More R-Rated facts

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Mail -

I al­ways read with amuse­ment the var­i­ous mag­a­zines stat­ing the newly re­sourced, sneak­ily found and, at great dan­ger to their very life, the newly ex­posed XA GT ‘facts’. I have just read the R-Rated ar­ti­cle in AMC #88 and was ac­tu­ally im­pressed with the ba­sic knowl­edge and back­ground cov­ered within.

Un­der­stand­ably, there are very few peo­ple around now who can say with au­thor­ity what was ac­tu­ally pro­duced at Broad­mead­ows back in the day. I have been an avid fol­lower of the mar­que since the first Wheels mag­a­zine showed us their lines in 1971. I’ve had three ex­am­ples and still have two, one since 1980.

Un­for­tu­nately ‘facts’ are not nec­es­sar­ily the same thing to all those who read them.

Yes, the 351 pow­ered all XA GTs, but not all were the 4V ‘big port’ closed cham­ber 11.2:1 en­gines. As sug­gested there were 2V ‘small port’ open cham­ber 9.2:1 en­gines, but there is no men­tion of the 4V ‘big port’ open cham­ber 9.2:1 ver­sions or the men­tion of the Aus­tralian 351 en­gines that were fit­ted along the way. The Aussie 351 was es­sen­tially a copy of the 2V ver­sion with 9.3:1 com­pres­sion with blank cor­nered ‘small port’ heads. As stated, the ‘T’ on the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion plate refers to a 4-bar­rel 351, not 4V.

Cleve­land en­gines were cou­pled to top-loader or FMX gear­boxes, whereas the Aussie 351 re­ceived a sin­gle-rail gear­box, I don’t re­mem­ber see­ing any Aussie au­tos at the time. The Aussiepow­ered XA Fal­cons gen­er­ally ap­peared with the round ex­haust tips not the big oval ones.

The 12-slot­ters were back in favour for one rea­son or another; how­ever, the ‘72 XA GT Fal­cons wore the Kelsey wheels (pos­si­bly left over from pre­vi­ous mod­els) with only a small num­ber run­ning the ROH copies. In ad­di­tion, the ‘72 ver­sions had the hub­caps from the XW and XY GTs, while the vast ma­jor­ity of the ‘73 GT Fal­cons had the chrome bolt-on GT cen­tres.

Yes, there were cer­tainly a large num­ber of colours avail­able with the XA GT. I wish we could have some vari­a­tions in the lat­est Fal­con Sprint line-up from Broad­mead­ows to­day, else I wouldn’t be get­ting a black one. Hav­ing said that, I note the in­com­plete range of colours as I have one of two (that I know of) Emer­ald Fire fac­tory painted XA GTs, one sedan and one hard­top, both de­liv­ered to Fron­tier Ford in Ade­laide in June ‘73.

Whilst I have seen only a few XA GT sedans fit­ted with the 36-gal­lon long range fuel tanks, each with an owner telling of how it was a Phase IV pushed out the back door, there were a num­ber fit­ted with the 28-gal­lon long range fuel tank, these could also be found in 351 Fair­lanes and cars fit­ted with the Coun­try Pack. They be­came eas­ier to get with the XB and XC range of ve­hi­cles, but had the emis­sion vent and re­turn sys­tems added.

Yes, all the RPO83 ver­sions had the big port 4V Cleve­land, top-loader, 780 Hol­ley and the Head Mod 2” pri­mary, one piece tri Y head­ers, but some were lucky to be fit­ted with the ‘twin-point’ dis­trib­u­tor, solid lifters and match­ing camshaft, the fa­mous ‘eared sump’ and the N No­du­lar Iron car­rier 9” cen­tre. Some were even luck­ier to have most of them fit­ted in one pack­age, but very few did. The sumps were even found on 302 and 351 am­bu­lances of the late ‘70s.

Re­gard­ing the ‘delete stripes’ op­tion, I know of at least four, in­clud­ing a Lime Glaze RPO83 hard­top, that have a body-coloured bon­net with the delete stripes in­clud­ing the lower pan­els and the rear of the car – all body colour.

There was also no men­tion of the 140mph/240km/h speedo change or the 7000 and 8000rpm tacho changes. I know of RPOs with 240km/h and 8000rpm tachos as well as the 7000rpm 240km/h ver­sions.

In the day the rule of thumb was black bon­net sig­ni­fied Cleve­land (high per­for­mance), to­ploader/FMX, 140mph/8000rpm in­stru­ments and oval ex­hausts gen­er­ally built in 1972. A plain bon­net gen­er­ally sig­ni­fied an Aussie en­gine (milder per­for­mance), 140mph/7000rpm in­stru­ment pack mated to a sin­gle-rail gear­box and round ex­haust tips. When it didn’t fit ‘The Rule’ it was time to be wary and re­ally get dirty to check things out as they were the days of restamp­ing and no-one wanted to get caught with a dud.

These ad­di­tions are sim­ply that, ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion from some­one who has been chas­ing and re­search­ing the mar­que since its in­cep­tion, when it showed the lines of the Torino and the Cy­clone. This is merely ex­tra in­for­ma­tion for the guys at ACCHS to use; after all, they are now chas­ing many mod­els and makes and I’ve owned and re­searched only one. Hope­fully this will add to their knowl­edge bank and not de­tract from the fine work they have done. I’m pretty sure this is too long to print, but I’d be happy to have it for­warded to ACCHS for their records and pos­si­bly Ford Broad­mead­ows in the hope to get a colour change to my ‘Sprint’.

Congratulations on a su­perb mag­a­zine, keep up the good work.

Mark Win­ter Via email

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