XY GT argument settlers
Launched officially in November 1970, the Ford XY GT has become the most sought after GT model. Of course, one of the most collectable of all Australian performance cars is the iconic GT-HO Phase III version released in 1971. The XY GT extended the tradition of the true Aussie muscle car by being the first and only model to feature an exposed centre bonnet air-scoop which was attached to the air cleaner of its thumping 300bhp 351 Cleveland V8, hence the ‘Shaker’ nickname.
Following on from Allan Moffat’s Phase II 1970 Bathurst win, the Falcon GT-HO Phase III took pole position and crossed the line as outright winner of the 1971 Hardie-Ferodo 500, a full 24 minutes faster.
The XY model was a more refined version of its XW GT predecessor. It sported GT 351 side stripes adorned with smaller ‘Superoo’ decals shown burning rubber, integrated bonnet pins, styled racing mirror, racing-style fuel cap, thumping dual exhausts, Hella driving lights and the famed GT five-slot steel rally wheels as standard fitted with red-band Dunlop Aquajet tyres. The GT-HO version received a fullwidth front spoiler and a fibreglass rear wing compliments of the Boss Mustang. In
total, 1557 XY GTs and 300 GT-HOs were built over a two-year model period ending in November 1972. The first XY GTs were actually built in September 1970, and were produced alongside the XW GT for one month. Of these, 616 XY GTs were optioned with the 3-speed automatic transmission, the remaining 908 came standard with the 4-speed floorshift ‘Toploader’ manual gearbox. A remaining balance of 33 XY GTs built predominantly in September and October 1971 have unknown production codes due to a clerical error, these are usually referred to as ‘Phantoms’. Hero
colours like Vermilion Fire, Track Red, Ultra White, Yellow Ochre, True Blue, Electric Blue, Monza Green, Quick Silver, Nugget Gold and Bronze Wine with reflective side stripes became the norm for the XY GT range.
The most popular colour ordered was Vermilion Fire, the same colour as Allan Moffat’s race car, with a combined 334 GTs and HOs made in this colour. This was followed by 298 in Ultra White, 204 in Yellow Ochre, 178 in Track Red, 157 in Monza Green, 135 in Bronze Wine, 117 in Electric Blue, 113 in Nugget Gold, 41 in True Blue, 35 in Jewel Green, and 11 GTs and HOs in Frosted Pewter.
Special orders and fleet colours were also available, with some popular favourites being Yellow Glo, Wild Violet and Raw Orange. There were 169 ‘Fleet’ coloured XY GTs and HOs ordered in total, however official Ford production records show a ‘blank’ space not indicating how many of each colour were made. Some of the rarer colours that we know exist today were 17 in Vintage Burgundy, at least seven in Onyx Black and Surfer Orange, six in Royal Umber, three of each in Teal Glow, RAA Yellow and Zircon Green, two in Limelight, and one of each in Aviation Orange, Agfa Orange, Harmony Grey, and Spearmint. In addition, there were nine ‘SPEC’ coded GTs which denoted a special order colour that wasn’t standard in the Ford range.
Trim colours were mostly selected by customers in black, light saddle, or white vinyl although there were 113 GTs and GT-HOs made with cloth inserts. Some of these had a spectrum coloured insert commonly known as a ‘Hawaiian pack’. White was only offered as a trim colour to Fairmont buyers but orders were placed for white trim GTs and many came with the Fairmont badge scrolls. Identification
for an XY GT differs from a 1970 model to a 1971 version, with the former much the same as the 1970 XW GT. For 1970 models, three identifiers should be present, the first being the chassis number stamped into the passenger side front shocker tower beginning 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. The identification plate is 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 1971 model XY GT, instead of the JG33 number stamped onto the radiator support panel, the JG33 number is now stamped onto the passenger side shocker tower. The GL and GJ numbering system is no longer used. The engine number is prefixed by the JG33 number which is now stamped on the passenger side of the engine block, above the fuel pump. The identification plate is affixed by four rivets to the passenger side of the bulkhead firewall. All three identifiers should match.