small data tag should be affixed by two rivets to the drivers’ side of the radiator support panel. 1970 model XW GTs and HOs will have a larger identification plate affixed by four rivets to the passenger side of the bulkhead firewall. The JG33 VIN serial number on the identification plate should always match that on the front radiator support panel.
For the GT, the engine code on the identification tags should be a ‘T’ denoting the four-barrel 351 engine. The engine code ‘H’ was reserved for the GT-HO. A manual GT is stamped with an ‘L’ in the space for the transmission code, whilst the letter ‘B’ indicated an automatic. Although an automatic transmission was never officially available for the GT-HO, there is at least one automatic Starlight Blue HO that escaped from the factory, probably a special vehicle order (SVO) and although it is recorded on official Ford production records as a manual, the data tag for this car was stamped ‘B’ for automatic. The model code stamped on these tags are 18938 for the XWGT and 18939 for the GT-HO regardless of it being a 1969 or 1970 model.
Many XW GTs and GT-HOs were stamped with an SVO number on the identification tag. Unfortunately, the records for these SVOs are missing or lost. More often than not, SVO numbers were issued to a vehicle with a special request for paintwork or fitment of a unique accessory such as white roof-lining.
Apilot batch of 11 XW GTs were sent down the line in May 1969 to test production with the first of these being an automatic Diamond White example. Of these pre-production pilot models, four were retained by the Ford Motor Company (Code 3999), with the remaining seven sent to various dealers in different states. According to Ford’s production records, the first GT-HO was scheduled to be built in July 1969; it too was Diamond White in colour.